Hardcover, 211 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.
If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face. How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
My rating: 5 stars of 5
This specific review was written for my senior year Humanities class. I blocked out the name of the Library work at so you won't know where I live because you all are creepy. Anyway, here's one of my more professional-like reviews.
I came across this book at work. I work at the
While this may seem like I don’t like Levithan, my opinion was quickly shifted as soon as I started reading The Lover’s Dictionary. The story was written with such fluidity that I couldn’t put the book down. The pages are short, as well as the book, and the author doesn’t quite delve into the personalities of the characters but focuses more on their feelings and emotions. The author shoots you into an already developing story about a nameless man and his new relationship. The story is told in second person, so the woman is nameless as well. The reader is forced into the mind of the man, with only short scenarios and dialogue that will eventually piece together and shows the reader how the relationship between the man and the woman is building.
The Lover’s Dictionary was beautifully and uniquely written. There aren’t necessarily “chapters” in the book. Each “chapter” is titled with an enlarged letter just like in the dictionary and each page has a word. That word intertwines with a scenario from the man and the woman’s relationship that is crucial or thoughtful in the emotions of the man. Personally, the short scenarios and the lack of elaboration on the character’s past and personalities helped me focus on the overall relationship, writing, and plot. Most books shove the reader into an in depth, elaborated, 40 pages of the character’s past that stays in your mind from beginning to end and it was a breath of fresh air when reading The Lover’s Dictionary because I could read it so effortlessly.
I adored this book, the concept, the creativity, and the characters. My whole perception of David Levithan was changed when I read this book. While I am unable to recommend other books by David Levithan, I do recommend this one. I think to get through this book you have to believe in the concept of love and if you have some sort of hope, you will fall in love with the story.