The Lover's Dictionary

Author: David Levithan
Pages: 211
Publisher: F, S & G
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads)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.
My Summary: Through a series of alphabetically-arranged definitions, The Lover's Dictionary tells the story of a modern couple who have struggled to stay together. 

My Thoughts: I know my summary really stinks, but believe me when I say that this is one of the best books I've read this year. I've always been a fan of David Levithan's collaborations with Rachel Cohn, but this is the first independent novel of his that I've read, and I loved every minute of it. Despite its shortness, the novel paints a vivid picture in your mind; through the narrator's flashbacks and definitions, we learn about the ups and downs of the relationship and get to know the people involved. The writing is gritty and honest, never sugar-coating anything (which I loved), showing us just how much work and sacrifice has to go into a relationship. I finished this novel in less than 2 hours, and it was, without a doubt, time well spent.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and is looking for something new and refreshing. I can't say that I'd recommend it to anyone under 18 - there are mature themes like drinking, sex, and cheating - but I think mature readers will really enjoy it. Do yourselves a favour and check it out! :)


  1. Aww it seems like I've wanted to read this forever, it sounds so unique!

  2. I've seen this around, but I haven't had the chance to pick it up yet. I'll have to see if it's at my library. It sounds really good. I haven't read anything by David Levithan yet, but I've heard great things. I'm really glad you liked it. =) I will definitely be giving it a try.

  3. This sounds really neat. I love when authors put something out that is outside the box fiction. Seems like a nice read for a Saturday afternoon.

    Some other types of books I like are ones that are written based on letters, postcards and other memorabilia. Fleshes out characters and plots in whole new ways.


tell me what you think!