Love is the Higher Law

David Levithan, August 2009. “It’s starting to feel like I’m over at a friend’s house, which isn’t a bad thing for a seventh date, but is pretty discouraging for a first. But there’s no way I’m going to make a move without him giving me some indication that he wants me to make a move — which I guess is a way of me saying that he has to make the move, since indications are, in general, also moves.”

That’s what’s going through Peter’s head as he tries to figure out whether he and Jasper will hook up while watching Cabaret on their first date. Later, we hear about the experience from Jasper’s point of view too; he and Peter are two of the book’s three narrators, detailing how they experienced September 11, 2001, and its aftermath as residents of New York. Peter, the indie kid, is waiting for Tower Records to open so he can get the new Bob Dylan. Claire, the moral center, was at school near the towers and led her little brother on the long walk uptown away from the smoke. Jasper, the slacker college kid, slept through the whole thing.

As in the outstanding Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and the solid Naomi and Ely’s No-Kiss List, this novel is partly about the drama of older adolescents, partly a love letter to New York, and partly a celebration of music geekdom. Levithan drops references to Travis and Ryan Adams and the Magnetic Fields, and these tidbits make Peter’s character the most interesting and relatable voice in the book.

Summary: Outstanding. Moving, realistic, funny, hopeful, and a page-turner. Multiple copies recommended for every library.

This entry was posted in 2009, asian american, David Levithan, gay male, historical, queer protagonist, realistic. Bookmark the permalink.

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