Toni's Reviews > Love Is the Higher Law

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
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's review
Oct 24, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, wide-reading-project, ages-12-up

This is a David Levithan novel of growth, or a city and of a nation. In the novel, 3 teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are all very different. Claire is someone who has to help, who wants to move forward, who pretends to be the strong one even if she doubts herself in every wink. Jasper—the gay Korean—is the one who just can’t feel, he wants to but he can’t, he does not know how. And then Peter—who falls in love with Jasper—lives life through music. They all have one thing in common though, a party right before the twin towers fell. I really do think that this novel was spectacular. It was heartbreaking, it was emotional, it was moving.
Characterization is the strong literary element in this novel. Each character has a distinct voice and different ways of approaching the same event and its consequences. All three, however, are capable of tremendous insight. Claire, Peter, and Jasper work well as individuals, but their interactions are slightly shaky and sudden. I prefer the characters when they’re in their own heads, and am slightly skeptical of some moments such as when Claire immediately launches into a night-long philosophical talk with Jasper, whom she had never spoken to before then.

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