Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Rating: StarStarStarStar

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.


livid, adj. 
Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional.


The Lover’s Dictionary turned me into this mushy lil marshmallow. I felt a lot of emotions when reading this: i smiled a lot because i can relate. i harbored resentment when trust was broken. i felt complete when despite the frustrating times, the couple worked out their differences. Truly, The Lover’s Dictionary is a haven for hopeless romantics!

I love how Levithan presented his story – through snippets of the couple’s lives encased in vocabulary words. I basically have to read between the lines and i loved that. This kind of storytelling was so unique and effective it made me think: a word can really have a whole lot of meaning, right? Arrears. Dumbfounded. Libidinous.

The Lover’s Dictionary is a quick read (211 pgs) but the writing will stay with me for a very, very long time. If you’re in a mature relationship who needs guidance, or you just can’t resist a romantic read, try this Levithan book. It sure made me sigh and realize how wonderful it is to have someone to love… and love me back that much. =)

Special thanks to Tina for lending me her copy while we were on vacation!



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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