review: “love is the higher law” September 11, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: realistic fiction
Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan.
Knopf // Hardcover // 176 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Claire, Jasper, and Peter are just three of the millions of people in New York City on September 11th, 2001. Each one has their own story, each one has their own struggles and responses to the tragedy. Each of them is trying to make sense or what has just happened around them. This is the story of three teens and how September 11th wound up bringing them together. This is a story of love.
[Originally I wasn’t planning on posting this review today. But I feel like I need to post this for me.]
I was impressed with this book and David Levithan’s treatment of the subject. When I first heard about the book, I questioned two things: one, are we ready for a YA book about 9/11 and two, are teens (most of whom don’t remember 9/11) going to be interested in such a book?
This is not a book about 9/11. This is really, truly, a book about love.
And that’s how I’m planning to pitch it to my teens.
The stories are inter-woven, chapters alternate with no particular order to whose chapter goes next. The novel is also separated into sections, broken down by loose themes. The book has everything I’d come to expect from David Levithan’s books. A bit of music, excellent memorable characters, and bits of prose so insightful that I wonder if he’s possibly reading my diaries from high school.
(Seriously. Some of the things that the characters said/felt/did could have come out of my diary! I double-checked them against each other. It was uncanny.)
While teens of this day and age will not have the same connection to 9/11 as I do (I was a senior in high school in 2001), I really think that this book will reach them regardless of how old they were in 2001 or what they remember. Highly recommended.