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The Lover's Dictionary

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  44,256 ratings  ·  5,408 reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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aqsa. 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)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,256 ratings  ·  5,408 reviews

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Emily May
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
Shelves: 2011, romance

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 ve
Ahmad Sharabiani
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
The lover’s dictionary, David Levithan

The Lover's Dictionary is a 2011 novel by the American author David Levithan. It is his first novel for adults. This modern love story is told entirely through dictionary entries which are brief and concise having a very unusual pattern and style.

A nameless narrator tells the story of a relationship through dictionary entries. These short entries provide insight into the ups and downs of their romantic relationship, revealing the couple's problems with alco
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Megs ♥
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.

Nat K
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The brief transcript of moments, written on the body, is so deeply satisfying to read."
- blemish, n.

This is the most sensual book I've read in a long time. Each word is like a caress.

It had me at hallo.

Whether serious or in jest, displaying teeth of envy, puzzlement, hurt, anger, the wonder of that special other, the peace of contentment, or the giddy feeling of love, this A-Z is sublime. A dictionary of emotions. A lexicon of feelings.

There's a line in (the movie) "Love Actually" that goes "
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it



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
Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨
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.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Pooja Bhoi
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100-pages
Being a person who is truly, deeply, madly in love, I was bound to love this book.

I'm feeling like dancing!

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
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who has loved someone.
I nearly gave this 3.5 stars, but oh, the creativity! There's always extra points for creativity. Always.

Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough. [From ineffable, adj.]

If Forest Gump taught you that life is a box of chocolates, The Lover's Dictionary teaches you that love isn't. Using mere words, and in an extraordinarily creative diary-like format, Levithan shows everyone the di
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
Adam Silvera
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
April (Aprilius Maximus)
This was really beautiful
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
love, n.


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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
I first read The Lover’s Dictionary way back in 2011 and never thought it was a book I would return to... and yet for some reason I decided to pick it off my shelf tonight and started reading.

It’s laid out in the style of a dictionary with a list of words (going from A through Z) giving rise to descriptions that allude to a romantic love affair in non-chronological order.

And I lost myself in the words.
The emotions.
The happiness. The sadness.
The pathos of the doomed love affair... or maybe i
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at:


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

Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 *

I'm impressed with the idea more than the book. This book is a dictionary containing some words and instead of explaining the meaning, it is defined with the help of a snippet from the life of two lovers. Some of them are truly beautiful, some of them not so.

But its a novel idea and it needs to be appreciated.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 realize
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I gravitate towards this book quite a lot and this has been my forth year reading it in a row. I suppose it's because Levithan has the same thoughts as I when it comes to certain themes and I just want to check whether my opinion has changed. This time I could actually experience it from the perspective of someone who lived through some of the situations that are described in this book and I found it to be even more relatable.

Also, fun fact, since the names of the main characters aren't mention
Karima chermiti

Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.

The lover’s dictionary by David Levithan is a book with great concept and great execution that gives it originality and something unfamiliar. At the same time, it doesn’t lack in terms of depths and emotions yet it certainly suffers when it comes to plot and characters development.

David Levithan attempts in his novel to delve deep i
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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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.


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