Love is the Higher Law
Author: David Levithan
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, LBGTQ
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Challenges: YA, POC, GLBT
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library
Summary (from the inside flap): Claire is sitting in homeroom. Jasper is fast asleep. Peter is waiting for Tower Records to open. They don't really know each other. Claire goes to school with Peter. Peter met Jasper at a party, and they made plans to go out. This is the everyday. This is before. And then. The world gets turned upside down. LIfe gets turned inside out. There is fear and there is grief and there is confusion and doubt. It's a dark time, a tragic time. But there's more to it than that. There's also love. And kindness. And a desire to make it through. On 9/11, thousands of people died... but millions upon millions came together in ways they never would have imagined. For Claire, Jasper, and Peter, life has been reshaped just when it was starting to take shape. As their lives intersect and their feelings and experiences crystallize, there are new understandings, new friendships, and a new awareness of what really matters.
Review: What a good book! As soon as I started reading the first few pages I was sucked into the story. All my memories of 9/11 came flooding back: I remember exactly where I was, how I felt, and all the conversations that went on. I remember the country's reaction (flags, bumper stickers, hating Arabs/Muslims, etc). At the time I was married to an Arab so I was accutely aware of it all, especially when we traveled and he was followed everywhere we went in the airport and questioned at every possible point. But I digress...
I liked all three of the main characters; they had faults, made mistakes, were interesting, and seemed real. I liked how Jasper and Peter screwed up their first date and took almost a year to get together and it wasn't all perfect. I liked how Claire was introspective and real. The fact that Jasper is Asian came up, but wasn't a big deal. I also thought the relationships with their parents seemed accurate: not too mushy, not all negative, just a mixture of the two, which is how it is. And, a friendship between 2 guys and girl...that's nice. I had that with 2 guys in high school and it was so great!
In the afterword Levithan says that he wrote this book so that people who aren't old enough to remember 9/11 will have a story that will show them what it was like to be in NYC at the time and how people felt one year later. I thought about that as I was reading this book. It does such a great job of showing how it felt to be there, to see people fleeing, to live in NYC and see the skyline with no Twin Towers.
Basically I really liked this book.