I feel like some kind of heartless monster for saying this but - this book could not make me care. I wanted more drama, more emotion. I realize that often people's response to a disaster is not dramatic or emotional. My response to 9/11 was pretty muted at the time. I was 15 and lived in New Mexico, so I was pretty removed from the issue. That doesn't mean I want to read a book where nothing happens. Two stars, because I think people who aren't heartless would enjoy it.
The opening chapter of this book is narrated by Claire as she flees lower Manhattan on 9/11. The rest of the book follows Claire, Jasper, and Peter through the next year of their lives. They are only tangentially acquainted with each other at first, but feel connected to each other based on the fact that they were together at a party right before 9/11. That was one of the last times they felt normal. The relationships between all three seem organic, and each of them have distinct personalities with their own reactions to everything happening in their city.
This book was an excellent combination of love, friendship, experience, family, and everything else relevant to teenagers of NYC. As a 17 year old reading this book describing an event that occurred when I was 8, it was enormously helpful in understanding the impact of such an important event on all New Yorkers, especially teenagers.
I remember the bombing of the world trade centre - it was such, what? moment. You just couldn't conceive of the possibility of such a thing happening and it really brought the entire continent to a freeze. I was afraid to read this book as I didn't know exactly how the topic was going to be handled, and it was handled beautifully, with truth and with ease. A great read.
I really like the perspecive, or perspectives, used in this book. I really like how it focuses on the emotions related to 9/11; on how it affected people.
True, this book isn't very long and is a quick read, but it's worth every moment you spend reading it.
It's impressive, really, how well David Levithan gets us to know his characters, because the novel is short. I suppose that's what happens when your protags are consistently ruminating, trying to figure out the whats and whys and hows of some of life's larger questions.
Claire is sweet and thoughtful. Her long thinking-out-loud spiels make her extremely easy to relate to, because she's just like you: a teen wondering about everything, ever wondering. Jasper's more prickly, but the way Levithan shatters stereotypes with a gay Korean character ("They always figure you want to talk about math. Or the violin.") won me over. And Peter is plain adorable, a guy who lives through music and doesn't capitalize and seems almost naive. The attraction between Jasper and Peter feels so real that even I could see the allure of a same-sex partner.
The various settings throughout related to 9/11 were eye-opening. Ground Zero and Central Park make for excellent backdrops to the characters' discussions. There's less talk of life and death and more of humankind in gerenal, which was surprising but also a relief. Levithan finishes on an intriguing note which may depress some readers, but Love Is The Higher Law is ultimately a fulfilling story.
Originally, I was going to pass on this title but eventually decided to try this novel. It is such an amazing novel with a poignant story line. It is not a hard core romance between two guys because it switches between the view points pf three teens (2 boys and 1 girl) whose lives were affected by 9/11. I recommend this book to anyone wanting a novel that will make one understand a new meaning of life or event.
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