Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"One..." Singular Sensation

I have a new hero and his name is David Levithan. He wrote this little sliver of a YA novel that I haven't been able to get out of my head: Love is the Higher Law. It's about three New York City teens whose lives are changed by the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Like all teens, Jasper, Claire, and Peter had been searching for their selves. But after what Jasper calls "the tragedy," that search becomes critical; the emptiness needs fulfilling. Purpose needs to be realized.

These are wise kids, yes, but they're also just kids. They live for music, and they hang out and talk, and they have heaps of hope.

I particularly love Peter's early chapter, "The Date"--one, ten-page paragraph. One stream of consciousness, one string of events.

I also love that the novella begins and ends with Claire.

While gobbling up this morsel, I had no doubt that Levithan knows kids, that he knows gay kids, that he knows New York. That he understands suffering and the search to end it.

This book makes me want more out of my own life: more meaning, more depth, more substance.

It is one of those fiction pieces that makes you want to tell all the nonfiction believers in the world, "Hah! Take that! This book made me think! I mean, really think. So, it wasn't true, exactly. But try to get all that out of an encyclopedia."

Love is the higher law. And Levithan is the Supreme Justice.


Shelli said...

ive heard this is good. I had breakfast with him at Decatur bOOk festival - he is an editor at scholastic and the editor for Shiver. he rocks!

Jennie Englund said...

oh, an accomplished guy!

i read that he's coming to portland on november 12. i'm hoping that's portland, oregon.

meet me there?

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