Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Format/Source: Hardback/Gift from a friend
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. (From Goodreads)
A Short But Thought-Provoking Read…
My friend Courtney at Abducted by Books gave me a copy of The Lover’s Dictionary because she loves David Levithan and really wants everyone to read this book. I read it during the Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon this year, and it was a perfect book for my first Readathon!
The Lover’s Dictionary is really unique – it is in the format of a dictionary, with several words for each letter. And each entry gives a clever “definition” of the word, while also telling a story of a relationship. The story isn’t told in chronological order, but I loved this aspect because when you look back at a relationship, you don’t see it from start to finish. You see the end, then maybe the beginning, then good and bad parts in between, or any other number of ways.
The Beauty is in the Writing…
I’ve only read one other book by David Levithan, but his writing is just so beautiful yet relatable, especially in this book, that it really makes me love reading more than I already do. I seriously wrote down 33 page numbers, noting that I loved the entries or specific lines on those pages. It is really hard to narrow it down to just a few quotes to share here, but I can’t write a review for this book without including some of these beautiful and clever passages: