LOVE is the HIGHER LAW by David Levithan
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pub. Date: August 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
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 Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.
Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.
Do you remember where you were on 911?
In David Levithan's LOVE is the HIGHER LAW the characters were all in New York city on that fate full day just as he was. David wanted to create a novel that those too young to experience that world altering day could witness through the lives of three teenagers: Claire, Peter and Jasper. They really don't know each other before that day but then everything changes and their lives intersect in the most of beautiful manner of the human spirit reaching out when all seems so very lost.
Every chapter is told from the individual characters point of view and you witness Claire's vivid fear as she walks the streets at night unable to sleep and feel safe. Peter is moved by music and it is his love for it that seems to motivate him and propel him through some of the darkest times. Jasper is glued to the t.v. watching Peter Jennings and trying to sort through the fact that he slept through most of the attack.
The personal experiences of the three become intertwined as the story continues. All three are surprised at how directly they feel the emotions of the event. The life they once took for granted, the city they've always known as home, and the atmosphere surrounding them have them asking questions that have no real answers.
LOVE is the HIGHER LAW is a short but poignant story that brings an ache to my heart upon remembering that day. The lives that were lost, along with the innocence of a nation that believed itself invincible. I also remember the pride, camaraderie and love the many embodied along with the hate and fear. This book is an emotional ride that will stay with you long after the book has been read.
"Gone is not forgotten, but our lives cannot be a memorial. This city cannot be a memorial. This city has to be a city. Our lives have to be our lives"