Book Review: The Lover's Dictionary

The Lover's Dictionary
Published By: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Release Date: January 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Library
**This is an Adult novel**

How can I even begin to describe this book? I feel like nothing I can say is worthy of it. I am in awe of this book. It is one of the most poignant and unique that I have read in quite some time. Even as I try to write this review I can't say anything more valuable than READ THIS. 
The Lover's Dictionary tells the story of a relationship entirely through dictionary entries. I was skeptical at first. How could this possibly be entertaining? Dictionaries are far from entertaining. However, David Levithan thrusts you into the ups and downs of a modern relationship; you can't look away and you can't stop reading. I kept finding myself trying to piece together all the details of this relationship. Some of the sections were so well written that they flowed with an almost poetic air. I found myself reveling in the language and attempting to capture phrases in my mind to linger on. David does a beautiful job of bringing raw emotions and pain to the surface shining a light on them for all his readers to see. There were times were I truly felt like I was watching moments that were far too personal for my eyes. I began to imagine what the dictionary of my relationship would look like if it were to be written down.
If you are looking for a quick read that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder - then this is the book for you!

One Last Gripe: This is stupid I know, but I was frustrated that the main characters didn't have names. 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The creative format

First Sentence:
aberrant, adj.
"I don't normally do this kind of thing," you said.

Favorite Character: The male main character

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one in this read

A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries.

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 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.


  1. I felt the same way about this book! We pretty much said the same things, except I think you said it a little more eloquently than me. Come see! :D Lover's Dictionary Review

    Jess @ Gone with the Words

  2. I picked this book up and carried it around Borders with me for like 20 minutes and ultimately decided that I just didn't really get it so I put it back. But after reading your review I kind of want to go pick it up again. I'm really intrigued how the love story is presented. It may take me a while to get around to it with how many books are in my tbr pile at the moment, but I will add it for sure.

  3. @Jess - This week has been crazy hectic, but I will check out your review this weekend.

    @Bittner - I really enjoyed it, but it did take some getting used to because it's something unique. Also, the story is told out of sequence, but I thought that was neat too.

  4. Absolutely fascinating! Thanks! Reminds me of the Six Word Memoir book that I try to do at the end of the year.

  5. I didn't realize this book came out years ago! I only heard about it recently and am excited to read it. I enjoy David Levithan's work.


Post a Comment

We love your comments!