Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Review of 'Love is the Higher Law' by David Levithan

"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 her younger brother in his classroom.  Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parent's 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.  David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever."

What I love about David Levithan's work is that he's able to take one powerful central event or emotion and then break it down into what went into this thing and what came out.  If that made any kind of sense at all...  But really, it's so cool how he can take something this big and fit it all into a powerful short story (short chapter book?).

David Levithan was brutally honest in his writing.  He doesn't skirt around the fact that two of his main characters are gay.  He dives right into the problems they experience.  The scene with the blood drive was so aggravating and effective at the same time.

Though we don't get to know the characters as well as we do in Harry Potter, but they are still extraordinary characters that you grow to care about.  They're amazing.

This is one of those books where you really can't help but start to think.  It was mostly Claire that got me to think, but Jasper and Peter also had their own things to share.

The one problem I had, and this is in no way David Levithan's fault, I can only remember little things about that day.  I think I was at school.  I was seven because second grade had just started.  My mom tells me that I came home from school and told her that I didn't want to talk about it.  Though I don't really know why I didn't do that.  I was basically mirroring what everyone else was actually feeling; they were sad, so I had to be sad too.  That's just how I was.  Because of this, I don't have much of an emotional connection to this event.

Overall, I give 'Love is the Higher Law':
Thanks for reading!


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