YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

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.

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.

I felt that some parts of Love is the Higher Law were really well written but other parts, not so much. Claire was a fantastic narrator, I wanted more scenes with her because scenes with her made me feel as if I was right there, in New York City on 9 September 2001. I do not remember 9/11/01 very clearly unfortunately. But reading this book as I said, while reading Claire’s scenes, it was as if I was experiencing everything.

Jasper. I liked him. His character was nice enough and quite understandable. My major complaint is Peter. His character was not developed and the plot for his side of the story was stagnant. Initially, the pacing for the book was just right but as I read more it started moving slowly. The aftermath of 9/11 was a little draggy for me but ultimately the message that David Levithan is trying to convey is that there is hope.

Thank you David Levithan for writing a book about September 11 as I have never read any book about it. Love is the Higher Law portrays the events of 9/11 very clearly making it a heart-breaking yet beautiful and moving novel. Before reading this book, make sure you have a box of tissues beside you.

Sorry but I think I’m giving this a Silver star. I may not have found this book spectacular but I’m sure others will love it.

Silver star


Comments on: "Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan" (12)

  1. Great review. I’m not sure if this is my kind of book or not but if I see it I’ll give it a go.

  2. I really want to read this book. I am interested to know how he writes about 9/11 from the young adult’s point-of-view. I was a sophomore in high school when this happened so I totally want to read it!

  3. I’ve never read a book about 9/11, and I too don’t remember much–I was only in middle school. I remember the class I was in & the principal coming over the intercom, & my teacher freaking out, but at the time I didn’t even know what the WTC was. I would love to read this so I could learn more, since it was such a huge event of our time. I’m considering adding this to my TBR…thanks for the review!

  4. Ive read really good things about it, I really want to read it!!

  5. Heard great things about this book. Guess I’ll give it a go!

  6. I haven’t read any books on 9/11 either but I like that this book conveys the message of hope. I have a feeling that when I do read this book I will be crying a lot.

  7. I’ve seen many great reviews about this book. I hope I’m able to read it soon… there aren’t too many authors out there brave enough to write a book about such a recent tragedy in American history.


  8. As some other comments have said, I haven’t read any books regarding 9/11 either. I remember the coverage on tv and in the media we got on that day and the weeks to follow – coming home from school and hearing all about it was awful. I’m definitely interested in reading this, but will follow your advice and make sure I have a box (or two) or tissues ready first!

  9. I was sucked in by that summary, it was really interesting but by the end of it I had decided I did not want to read about 9/11. And plus you said the book failed at some things like character development.

  10. Wow, this must be an awesome book. It was already on my wishlist, but after reading your review it was bunched up a few positions 🙂

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