Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan


The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Review by Lauren

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


bought my own; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I've had this book for awhile and I figured today would be the perfect day to finally read and review it since it deals with the various aspects of loving someone. This is the first novel that only David Levithan has written (I read a book he co-wrote) that I've read. It's an interesting look into his writing because of the set-up of the book, but it definitely shows that he is a remarkable writer.

The entire book is told in dictionary entries. Each new "section" is a letter of the alphabet, and within that "section" are a variety of words that start with the letter. For example, two words in the B section are "belittle" and "breathtaking." They seem like an odd combination about a book trying to describe this indescribable notion of love but it makes sense. Love isn't all poetry and roses and happiness. Sometimes it's angry, jealous, wanting more than the person can give you.

I liked that not every word had a long entry. Some had longer stories that relate to the word, while others are a simple sentence. It was a quick read, but it's a book that leaves you thinking. Since the book follows the alphabet, some of the entries felt off because you're jumping through their relationship. As I kept reading, things started to make more sense and follow a "pattern" if you will. This isn't a reason not to read the book, but rather something I thought I'd point out before you do.

***

I found this image online that shows you one of the dictionary entries:

27 comments:

Medeia Sharif said...

I love this writing, but haven't read this yet. I'll add it to my wish list.

Erika Sorocco said...

I have wanted to read this forever!!

xx

Brandi Kosiner said...

Perfect review for today !

Andrea @The Bookish Babes said...

What a good day for this book. This is an interesting concept, and I think it would definitely work for me. Thanks for the helpful review!

Eileen said...

This is the first I'm haering about this book but that sounds like an amazing idea, how every entry is in dictionary definitions. I really want to read this one because I know that David Levithan's a fantastic writer, and this sounds like such a heartfelt and creative book. Fantastic review, Lauren! <33

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds interesting. I haven't heard of this one before. Love a book that makes you think!

Cascia Talbert said...

Sounds interesting. I might have to look for this one. Happy Valentine's Day! Have a great weekend.

Kimi @ Geeky Chiquitas said...

Aw this is the perfect book for Valentine's! I thought this book was beautiful - the writing was just amazing and the style was unique. Very interesting concept. Great review! :) happy valentine's day!

-Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

Synchronized Reading said...

I remember seeing this awhile back and thought it would be an interesting read. I've not read a book by the author, but have been really wanting to :)

Hilda K said...

I so agree with you, Lauren! Love is not always rainbows and butterflies, and I think David Levithan surely knows how to depict love with his beautiful proses. This book is totally perfect for Valentine Day's gift. :D Thank you for your beautiful review! I hope you had a wonderful day on the 14th. ;)

Tanja - Tanychy said...

I have read this one a while ago and I agree it's perfect Valentine's Day read. The writing was really interesting to me too. Great review, Lauren :)

Krysten Gautreaux said...

Totally checking this one out!

The Bookish Manicurist said...

Perfect for VDay! I have had this on my TBR list for so long, I really like how creatively written it is

kimbacaffeinate said...

I love this author and this is different, you have me curious. This was a perfect book to share on V-day! Happy Valentines Day Lauren!

Alise (Readers In Wonderland) said...

I still have yet to read anything by this author but I hear great things. I love a book that makes you think. Great review for V day :)

Rachel said...

Great review, Lauren! I'd love to read this. I had no idea this book was so original in concept. I love verse novels and somehow this reminds me of one. I've read David Levithan before and actually met him at a few signings and he is extremely clever and hilarious. :)

Melanie said...

Wow, thanks for explaining the format of this book! I kinda want to read this one now. Yes, perfect day for the review!

Fab review, Lauren! <33

bermudaonion said...

What a cool idea for a book!

GABY said...

Sounds great for Valentine's Day!! It's an interesting idea for a book

DMS said...

I have not read anything by this author, but this book sounds different and interesting. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)
~Jess

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I have wanted to read something by this author for awhile and this sounds fantastic. That last quote you included is definitely something to think on. I am going to hunt down a copy!

Angela's Anxious Life said...

I read Every Day by David Levithan and though that was pretty good. So I bet this one is good too. He is such a good writer and I really enjoy his stories!!! Perfect book for Valentine's Day!

Julia Swift Andrew Landis said...

Great recommendation. Loved Two Boys Kissing and Will Grayson, Will Grayson...

Lauren Elizabeth said...

I skimmed this once in a store and thought it looked really interesting and innovative, and I'm glad to hear the book explores all the various emotions of love, not just the happy ones. Great review, hope you enjoy your next Levithan read!

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

Ohh awesome review hun!!!! I actually haven't heard of this before, but it sounds great! Going to add it to my tbr pile now ((:

Aylee said...

Heh, perfect Valentine's read! I'm really curious about the format. I like what I hear! It sounds like a really original way to tell a story, while still keeping to a theme and pattern.

Candace said...

I love David, but I haven't read this! And somehow I don't own it. It's very strange since I have most, if not all, of his books.