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The Lover's Dictionary

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  39,971 Ratings  ·  4,986 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Picador (first published January 4th 2011)
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aqs Amazing. Truly an innovative way to relay the insecurities, emotional highs and fluctuating lows of a relationship.

One of those books you won't ever…more
Amazing. Truly an innovative way to relay the insecurities, emotional highs and fluctuating lows of a relationship.

One of those books you won't ever regret having read (whether or not it becomes a favorite or a re-read). (less)

Community Reviews

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Raeleen Lemay
I really liked how brutally honest the protagonist was in the entries, but the story was too disjointed for me to love it. It was interesting how there were entries about positive things from their relationship, and then suddenly I would get three negative ones in a row. I liked that it was unpredictable, just like an actual relationship.

Enjoyable, but I was hoping for a bit more.
Emily May
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: romance, 2011


People who get super creative with books are always taking a big risk, you know... writing in verse, two authors writing a POV each, and now this: a novel written like a dictionary. A series of random words from A to Z each representing something about the protagonist's most recent relationship:

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 a very
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Angus Miranda
Read this book only when you are in love or you are in love with love.

I was neither both when I read this in one sitting last Saturday. Then last night, I happened to catch some scenes of the Korean movie Love Phobia at Cinema One. Korean filmmakers have been producing excellent, i.e., very sensitive, love stories that are much attuned to Filipino’s notion of love. That’s maybe one of the reasons why we patronize not only their movies but also their many television series.

That movie put me in th
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Ann Matalines

Very creative! I do not doubt David Levithan’s ingenuity and even though I may not always be a fan of his stories (including this), I AM of his writing, intellect and boldness. I didn’t think it was possible to create a book with only so many pages and with only a paragraph or two a page but somehow, the author made it work.

P.S. Happy belated birthday to my dear friend, Ann who celebrated her birthday on November 1. I hope you had an amazing day, my sweet friend. <3
Megs ♥
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, z-2012-reads
I read this today, on Valentine's Day ♥, and it was a very interesting read. I love how this book explores the range of all different emotions people could ultimately experience in a relationship. I could really relate to so much of this book. This is not only a lovey-dovey story that will melt your heart. It is far more than that, and it is beautifully written.

The format of this book is very clever. Each page starts with a word dictionary style, and that's the format for the whole book which te
...more
Monique
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tintin, Lynai
Recommended to Monique by: Tina
I've been trying to construct a review in my head for this book all weekend, having finished reading it on Saturday morning, but no matter what I came up with, I feel that it will not fully represent the feelings I had while reading this book. To say that I loved The Lover's Dictionary would be an understatement.

In a nutshell, The Lover's Dictionary is the simple love story of a couple, left unnamed by the author, told in dictionary form. Through carefully-chosen words, their love story unfurle
...more
Tatiana
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Practically devoured this book. It reads like poetry - sparse, raw, emotional. It could as well have been a novel-in-verse so popular right now - just rearrange sentences in fancy ways and you are all set. But Leviathan does something very neat here - he writes a love story as a series of dictionary entries, each highlighting some part of the relationship. The entries are funny, infuriating and heartbreaking. And the love story itself is messy and complicated and yet so very real and touching.

ar
...more
Alison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenn(ifer)
**************************

A MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXh4QQ...


**************************

re•view [ri-vyoo] noun
1. a critical article or report, as in a periodical, on a book, play, recital, or the like; critique; evaluation.

I really wish I had had the mental energy to review this book back when I finished it, but I just wasn’t in the right psychic place to do so at the time. I read it soon after finishing AM/PM, and it fit right in with that sort of flash-fiction vi
...more
Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐[9/10]
Anachronism- noun
In a story, chronological order is indispensable. What? It doesn't have to be. David Levithan writes,

We do not divulge our histories chronologically. It’s not like we can sit each other down and say, “Tell me what happened,” and then rise from that conversation knowing everything. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that we’re dividing ourselves into clues.


This is not another of those stories where you expect a happy ending. Or a sad ending. Or an ending. A
...more
Jo
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jo by: Catie
blemish, n.
The slight acne scars. The penny-sized, penny-shaped birthmark right above your knee. The dot below your shoulder that must have been from when you had chicken pox in the third grade.
The scratch on your neck- did I do that?
This brief transcript of moments, written on the body, is so deeply satisfying to read.


Wow, this book was gorgeous.

It took me about an hour to read (well, technically about 40 minutes... the other 20 minutes was taken up with me scrawling large chunks of this book i
...more
Pooja
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Being a person who is truly, deeply, madly in love, I was bound to love this book.

I'm feeling like dancing!



*eKa*
I hope I'm not the only person who can't relate to this "beautiful" book. Because to be honest, I can't. So sorry...



(I don't even know why I have to feel sorry about it...)

And don't get me wrong, guys. I've been in love and in a relationship but I guess we don't have much thing in common. So, it is what it is... But it's good to know how other people do in their love life, tho.

To me, this book is like a collection of short stories BUT mostly too short to get myself into it. Or maybe it's like
...more
Thomas
I seriously need a word for my signature squeal.

No, really. Sometimes when I read books like Gone With the Wind or Pride and Prejudice, I squeal. Well-written romance tends to do that to me. The Lover's Dictionary did that to me.

Allow me to share one of my favorite entries.

"brash, adj.

'I want you to spend the night,' you said. And it was definitely your phrasing that ensured it. If you had said, 'Let's have sex,' or 'Let's go to my place,' or even 'I really want you,' I'm not sure we would have
...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
love, n.

/ləv/

1. an intense feeling of deep affection.

2. feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).

3. "...a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet."

4. not a single emotion, but an umbrella term for the entire range of emotions you experience in tandem with someone else.

