How does one talk about love? Is it even possible to describe something at once utterly mundane and wholly transcendent, that has the power to consume our lives completely, while making us feel part of something infinitely larger than ourselves?
Taking a unique approach to this age-old problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary constructs the story of a relationship as a dictionary. Through these sharp entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of coupledom, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
This cute "novel" by YA author Levithan consists of a series of words and their definitions, each evoking a phase or theme about a fledgling romance. (e.g., fledgling: "Part of the reason I preferred reading to sex was that I at least knew I could read well"). The entries do gradually unravel a love story: the narrator has met a woman ("you") through an online dating site (aberrant: " I don't normally do this kind of thing,' you said. Neither do I,' I assured you"). He endures all the writhings of new love, by turns eager, reserved, and hopeful about their evolving relationship, and transported by the joy of mutual exploration, the two move in together (balk: "If it all went wrong, the last thing I'd care about was who was to blame for moving in together") and are eventually undone (livid: "You went and broke our lives"). Levithan attains some heartbreaking moments as well as pitches of hilarity with his concise, polished writing. Inherent in such an endeavor (that just happens to hit shelves around Valentine's Day) is an adorableness thankfully grounded by Levithan's wit.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was hard to get into. But then there were twists and turns, eventually, that ripped my heart open and blew me away. It was brilliantly compiled.
L is for love
Really unique, quick read. 5 stars, cute story!
Beautiful; Honest Outlook on Love
I loved reading this. I love the way it's structured. I've always loved learning new words as I read and you definitely will with this book.