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Love Is the Higher Law

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,950 Ratings  ·  695 Reviews
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 Clai
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John GreenBoy Meets Boy by David LevithanCity of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
49th out of 1,071 books — 3,101 voters
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309th out of 2,250 books — 11,633 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Nov 08, 2009 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
I don’t normally post a 9/11 related blog post on my blog, just because there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. And even if I could say it differently, there’s nothing I can say that would change the events of that day.

But I read a book this year that changed my mind. It’s called LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW, by David Levithan. In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that I both know and like David -- he’s editor Mixtape and we work together on SHIVER. I should also ment
Sep 05, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it
This is my first Levithan novel.... I know is probably a surprise to some of you. (sorry Khy... are you proud of me.. I read one!) But I have to say I'll definitely be picking up his novels... and even plan to do so in the near future, with Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Any way back to the novel at hand. This novel really stuck a cord with me. I honestly cried while reading most of it... ok, i cried through the entire thing actually. Thank god it wasn't all that long. I guess I just remember that d
Nov 22, 2013 Lynda rated it really liked it
September 11, 2001. It’s impossible to forget that day. We all have our memories of where we were, who we were with, who we suddenly needed to be with and wondering whether our world had been changed forever.

Following the tragedy of September 11, author David Levithan took all of these elements and wrote the moving novel LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW. Here is David’s heartfelt letter which was included in the ARC copy.
Dear Reader,

I’ve never really used shorthand to describe one of my books before. Bu
Nov 09, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
It is a very sensitive issue that the author tackles in this book. There was no other event in the American history quite as shocking and horrifying as what happened during 9/11. After finishing it I realised that this topic is for many Americans what the topic of WWII is for Russians and this, in turn, made me understand a bit better why people feel so strongly about it and even become emotional myself.

The events of 9/11 left the world shaken and this novel provides a view on the events of this
Mar 24, 2015 Rossy rated it it was ok
I'm kind of obsessed with 9/11 and it's obviously a touchy subject as well as a tear-jerker, so I has great expectations for this book.
It was OK. Just OK (for me).
At first, I either hated or didn't like the characters. This changed a little as I read more and more. I was, again, OK with them. So, as you can guess, the story didn't grab me. I had no intense feelings, and I wanted to, so bad :(
Frannie Pan
Feb 07, 2016 Frannie Pan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, ya, z-2016

I can't even right now.
Full review to come soon, I swear. As soon as I stop thinking and crying about it.
Jul 12, 2013 Keertana rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Keertana by: Mike
When it comes to Love Is the Higher Law, I hardly know where to begin. Or, perhaps, when. September 11, 2001 is a date ingrained in the memory of every person, regardless of whether or not they are American. And yet, for us Americans, this date is so much more. Within the pages of this novel, David Levithan not only captures the horror, the fear, the utter astonishment that an event like 9/11 could have on a nation, but he also manages to convey the hope, the beauty, and the love that emerged du ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Huge thanks to the girl who sat next to me on the bus to Chicago from ALA. She had this ARC in her hands when she boarded the bus for our 3 1/2 hour trip home, and she finished it by the time the trip was over. When I asked how she liked it, she nodded, I believe, then swallowed a lump in her throat, and offered me the book. Once again, thank you!

Do you remember where you were on 9/11? The characters in LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW were a
Brandon Will
Aug 20, 2009 Brandon Will rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit
Most of the time I want to avoid holocaust stories and AIDS memoirs like...well, like a plague. The events of 9/11 fit well into this category: things I know I should read about but are just too depressing to the core to read about sometimes when you're trying to live life, which can be depressing enough.

But we need to read these books sometimes. Levithan makes it easy for us, in this case. Because he loves, and he cares, and he wants people to remember - and if they don't remember, then to kno
Apr 04, 2010 laaaaames rated it it was ok
I think I need to accept the fact that the David Levithan work I'll enjoy most already happened in the days he ghostwrote for The Babysitters Club.

I like the idea of this book a lot, and I cannot deny Levithan packs in some beautiful sentences about 9/11. In the future there is much here that may help explain what was felt that day, what rippled through the country.

But also: this is a novel. And Levithan's multi-POV narrative reads more like a project in multi-POV narrative than, you know, just
Dec 17, 2010 Thomas rated it liked it
This is a difficult book to rate with stars. I liked so many things about it; how one of the most traumatic events of this generation was explored, and yet the book was not dramatic itself, how through three teens' perspectives the profound effects of 9/11 were pondered and reflected upon, and the relationships that formed between the characters themselves.

The only change I would have made was making the book more about the characters - their voices were authentic, and filled with wisdom people
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
This was such a beautifully written book. I really enjoy Levithan's writing and this book definitely didn't disappoint. 9/11 is always going to be a sensitive subject and here, I thought it was handled exceptionally well. I loved how the three likeable and realistic main characters lives all came together and the relationships between all three of them was both touching and tasteful considering the background subject. The whole novel was extremely poignant without feeling too heavy. As it was ba ...more
Suad Shamma
Nov 23, 2012 Suad Shamma rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2012
To be honest, I was not entirely impressed with this book. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't. I love David Levithan, and I love his style of writing and storylines, but this one was weak and under developed.

Love is the Higher Law focuses on the events of 9/11 and the aftermath of the city of New York and how people (namely three teenagers) reacted and moved on. The chapters alternate between each of the three characters, which I always love, but unfortunately in this book it just didn't work a
Aug 12, 2015 Jacquelyn rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

I was 1 year old during the events of 9/11 so I don't have any recollection of it but over the years, I have learned about it. I think this book is very important and it made me wanting to learn more and do more research on this terrifying event in history. A very short and to the point book that packs a punch. I would highly recommend!
Sep 18, 2015 Cecilia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read, favorites
"May the higher law be with you wherever you go."

