Monday, 9 November 2015

Review: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship.

Date of Publication: 4th January 2011

This book is different from anything I've ever read and I loved every second of the unusual delight. As said in the blurb, it's a love story told through entries inspired by dictionaries.

For example:
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 up completely. I must embrace the idea of you instead.”

ubiquitous, adj.

When it’s going well, the fact of it is everywhere. It’s there in the song that shuffles into your ears. It’s there in the book you’re reading. It’s there on the shelves of the store as you reach for a towel and forget about the towel. It’s there as you open the door. As you stare off into the subway, it’s what you’re looking at. You wear it on the inside of your hat. It lines your pockets. It’s the temperature.
The hitch, of course, it that when it’s going badly, it’s in all the same places.”

David Levithan is so articulate that he is able to breathe life into these words, and make them mean something and everything. He uses words like these and his character's versions of their definitions to show us a love story in all its stages. We get to see the good and the bad - the breathtaking and the heart wrenching and sometimes just appreciate the deliciously quiet moments of any relationship. 

There is not a chronological order which may seem confusing but I liked how the book felt like a puzzle that I could put together in my mind as I dissect the love put before us. However I do wish that there was a feeling of finality when I had finished because I felt like I wasn't at the end of the story at all. But looking back I realize that relationships don't have clear cut beginnings and ends - in fact, they're messy but in a gorgeous kind of way so the structure of the book does reflect that. I would have loved if the end had more of an impact - like one last word that just made me smile or made the world around me stop so that the experience of the book could be represented well.

This book isn't long and it got me out of a reading slump so if you'd like to try something different and you love love and raw feelings (and maybe you're a dictionary aficionado who can't wait to see your favorite words in a new light?) then this is the book for you! Books with concepts like this don't come so often so embracing the creativity of the experience made it even better. 

I would probably give this book 4.5 stars out of 5:)

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I probably wouldn't have heard of this book, if it weren't for you. The concept is so intriguing. Thank you for writing this.