The Lover’s Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary
by David Levithan
Published 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
240 pages. Hardcover.
Rating: 5/5

How does one talk about love? Do we ever 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.

This is the most beautiful and brutally honest book about love and relationships I’ve ever read. Each entry displays a single part of being in a serious relationship. Sometimes that part is sad or scary or absolutely beautiful. It’s always honest. I would love to meet David Levithan so that I can thank him for that. This is a truly wonderful book.

There’s not much I can say. The synopsis covers the format of the book. Because of the format, the story is told in pieces that fit together to form the big picture at the end. I was very impressed by the realism of the book. It’s a true picture of modern love. And it doesn’t sugar coat anything. That’s the best part. It shows even the ugliest moments of living your life with a another person. I felt completely and totally connected to the story because I understand it so well. I felt that at least half the book could be applied to my own life. I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite entries. Let the book speak for itself.

reservation, n. 
There are times when I worry that I’ve already lost myself. That is, that myself is so inseparable from being with you that if we were to separate, I would no longer be. I save this thought for when I feel the darkest discontent. I never meant to depend so much on someone else.” ~pg 170

obstinate, adj. 
Sometimes is becomes a contest: Which is more stubborn, the love or the two arguing people caught within it?” ~pg 151

flagrant, adj. 
I would be standing right there, and you would walk out of the bathroom without putting the cap back on the toothpaste.” ~pg 95

flux, n. 
The natural state. Our moods change. Our lives change. Our feelings for each other change. Our bearings change. The song changes. The air changes. The temperature of the shower changes. 
Accept this. We must accept this.” ~pg 98

Source: Springville Road Brach Library. Birmingham, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound

Leave a comment


  1. Wow, what an interesting format for a book! This book sounds good and your review was well done!

  2. I've been itching to get this book since it was published. I haven't found a copy yet in the bookstores here but I'll be sure to be the first in line to get copy when it arrives 😀Brush Up On Your Reading

  3. I never thought that this would appeal to me, but when I read the excerpts you provided, I was immediately hooked! Thanks so much for this review, I will definitely hunt this one down.

  4. Without this post, I probably would not have thought twice about picking this up. It sounds like it's pretty raw…but in a good way. Thanks for the post; its def. going on my list!

  5. I just picked this up from the library and cannot WAIT to read it! Love your review 🙂


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