Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Indiebound Summary:
A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entries.

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.

I am a fan of David Levithan's work ever since Boy Meets Boy. I pretty much read almost all of his young adult novels and when I heard about his first adult book coming out, it was instantly put on my to-read list.

The Lover's Dictionary differs from his other novels, as each page contains a word, relating to love, and a short vignette-type entry that ties into the term. The couple is reference by I, you, he, etc. and never by a name, creating the impression that the couple could be anyone. Despite the anonymous nature of the couple, through the entries, the reader gets to glimpse the relationship the two have. The ups and downs. And the pro of the anonymity of the couple is the love story can be universal.

It is definitely very ambitious project and I certainly enjoy how he approached it. It took a little getting used to, but the wonderfully crafted entries and the emotion captured in each won me over. From aberrant to zenith, Levithan captures the range of feelings love evokes in beautiful passages. I had to keep a mini notebook with me to capture some of my favorite lines.

A wonderful story that many can relate to.

Book Source: borrowed from work

Author Website | Twitter (Book) | Indiebound | Goodreads


Jenny said...

I haven't read anything by this author *hangs head in shame* I've heard good things about this one though, I just love how different it is in it's approach. Thanks for your review!

Jenny said...

or "its" not "it's" - I can't type today:)

Anonymous said...

He's's crazy. Most people suck at short stories, but his in Geektastic probably made my favorites list. And it's hard to get on my favorites list.

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