When you're in love, you're also in hate. When
...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This was really beautiful
Tina
Original post at One More Page

When I first heard about David Levithan's latest book, The Lover's Dictionary, I wanted to read it only because of the clever idea behind the book. I love anything that involves wordplay. I loved the idea that this book is told using dictionary words, and for some reason, this gives me the feeling that this book has a universal feel to it, like anyone could relate to an entry here at one point. I ordered a copy off Book Depository a few weeks ago after I realized
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

5 STARS!

Since I’m a huge Levithan fangirl, I got myself prepared to write this review by deciding to flag every “definition” that made me feel something while I was reading. Well, I definitely felt some things and flagged all some of the pages . . .



My feelings ranged from magical



like in the definitions of cache and gingerly and meander and posterity and rifle and sacrosanct and transient and unabashedly and woo and yesterday

to amus
...more
jessica
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
reread because its valentines day! so that means i have a hot date with this book, some chocolate, and a cosy blanket. its amazing how the concept of words and definitions can tell a love story. its books like this that challenge my conception of how a novel should read and i love them for it. who knew a dictionary could be so entertainingly adorable?!

5 stars
Adam Silvera
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short commute to work? Buy this book.
Short attention span? Buy this book.
Need a bathroom read? Buy this book.
Love got you feeling down? Buy this book.
Love got you feeling up? Buy this book.
Love hiding from you? Buy this book.
Need your socks rocked off? BUY THIS BOOK!
Inés Izal
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
-3.5-

"Y me descubrí pensando: si esto sigue adelante, si no se acaba, cuando muera, los recuerdos que deje en ti serán mi mayor logro en esta vida."

Cuanto cuquismo junto en un mismo libro, por Dios.
Isamlq
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure, I might have blinders on where this author is concerned because every book of his that I've read, I've really enjoyed... (Nick and Norah, Dash and Lily, the Will Graysons even Naomi and Ely were all wonderful reads!) With Lover's Dictionary, I didn't know what I was getting into. But good golly, that was different... and refreshing!

It tackled what's familiar from all the possible angles. One need not strain one's imagination to see how a word applied, because it just DID. Each
...more
Liv (Оља)
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, ebook, 2015, 2016, 2017
First read 3/7/15

This was so short and yet it said just enough. I loved it so much. It's for sure in the top 3 books I've read this year (or ever?).

I'm not even sure why I related to the narrator this much. I just found so many parts where the message he was trying to send was so familiar. Like I've thought about it in the exact same way myself.

This book is just another proof for the fact that literature doesn't need to be long in order to be powerful and to have an impact.

The story itself fe
...more
Archit Ojha
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Don't you dare tell me that this is cheesy stuff.



This is exactly the kind of book I prefer.

Speaks volumes if you want to go out and figure out the documentation of two people being in love. It is messy and it is fun. It is good and it is bad. People laugh and people cry. The important thing being with each other.

Enter my wife.

She read this book and decided to write one along similar lines herself. The next thing I know is being handed over a present of our version of The Lover's Dictionary. If
...more
Alyssa
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who appreciate lyrical prose
The Lover’s Dictionary is my first Levithan book, but it definitely won’t be my last. I mean, when an author can come up with this,

juxtaposition, n.

It scares me how hard it is to remember life before you. I can’t even make the comparisons anymore, because my memories of that time have all the depth of a photograph. It seems foolish to play games of better or worse. It’s simply a matter of is and is no longer.


and later this,

lover, n.

I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go
...more
Leyoh
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book is written beautifully. Perfect reading for a Sunday evening, Id imagine it'd be good for travelling too, when you have time to ponder and look out the window. It's delightful and sombre, honest too I think. Those that really stood out were:

Abstraction, arrears, blemish, breathtaking, disarray, juxtaposition, only and yearning.

My favourite's being:

Sacrosanct and posterity.

But if I had to pick one....

rest, v. and n.

Rest with me for the rest of this.
That’s it. Come closer.
We’re h
...more
Mimi
It's been a long time since a book made me cry. This book didn't make me cry. It just reminded me that I haven't cried over fiction since Charlotte's Web.

Simply put, this book is an interesting way to tell a modern love story (from a writer's perspective), and an interesting way to see vocabulary words in new ways (from a reader's) while you watch different aspects of a relationship come together, stay together, fall apart, and then go through these stages again. If you're not currently in love
...more
Paul
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw David Levithan read the book tonight at Borders in NYC--a moving evening. David's passion comes through each line read, each written. I love his books, but I didn't know he was such a wonderful performer. He feels deeply as he reads, and he's hilarious when he isn't breaking your heart--no, he's hilarious when he's breaking your heart too. His is a beautiful heart, such a generous artist. The Lover's Dictionary is one of the most creative novels I've read. Alphabetized entries headed by be ...more
Rebecca
Everyone knows love is complex, but having it articulated by someone who can really write is somehow infinitely comforting. I don't feel so much fear that I'm doing it wrong. David Levithan is my hero. I might have to buy this so I can re-read it now and again.

There is so much poetry in the choices of words listed in this dictionary, and how each word is related to the unfolding of a couple's relationship.

Favorite entries (promise I won't type them all):

Alfresco

Awhile - "It is easy for me to s
...more
Maggie
I can't remember what grade I was in when I first started highlighting, but I remember my teacher looking down at my now entirely fluorescent yellow page and saying, "You're only supposed to highlight what's important." I replied, "But this is all important." That's how I felt reading The Lover's Dictionary. I wanted to highlight everything. I only meant to read the first few pages, just to see what it was about, but I didn't end up closing the book until I was done. Each entry provides a pictur ...more
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David Levithan (born 1972) is an American children's book editor and award-winning author. He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003. Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH, a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

More about David Levithan...

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“It was a mistake," you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.” 3032 likes
“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 same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.”
2187 likes
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