Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary


The structure of this book is absolutely brilliant.

There is no narrative here; it’s merely short paragraphs centering on love that align with different words in the dictionary. Some of the entries convey the hope for love in the future, some the heartache of a love that has ended, and others the joy and enthusiasm of new, exciting love.

While I thought this book was beautiful and poignant, I would say a reader’s opinion may easily be swayed depending on what type of love they have and are currently experiencing. I myself am in a very happy relationship at the moment, and thus related heavily to the overly romantic entries to the point of photographing a few to show to my partner. Those who may be just ending a relationship may not enjoy it nearly as much as I have.

Levithan has a beautiful way with words. Not only are his entries wonderful, his ability to match these with the correct word/definition to convey the appropriate emotion is stellar. The book is made up of quick entries as well, some only a sentence long, so it reads almost more like poetry than a fiction novel. For the record, “juxtaposition” was my absolute favorite. Leviathan has been a favorite author of mine for a while, and this certainly did not disappoint.

Title:  The Lover’s Dictionary
Author:  David Levithan
Format:  Hardcover
Pages: 211
ISBN: 978-0374193683

Three Descriptors: Unconventional, Bittersweet, Thought-Provoking

Read Alikes:
Adverbs by Daniel Handler
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
All I Love and Know by Judith Frank
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

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