Love is the Higher LawAuthor: David Levithan
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: August 25th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . .The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.
While I found the overall message of this book inspiring and thought-provoking, it was hard for me to connect with Love is the Higher Law. David Levithan’s writing is impressive as always and I appreciate the beauty of his words (I have a lot of favorite lines here), but I wasn’t really impressed. I couldn’t get a grasp of Claire, Peter and Jasper. I know this book was about how the 9/11 attack affected these three teenagers, but somehow they all felt so frustratingly empty. There was little character development here and almost no plot at all, so I found it difficult to follow the story. Such a waste really, because the characters were actually interesting. I really wanted to like this book because the theme was appealing. Sadly, this is one book by David Levithan that’s just not for me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either.