Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

The Lover's DictionaryDavid Levithan, you are one impressive cookie! The Lover's Dictionary slip of a book, formatted with one entry per page, dug into my little heart and tossed it around. This book is different from what I usually read, but I liked the moving, melancholy nature of it.

basis, n. 

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 
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. (GoodReads)

Originality: 10. This format is unique and spare in a way that really focuses on how to distill love into expression.
Absurdity: Nada.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 7. This is all about love and absolutely packs some swoon, but doesn't get a 10 because it is also a lot about heartbreak.
Level of Harry Potterness: This book is going to stick with me for a while, like a good HP read should. Rather then try to convince you, I will give you my favorite entry:
“Posterity, n.I try not to think about us growing old together, mostly because I try not to think about growing old at all. Both things - the years passing, the years together - are too enormous to contemplate. But one morning, I gave in. You were asleep, and I imagined you older and older. Your hair graying, your skin folded and creased, your breath catching. And I found myself thinking: If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. Your memories will be my most lasting impression.” 


  1. I couldn't get into this book, but I'm glad you liked it! I agree that it's super unique, but the disjointed feel just didn't jive for me. Great review!

  2. This book is next on my list to read and I couldn't be more excited. Did you know that every year on/around Valentine's Day, David writes a story for one of his friends/family members? Well, The Lover's Dictionary is one of those stories he wrote for a friend. YEAH! I just love the concept, it's so incredibly outside-the-box.

  3. Ahhh! I just got this out of the library. Courtney at Abducted by Books hosts "Levithan Loveathon" in February and I want to review it as part of that.

  4. You sold me. I need this in my life.


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