Monday, September 18, 2017

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

"One review a week, that's manageable, right?" Said the absentee blogger.
In a Nutshell: Claire, Jasper and Peter are teenagers in New York City on 9/11.  Confusion, grief, mourning, and learning to live and love again follow.

The Good:  Getting 9/11 from an insider perspective.  I never thought about two building’s-worth of paperwork fluttering into Brooklyn, re-lighting candles in the park in the rain, not being allowed to return to your downtown home.  There’s a great scene where Jasper and Claire are at MSG that October for a U2 concert that showcases music’s power to unite and heal.  It’s very cathartic.

The Bad: Levithan’s writing style.  I sometimes find it hard to take.  It’s like a breathless torrent of teenage “deep thoughts” mixed with over-jaded adolescent angst.  His teenagers seem too old and too young at the same time.  It may be wildly realistic, too, which is why most teenagers frighten me ever so slightly.  Also, there is a love story aspect that left me cold.

The Verdict:  I had high expectations going into this one, which is probably part of my problem with it.  I loved the parts from Claire’s perspective that seemed to focus more on the events and aftermath of 9/11 and disliked the ones from Jasper’s more confused, disconnected perspective.  I wanted more emotional kick from this and maybe for Levithan to spread out all the teenage profundities his characters’ internal narratives were constantly spewing.  Short answer: I wanted this book to make me cry.  Instead, all the words got in the way. 
My copy purchased from a store or someplace.


  1. Internal narratives drive me batty so this might not be for me.

    1. So much overthinking, it's almost worse than being stuck in my own head. LOL!

  2. I've only read one book by Levithan, which I really enjoyed. I have another of his books which he cowrote with another YA author, but haven't managed to read it yet. I enjoy books like this from time to time, but the issue you mention bothers me sometimes too. If done really well though, I end up loving it. I am on the fence about reading this one still.

  3. I've never been able to get into any of Leviathan's books. And I've tried several. Looks like I will not be trying this one.

  4. Interesting. I've never tried anything by Leviathan, but it sounds like his books may be a little too "teenager-y" for me. I've got two teenagers and one almost-teenager at home -- that's enough angst for me, thank you very much! And yes, you should definitely be afraid. Bwaahahahahah!