“It was like everyone suddenly knew what mattered. Money didn't matter. Politics didn't matter. Tabloid news didn't matter. No, compassion mattered. Calm mattered. Respect mattered. Did it really take something of this magnitude to make us realize this?” - David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law
Love is the Higher Law is a novel about three teenagers in New York City and their reactions and feelings about the well-known events of 9/11. We get to know what they do, how they react, and how they feel during the events that day. But we also get to follow them during the year to come after 9/11. The novel is a story about these three teenagers and how they by coincidence gets drawn info each others lives by the tragedy that is 9/11. But it's also a story about a city and it's people and how they together do their best to heal after a tragedy they could never have imagined.
Love is the Higher Law is a pretty short novel with it's 176 pages and therefore a fast read. Short novels usually leaves me wanting more. They tend to make me feel like I've missed something or like I don't get to see the whole picture. That's not the case with Love is the Higher Law. Of course I want more in the sense that I really enjoyed the book, but I mostly felt content and satisfied with the reading experience when I was done. I didn't need to know more, I just got the information that was important to this story and that was a pretty refreshing.
As a Swede I might not have the same perspective to the events of 9/11 as I might have had if I was an american. But I do remember that day and exactly what I was doing when I first got the news. So I thought it was interesting to read about that day from a new yorkers perspective. Most of all I liked that the book wasn't specifically about 9/11 and what happened that day. It was about three teenagers and how the events affected their feelings and their lives. I really enjoyed reading Love is the Higher Law. This was the first book I read by David Levithan and I truly liked his writing style. I also felt like the story and the people in this book felt believable and honest. I think I got a pretty good picture of how people in New York City were feeling the days, weeks and months after 9/11. The only thing that I might have an opinion about is that I felt like the story about the female character Claire didn't feel as strong or as the two other stories. But it might just be me and the lack of chemistry between me and Claire.
This is not the kind of book I usually pick up but I saw it in my local library and got interested because I've heard a lot of good thing about David Levithan and his novels and after reading it I'm pretty sure I'm going to read a few of his other books in the future. So I do recommend everyone to pick this book up, it's a pretty short and fast read and there's a high chance that you might really enjoy it. I give Love is the Higher Law 4/5 stars!
This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.