Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Review of 'The Lover's Dictionary' by David Levithan

"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 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 Leviathan'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."

Unique indeed.

This was another book where I reserved it online, but I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into.  All I knew was when I got that notification from the library, I was terribly excited and I couldn't wait to pick it up and take it home with me!

Any way, I started reading just last night and I simply couldn't put it down.  I would have read all night long had I not had to wake up the next morning bright and early and go to school and learn something for a change...

I liked this book because it was broken up by new vocabulary words usually every page (sometimes two, depending on how long the anecdote was).  I liked how the vocabulary corresponded with every passage, basically summing it up or highlighting a key point in the story.

Even though we never get to learn their names, it was an interesting way to get to know the two main characters, the boy and the girl.  The downside was by the end of the book, I wasn't satisfied with how much I knew about the characters.  You know, like you would in a regular novel.  So I couldn't connect with them as much as I would have liked to.

It's a very, very quick read (mostly because not all of the pages were filled up).  I read this in an evening and during every free moment I had today.  I could have easily read it in one sitting.

The Lover's Dictionary keeps you awake because, for me at least, you want to know how everything fits together in the end-- not so different from how 'Catch-22' is, to be honest.  Though 'Catch-22' is a way crazier ride...

Many of the things the narrator brought up I ended up agreeing with.  The couple that was together for ten years and were so used to each other that their annoying airs just didn't affect the other any more, those little moments that drive you insane because you love them so much, feeling like you were wasting "I love you"s or using them at the wrong time... that kind of thing.  I do believe that David Levithan and I are of the same mind when it comes to this.

Overall, The Lover's Dictionary was a quick read but with many interesting aspects in the story-telling.  I give this book:
+ 1/2 Stars!
Thanks for reading!



  1. What a great review, sounds like a good read, thanks for sharing:)

  2. DUDE I LOVE DAVID LEVITHAN!!!!! He wrote two of my favorite books!!!!!! I wanna read it!!!!!

  3. Wow, this sounds so good! Your review really piqued my interest :) Thank you for the rec and review!

  4. I can't wait to read it! :D sounds excellent!

    check out my blog at www.magicisinwords.blogspot.com
    (magic is in words)

    also, I like your orange clock! where did you get it?


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