Title: Love is the Higher Law
Author: David Levithan
Date Read: July 4
Format: Hardcover from local library
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.
As I think I’ve stated before, I kind of have a weird obsession with catastrophes/tragedies especially ones that I’ve been alive for. September 11th is one of those. It’s interesting to read about other people’s experiences on that day almost fifteen years ago. Especially in this book where Claire, Jasper, and Peter are all a little older than I was.When the event happened I was ten and in Michigan. I remember being mad because it was such a nice day out and the school that I was at had made recess inside that day. We didn’t know anything was going on, and it wasn’t until the end of the day that my teacher was like ‘Something has happened, and if you want to we can talk about it tomorrow.’ I thought it was weird and it got weirder when I found my mom waiting outside for me – I usually went to daycare after school. We reached the epitome of weird when I got home and found my dad home too – he worked afternoons – and watching the TV. He would always greet me with an enthusiastic hug, but that day he didn’t. His eyes were glued to the TV, so I turned to it and really didn’t understand what I was seeing until it all kind of clicked.
Love is the Higher Law though got a few things right. After what happened that day happened, you were scared not knowing what was going on and what was coming next. I remember going to sleep that night and surrounding myself with my stuffed animals because I was scared. Even at ten I had no idea what this could possibly mean, nothing like this had ever happened before. And it also got the one day at a time aspect right. That’s all we could do. Was take it one day at a time. The only thing that I was kind of stunned at was Claire’s reaction to March 19, 2003. Why was she so upset?
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I liked how each person in this book experienced the same day differently. I also like how Levithan intertwined their lives so by the end all of them were really good friends and each other’s support system when things like anniversaries came up. I’d actually be intrigued to see how Claire, Jasper and Peter reacted to the memorial and One World Trade’s construction and openings.
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