A love story for a city

banner_loveisthehigherlaw1TITLE = LOVE is the HIGHER LAW

AUTHOR = david levithan



This may not be a particularly long novel (at only 164 pages) but it packs a powerful punch. The impact of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York is revealed by 3 teens, who take it in turns to tell their stories. At the beginning of the novel these 3 are only loosely connected (having all been at the same party on a previous weekend) but by novel’s end they are close friends, a strong affirmation of the novel’s title. Claire is in a classroom when news reaches them of the attacks and her first thought is of her little brother. Peter is initially oblivious to the attacks because he has his earplugs in as he impatiently waits for his favourite record store to open. He is excited and anxious about the date he has later that day with Jasper, a college student he met at the party. Meanwhile, Jasper has slept through the attacks and only becomes aware of them when his folks call from Korea (where they are visiting his grandma). As the story unfolds, we follow these 3 young people as they each try to make sense of what has happened in their hometown. Claire feels a growing sense of community, Peter tries to find solace in love and Jasper seems numb and incapable of reaching out to others. Gradually their stories intertwine and the reader will be greatly moved and ultimately uplifted by their experiences. A story that stays with you long after the last page is read.

In the author’s own words: “…it’s really the story of things coming together even as it feels like the world is falling apart — because that’s how it felt to be in New York at that time, both tragic because of the events that happened and magical in the way that everyone became their better selves in the face of it. ”  (taken from david levithan’s website)

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

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I am a teacher-librarian in a government school. I love reading and talking about books ... to anyone who will listen!

One thought on “A love story for a city”

  1. While I found Claire’s story resonated with me the most, all three stories were interesting. The book also helped me to understand a little of what the Twin Towers and their destruction meant to ordinary New Yorkers, and how our sense of identity and certainty can often be made up of the most surprising things.

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