Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Love Is the Higher Law

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.

Beth says 4.5 Stars...

This is still a touchy subject. I think that everyone can still remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news of the attacks on 9/11. This is and isn't about what happened. Yes, there are the physical details about New York City, but again this is a book by David Levithan. The main focus is on the characters, of course. The plot isn't really that solid; there's no major action. Instead it's about how these people deal with what's happened in their lives. They all end up intersecting in interesting ways and coming together because of this tragedy that has impacted all of them.

As in the rest of his books, Levithan absolutely creates unforgettable characters. They all just meld so well together, but also have distinct issues and problems. I thought that it could have been crass and awful by using 9/11 as a plot device, but it didn't. It was a very organic reaction to what happened and wasn't contrived. I was really able to feel the pain and healing of the characters, and also the city itself. The setting was almost like another character as well. This was a lovely book which really gives everything to the reader. It's impossible to not feel the pain and beauty of this story.


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