Published by Straus and Giroux on January 21, 2011
Genres: Literary, Romance
Buy the Book • Goodreads
In his first book for adults, popular young-adult novelist David Levithan creates a beautifully crafted exploration of the insecurities, tenderness, anger, and contented comfort that make romantic relationships so compelling (or devastating). Through sparingly written, alphabetical entries that defy chronology in defining a love affair, The Lover’s Dictionary packs an emotional wallop. For "breathtaking (adj.)," the unnamed narrator explains, "Those moments when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word." For "exacerbate (v.)," he notes, "I believe your exact words were: 'You’re getting too emotional.'" Ranging from over a page to as short as "celibacy (n.), n/a," the definitions-as-storyline alternate between heart-wrenching and humorous--certainly an achievement for a book structured more like Webster’s than a traditional novel. Proving that enduring characters and conflict trump word count, Levithan’s poignant vignettes and emotional candor will remind readers that sometimes in both fiction and life, less is truly more--and the personal details of love can be remarkably universal. --Jessica Schein
The Lover’s Dictionary uses alphabetical dictionary like entries as a way to craft an unusual tale that explores romantic relationships. These definitions as a story-line create a unique story, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
This was not a lovey-dovey tale of love and romance. Most of the entries were short, with one entry simply being n/a, which was one of the most telling entries. The abruptness worked well, the definitions at times made me pause and think about them, and it was a unique way to go about writing a book. It was a very quick read, and at the end… I wanted more. I wished that the alphabet had a few more letters so the story could continue.
I recommend this story to pretty much anyone (but if you have a love of the unique and a love of words then you’ll probably appreciate this story even more).