Mary's Reviews > Love Is the Higher Law

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
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's review
Sep 14, 11

bookshelves: ya, lgbtq, fiction
Recommended for: teens
Read on March 28, 2010, read count: 2

It's been more than eight years, and it amazes me how hard it still is to read a novel set against the backdrop of 9/11. Because as soon as I'm experiencing it through the characters' eyes and reading their emotions and reactions, I'm right back there again, remembering everything I saw and felt and thought on that day. This book captures the raw, realness of the event very well. The characters deal with the emotional fallout of a day which changes their lives in obvious and unexpected ways, the huge, insurmountable fact of it making their former existence seem surreal. The story follows three New York teens just on the verge of adulthood, who met at a party the Saturday before: kindhearted Claire, who wants so badly to believe in the basic goodness of human nature, and Jasper and Peter, whose first date was supposed to be the night of 9/11. The story follows them through that day, and then through the the year and more after. There's little talk of terrorists; only of people and how common experience unites us, common sorrow compels us to compassion, and connections made in the darkest times can grow into the truest friendships.

Sept 2011 re-read:
I re-read this book as a sort of private memorial on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and it was a slightly surreal experience. Reading the first chapter brought back the flood of thoughts, memories and images from that devastating day with such immediacy that I almost felt as though, if I turned on the TV, I would find it still happening. The rest of the story holds all of Levithan's usual charm, but it's the first few chapters, and the way the capture the distress and disbelief of that day, which make this a truly important book. There's a generation of teenagers coming up who don't even remember what it was like, and I can't think of a better way to help them understand than to read this book.
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Reading Progress

03/28/2010 page 80
45.45%
09/10/2011 "I finally decided that what I need to do to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is to re-read this wonderful book."

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