(This post is part of an occasional series where I talk about books I like. They're not reviews - I'm calling them book clutches, because they're all books that I want to clutch close to me.)
"I liked breathing it in."
And he doesn't get it. So I say
"That air. The air afterwards. I wanted to breathe it in. It felt right to breathe it in. Because we were breathing them in, weren't we? And the buildings. We were breathing it all in. And I thought, there's a part of this that's actually a part of me now. I now have that responsibility. I am alive, and I am breathing, and I can do the things this dust can't do."
I've always been a big David Levithan fan - Pink is dedicated to him. So when I saw a copy of Love is the Higher Law*, I immediately snatched it up.
It's the story of three teenagers, Claire, Jasper and Peter, who are in New York City on September 11, 2001. Perhaps not the cheeriest of subject matters, but in typical Levithan fashion, the book is so imbued with hope and love and friendship and humanity that it outshines the fear and the tragedy, and while the book is very sad, it is ultimately uplifting and life-affirming. I didn't need to read the author's note to realise that this is a deeply personal story. And that's the novel's greatest strength. The events of September 11 are personal to everyone - we all remember where we were when it happened, even those of us on the other side of the world. But Love is the Higher Law takes that a step further and lets us really be there, without feeling like we're voyeurs or tourists.