Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Vignettes of Love

 The Lover's Dictionary by  David Levithan

acronym, n.“I remember the first time you signed an email with SWAK. I didn't know what it meant. It sounded violent, like a slap connecting. … And the next time you wrote, ten minutes later, you explained.I loved the ridiculous image I got from that, of you leaning over your laptop, touching your lips gently to the screen, sealing your words to me before turning them into electricity. Now every time you SWAK me, the echo of that electricity remains.” 
This is a love story; a boy met a girl and fell in love.  There is nothing unique about the story itself, it’s neither that perfect with a happily-ever-after at the end nor tragic that ended with death or cheating. Instead, we follow the nameless narrator as he described how he met his girlfriend, their progression from the first date to exclusivity, and into moving together. It’s a story that could be anyone’s and that's what made it beautiful.

circuitous, adj.
 “We do not divulge our histories chronologically.”
The clever framework of this book is its best attraction.  From “aberrant” to “zenith” we followed each word, hanging on to every detail, wanting to know how it will end.  Through alphabetic vignettes, we realize that not every love story needed to be profound, just significant.  It showed those bits and pieces of a relationship that mean the most; simple things that we can connect to.

 ineffable, adj.
“These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. 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.”
I like the concept of this book and David Levithan’s play with words. The non-boyish narration was so naked and true, so it wasn't just entertaining, it's believable.  You might want to try it too.

Book Details:
Title: The Lover's Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Rating:  ★★★


  1. I enjoyed The Lover's Dictionary a lot! :) I hope you will also find time to read Barthes' more exhaustive and hemorrhagic A Lover's Discourse soon. ;)

    1. Barthes will need my undivided attention, let me schedule that in a leisurely month. But nothing stopped from downloading it yesterday. :)

  2. When I reread this book, I realized that new words and passages jumped out at me, and I can barely even remember the others that had an impact on me at the first time. But I guess that's what rereading really is. :)

    I love the Twitter version of this book, too, which is David Levithan's official twitter. It's shorter, but sometimes the lines pack more punches than the ones in the book. :)

    1. Aw, the disadvantages of not having a twitter account. In the future I know I will go back and reread this too. :)

  3. We have the same rating. I felt that it is too short for me to love it.

    1. That's one way of putting it. I guess it was my eagerness to know if it (relationship) did worked out that grounded me to give it the 3 stars. I'd give Levithan another star if he ever decides to indulge me, I swear.

  4. Eeeek! I haven't read a David Levithan! I know, I know, I should be reading him since he writes wonderful LGBT fiction for both adults and young adults. One day, one day.

    1. As it was said, "there is a time for everything."
      Hope you'll like him too. :)

  5. I loved this book! My fave entry: Livid. F*ck you for cheating on me.