Sunday, May 18, 2014

Book Review: Love Is The Higher Law

Love is the Higher Law
David Levithan

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.

I have a mixed reaction for this book. it was gripping in the beginning but gradually lost the sense of urgency towards the end. the unfailing story of 9/11 will always be a beautiful story and I think Levithan was able to capture the emotion that flooded the whole world but more especially those who survived and were survived by the death of a lot of people. 

I have read and even watched Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close which also tackles the uneventful day of 9/11 and true, they were two different stories with different themes being emphasised but i could not help but compare how I was so deep with the setting Levithan created for his readers that makes it easier to immerse oneself to the circumstance that his characters were. It reels me back as to how it was as devastating as Yolanda was when it hit the Philippines. It was the realistic turn of events, the authentic reaction when something that big overpowers us. I think it was when he narrated how everyone in turmoil and grief that he thought, people will actually seclude themselves further yet instead, it bound people together, which was Foer's plot route. 

I was thinking if gay themes is what makes Levithan, the writer that is himself but I've read some of his works including Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Lover's Dictionary and Everyday but his characters were weird and eclectic but in a pretty good way except they're not gay. So even if Peter and Jasper weren't gay, the way he was already narrating his story was impressive all on its own. which bring me how Claire's character was first perceived to be quiet and passive, almost harbouring contempt for her mother for not showing up immediately. But when we later saw her in the perspective of Jasper and Peter, she seems to be a little too extra helpful. Helping in anyway that she can. That part, I was confused. however, we see later on how Levithan maintained this perspective of her until the end and I think it made Claire's character more pleasing, empathising and allowing her to be the character that speaks volumes of emotions. 

Overall, this was a beautiful and inspiring book

Rating: 8.5/10 



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