Love is the Higher Law

Love is the Higher Law
by David Levithan
Published 2009 by Random House
176 pages. Hardcover.
Rating: 4/5

The lives of three teens–Claire, Jasper, and Peter–are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get 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.

This is the first time I’ve ever read a book about the events of 9/11. I’ve haven’t seen many movies either. It’s a place I haven’t wanted to go. I chose to read this because David Levithan wrote it. I was pleased with it too. Though it was heartbreaking, it was also eye-opening and hopeful.

Being from Alabama, I will never totally understand what it was like to be there. I was far away, safe in the South. I remember watching everything on TV in class all day. I remember being totally blown away by what was happening, and at the same time not totally understanding what was happening. I was in eighth grade. I never read the news or even thought about it. So at the time, I understood that it was happening, but not why it was happening. It didn’t have a very big effect on my life. It was a little jarring, but that was pretty much it. I mean, I was just a kid. Now that I’m in my twenties I understand the events much better. After reading this book, I understand what it must have been like in New York much better.

I loved the different reactions to everything that was happening. Everyone is different and deals with catastrophe and sorrow in their own way. I’m glad that was represented with these three different characters. It was nice to see how people came together after these horrible events. How lives can be changed forever by something that didn’t necessarily happen to them, but around them. I know I’ll still never quite get it, since I wasn’t actually there. But I feel that I’m a lot closer to getting it now. I think this book would be terrific in a classroom. I also think everyone should read it. Though it’s filled with a lot of sorrow, it’s also filled with a lot of hope.

Source: Homewood Public Library. Homewood, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound
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  1. Thanks for this review, I really liked it. I've been thinking of reading this… I even saw this in a bookstore once but I was already buying a lot of books then and did not have room for one more. When I returned it wasn't there anymore and have been looking for a copy since then. Really looking forward to reading this.Have a great weekend!Brush Up On Your Reading

  2. Thanks for this review. I read this book when it was first released and really appreciated the reality of it. It's a difficult subject, to be sure, but I think David did a great job with it.


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