Läs hela min recension på Book Obsession.
Feb 20, 2015 Joca rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
O que achei deste livro em vídeo (a partir dos 3:52):
Jan 01, 2011 Cherylann rated it it was amazing
When this book showed up under my Christmas tree (thanks Santa Bill), I suddenly remembered that I had wanted to read it. (And I hate that there's so much I want to read that I actually forget what's on my list.) This book was - in a word - AMAZING. There are many, many reasons why, so I will narrow it to three.

1) LGBT - Levithan is probably best known for Boy Meets Boy. In Love is the Higher Law, as in other books by Levithan, he has gay characters. What I love about this novel is that the nove
Oct 24, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok
Love makes me think about how we digest media about recent events. They give books, movies, music, etc. this boost of poignance, but is that because we've lived through the event in question? Will that spark be there in 50 years? I'm thinking specifically of World War II novels and movies. There's a lot. It seems obvious that the answer would be no. That our temporal proximity to the event increases how we view the work. The passages about 9/11 made my heart thump a little faster and made me bre ...more
I'm not American but I still remember waking up and seeing what happened. I think most people remember where they were when they first heard what happened on 9/11. I was in my first year at high school and I'd never seen anything like it. I couldn't imagine what the people in NYC were going through.

I've never read a book on 9/11 before and I honestly never thought I would. I've started reading David's books and I saw this one at the library. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it but I thought I'
Mar 31, 2015 Hafshie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
During the 9/11 attack, my mind or the whole of me was still innocent of the real world. All I really want is to play w/ my friends. I'm pretty sure I don't even know there such a place called NewYork.

By the first time I've learned/heard of the attack, which was during my high school days, several years have gone already. And 9/11 seems to be just a terrible part of the past like the world wars. I didn't really give much thought or showed much concern about it for 3 reasons: 1.) I don't live in
Jan 04, 2012 Tara rated it really liked it
Oh man...I had heard people say that this book made them cry and I was kinda expecting a few tears from myself (I can and do cry over anything)... But when I read this, it wasn't wasn't like a really sad scene in the book that made me cry... It was just David Levithan's beautiful words and how those words were used to describe places, spaces, emptiness and the way people were feeling. I am not going to talk about 9/11 because we all know what happened and I didn't find this book to b ...more
May 24, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it
Written because Levithan’s 15 year old primary audience was 6 years old when the Towers fell, he has three teens tell about their experiences on that day and immediately after. Claire is a senior in HS and goes across the street to help in her second grade brother’s class. Peter, a friend of Claire’s, skipped school that morning to pick up Bob Dylan’s new album. Jasper, whose college didn’t start for two weeks, slept through it.

“The terrorists – those nineteen people, did the worst thing you ca
Yet another of my crappy reviews rewritten. But this is a one that I want to rewrite in particular today, because today is the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that make up the subject of this book. 9/11, as they've come to be called, the day that Al-Queda crashed two planes into the Twin Towers. I was only two when the attacks happened - I don't remember where I was, or anything like that. But I grew up with people mourning them. And David Levithan has done a fantastic job of captur ...more
Steph Su
Oct 02, 2009 Steph Su rated it it was amazing
It’s about time that someone wrote a YA novel about possibly the most important event of our generation, and who better to write it than the multitalented David Levithan? LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW is beautiful without being cloying, and wrings at the heart without resorting to theatrics. The subtle power of it is something that only a master writer can accomplish.

What struck me most about the book is its language. Each character has a distinct voice and different ways of approaching the same event
Oct 01, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic-fiction, q
One of my first vivid memories was watching a playback of the second tower crumble into nothingness as New Yorkers ran with binders and folders over their heads, completely covered in gray filth as if death had devoured them and spit them back out into the world. There was tension between my parents for some reason, and I could tell that they wee trying to controll themselves in front of me and my brother. I didn't think about what was happening much untill I saw 9/11 in a history textbook. It f ...more
Loved this book. A reflection on the year following 9/11, as lived and felt by three young people in NYC. It brought back many memories for me, and also made me think of my Brooklynite husband with every page. It made me want him to read it, so we can talk more about how he felt, and who he connected with, how life changed. It made me want to hand it to my almost 14-year-old, and ask her to read it. I was a few months pregnant with her on that day when I stood in the break room at McDonald's, wr ...more
Ashwathi Pillai
I really love this book. And I officially really love David Levithan.
Oct 28, 2015 Sleepless rated it liked it
I'm going to write something that'll anger a lot of Americans. Here goes. I don't think 9/11 is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind. In fact, it doesn't even make the top five for me.

As a person who's kind of American (citizenship and half of my life), I feel like I can write this. Americans tend to see themselves a lot. Surprisingly, America is very America centric, up to the point that they forget the world exists. Slavery, Guantanamo, and the native Americans' murder are bigger tragedie
Sep 03, 2012 Fatma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved! (aside from the gayness), this book is very unexpected !! Loved Claire, her point of view in the story was my favorite, she was surprisingly philosophical and her thoughts were very well oriented. She knew what to say and when to say it.

You just know a good book is good when you want to highlight most of it.
Jan 22, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
The description was instantly interesting to me so I started the ebook straight after. It's a very quick read, like many of David Levithan's books (which I always love). The story was interesting and the characters were too- the writing was so beautiful that I couldn't help but love this book.
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

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“There's no way for them to take away my sadness, but they can make sure I am not empty of all the other feelings.” 243 likes
“I had no idea what I wanted, only that I wanted something, which is the worst kind of wanting.” 160 likes
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