July 4, 2012

Love Defined • The Lover's Dictionary

The Lover's Dictionary book cover
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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.

How in the world do I review a book as lovely and as uniquely crafted as DAVID LEVITHAN's masterpiece, THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY

I could say that it's one of a kind, and that, with its carefully chosen vocabulary, it packs a solid punch to the gut. 

I could also say that I fell in love with the way that it's written and consider it an example of great storytelling. 

I could also say how I think it's wonderful you cannot find anything too specific about the narrator of any given word's story - if it's male or female, old or young, newly in love or been burnt before. 

Or I could say that I found that I could relate to quite a few of the chosen words in this dictionary and that they made my heart beat against my chest, my lips quiver, my eyes pool with tears.

Then again, I could simply say: incredible. And even though that might not be enough, it seems fitting for a book of this particular caliber. This one is definitely going into my favorite reads of this year.

Book Quotes

abstraction, n.

Love is one kind of abstraction. And then there are those nights when I sleep alone, when I curl into a pillow that isn't you, when I hear the tiptoe sounds that aren't yours. It's not as if I can conjure you there completely. I must embrace the idea of you instead.

breathtaking, adj.

Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.


  1. This book is truly a piece of stunning art. I read it one sitting and couldn't get enough of it! Utterly breathtaking. :-)

  2. I have never seen a bad review for a David Leviathan book. I have a few on my bookshelf I'm going to start reading. You make this book sound so amazing !

  3. Ooo! I totally know what it feels like to write a review like this. :) Sometimes I read a book that's so amazing, that I really have nothing to say about it other than the fact that it's amazing! I've really had my eye on this one, and I think you've convinced me to go get it! :)

  4. Ashley @ Ashley Loves BooksJuly 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    This is such a perfect review for this book - it really is incredible. The book is almost an experience in itself, just because I feel like someone has to read it themselves to truly see its intricacy and brilliance. Such a wonderful concept, and I too loved that you couldn't really pinpoint anything specific about the narrator. Had me thinking, wondering, and relating all at once.

  5. Aw, Alexa! I really love your review of this book. A solid punch to the gut is right. This was my first full David Levithan book (discounting his collabs) and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick but meaningful read.

  6. I enjoyed the simplicity of it, how he chose certain words and defined them so precisely. It was refreshing and new to me and I thought it was very, very well done!

  7. I couldn't have said it any better - it certainly is an experience. I think it's something that each reader will be able to relate to, and that's what I truly loved about it.

  8. If you do, it's definitely a quick read! And you'll get why my review seems just right ;)

  9. This is a good one to start with! I haven't read any others from him, but this one is a good one.

  10. Right? I wanted to highlight and bookmark so many pages in this book. It's incredibly relatable and so succinct!

  11. This book sounds wonderful! I've only read David Levithan when he's written with other authors -- John Green, or Rachel Cohn. I'm going to have to read one of his solo books one of these days -- maybe this one! It sounds lovely. :)

  12. This is a quick one to read, but it's absolutely lovely.


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