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104 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not enough glowing adjectives for THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY!
I just finished David Levithan's THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY and thrust it into the hands of the nearest person I saw, so they could love it, too. (Don't worry, I knew them, so it's okay. But I'd still probably give this book out to random people...) I don't usually post Amazon reviews but I had to talk about this book. Like, yesterday. Now, I'm familiar with David's young...
Published on January 11, 2011 by Mary Kole

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun format, not distracting from the story
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is a love story of a couple told through dictionary entries.

I know this sounds odd, but it totally works.

I enjoyed the story a lot, but I had two issues, which are directly related to each other:

Did the perspectives change from male to female? Was one person telling the story the whole time? I...
Published 12 months ago by Love at First Book


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104 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not enough glowing adjectives for THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY!, January 11, 2011
I just finished David Levithan's THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY and thrust it into the hands of the nearest person I saw, so they could love it, too. (Don't worry, I knew them, so it's okay. But I'd still probably give this book out to random people...) I don't usually post Amazon reviews but I had to talk about this book. Like, yesterday. Now, I'm familiar with David's young adult books, NICK AND NORAH, WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, etc., and, as a children's book professional, was very curious to see how his writing would flow for the adult market. As he said at the ALA conference this past weekend, there's absolutely no difference: his are all just words in the service of a story. And the story in THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY is a great one.

Told in dictionary entries, topped by words that set the tone, DICTIONARY is about two people, one self-conscious, the other sometimes painfully not, and the course of their relationship and cohabitation in New York City. Some entries are poignant, some hilarious, some coy, some painful. From these snatches of memory and thought and feeling, a rich tapestry begins to emerge. It charts very accurately the swell of love, the pangs of betrayal, the small mishaps of the unexciting everyday moments, the lonely and numbing void left behind when feelings, and people, change.

My favorite thing a writer can do is something David did literally dozens of times in DICTIONARY. It's when a character has a thought or does something or feels a certain way...and it's so close to one of my thoughts or feelings or actions...that I have to look over my shoulder, because I swear the author has somehow reached into my head to grab a very private piece of me. Maybe it's the fact that, like his characters, I'm twentysomething and have marked my relationship status "It's Complicated" a few too many times on Facebook...maybe he's just a damn good writer...but THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY is one of those rare gems that threaten to keep me up all night, deep in thought.

Young adult author Mitali Perkins likes to talk about good books being both mirrors and windows. Mirrors, because they show you parts of yourself, something for you to relate to. They're also windows that show a reader another world or slice of life or outlook on the world. THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY was both window and mirror (but not a full-length mirror...read the book to find out...), and I give it my highest praise. My only criticism is that it was too short. I would've kept reading, with pleasure, if it had been the length of a real dictionary.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, January 19, 2011
By 
Paul G (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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 beautiful words most of us don't take the time to speak anymore give pieces of a relationship that on one page is in devastating freefall, and then in the next entry the lovers are riding the heights. The structure is exhilarating, pulling you inside out with anticipation with each new chapter--and the chapters are short, at times only a line or two long. You want to linger on the language, but the relationship's constant ups and downs keep you moving into the next chapter. I kept thinking, Will they make it? Will their love last? It doesn't and it does--I won't spoil it for you. But having the chance to root for these two people was uplifting.

The writing is gorgeous. I always feel this way about David's books, but TLD is different. It's so very poetic. With few words, the author had me hoping, wishing, wistful at times but above all laughing. So many moments in here rang true with my direct experience. That's my very favorite thing about the book: It speaks to so many of us, man, woman, gay, straight, human. It's a wonderful gift to us, to be able to see ourselves in a romance so heartfelt--and so cinematic. David's language is evocative. His characters are our friends, and I was blessed to spend time with them. Truly a lovely work of art, and a terrifically fun read too. I think it's the kind of book I might just get up the courage to read aloud with my wife--maybe after a beer or two. Thank you to David Levithan for putting the brakes on my cynicism for a night, for giving me one of the most rewarding reads I've had in a while, and to FSG for publishing such a beautiful work of art.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to fall in love with..., February 3, 2011
By 
There have been countless books on the theme of love, seriously or romantically alike. Hence, it is getting extremely hard to write one more book about love that could distinguish itself. Somehow David found some magic to achieve this task -- in his debut of adult novels, amazingly. I love it very much and think that it is in some way comparable to Barthes' "A Lover's Discourse: Fragments", just a modernized version. When you read it, don't be afraid to let the stories connect to your own, and don't hesitate to laugh out about how real they are. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic, unusual novel, January 26, 2011
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
David Levithan is an unapologetic romantic. His young adult novels co-written with Rachel Cohn (NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST, DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES) are joyful celebrations of quirky young romance, and his collection of love stories, HOW THEY MET, remains one of my favorite books on the topic of love. Many of those tales had their origin in his tradition of writing a Valentine's Day story for his family and friends. Now, in his first novel marketed to adults, Levithan offers an unusual portrait of a long-term relationship, exploring not only How They Met but also How They (Almost?) Fell Apart.

THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY is told not chronologically but alphabetically, as Levithan's narrator uses a series of dictionary entries to tell the story of his love for an unnamed woman. Although the first entry (aberrant, adj.) tells of their first date --- the two met on an online dating site --- after that, the entries move back and forth freely in time, from their earliest courtship to the most recent betrayal that has stressed the relationship to the brink.

We're told this story from the point of view of the man in the relationship; we never hear the woman's own voice (except as reported by the narrator). Surprisingly, though, we do learn a lot about her. She's charismatic, impulsive, maybe more than a little untrustworthy. She has a tendency to drink too much, but people (almost) always forgive her because she's so darn charming. And she inevitably fails to put the cap back on the toothpaste, but our narrator usually keeps his mouth shut. Because, well, he loves her. In this way --- the tiny details he shares about his beloved and their life together, the way he tells their story --- we also come to know our narrator, to long for this quiet, seemingly vulnerable man to find lasting happiness.

It's an impressive feat that, in "dictionary entries" (one to a page) that are sometimes as short as a single sentence, Levithan manages not only to provide such depths of characterization but also to offer genuine insights into this very particular love story and the nature of any long-term romantic relationship. For example, "balk, v. I was the one who said we should live together. And even as I was doing it, I knew this would mean that I would be the one to blame if it all went wrong. Then I consoled myself with this: if it all went wrong, the last thing I'd care about was who was to blame for moving in together." Or this: "reservation, n. There are times when I worry that I've already lost myself. That is, that my self 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."

THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY is a series of these small truths --- mixed with the nuances, frustrations and joys of this particular relationship. It's the kind of book you want to give to your friends who have been together forever, the ones whose relationship you admire; the kind of book you hesitantly give to the person you've just started seeing, while you're both still asking if this is "the one"; the kind of book you someday hope to read aloud from, in bed, to the person you love, waiting for the knowing look you'll see when he or she recognizes that this story is also your story, the story of everyone who has found --- and fought for --- the elusive thing called love.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, January 14, 2011
One of the most touching and heartfelt books I've ever read. I read it as a galley copy and have already lent it to several friends (all who have loved it too).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars relationship through words, December 3, 2013
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I really enjoyed this book. Even though some of the entries were short, I found myself completely pulled into the book and able to relate. This was hard to read/sad only because it reminded me of so many of my past relationships. However, I loved it, I loved the format, the layout, everything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it., November 13, 2013
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A quick read, but not quick to leave your mind. Funny, heartbreaking, real. A definite keeper. Top five on my list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, May 2, 2012
By 
Jennifer Hampton (Vine Grove, Kentucky) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I really loved this book. The only bad thing I could say about it is that I wished it hadn't ended so soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alas, Genius in Simplicity, April 9, 2012
I guess I should start with a made-up definition of my own:

Levithanites, n.
Followers of David Levithan.

There. I said it. Judge me if you wish, but know I'll just hide behind my copy of The Lover's Dictionary. For I am a Levithanite. And in the grammatically flawed words of MC Hammer, "U can't touch this."

Now, while not the typical "Kristin pick" (yes, I refer to myself in third person on occasion), I couldn't help but purchase this book after an author event here in New York City. David was there (yes, we're on a first-name basis now), along with a slew of other fabulous and incredibly talented authors. I approached him after the event and I was sold. Instantly.

It's a wonderful thing, you know? When you take a chance on a book.

The Lover's Dictionary is genius in its simplicity. The non-traditional novel, which is told through dictionary entries, unfolds the makings and ends, the comings and goings, of a most off-beat, charming, and outright REAL relationship. And how Levithan managed to pull that off may be one of life's biggest enigmas. Up there along with the death of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. (Too soon? - Well, now that my site's been flagged by the government, I guess there's no turning back). It's safe to say that David captures love in its barest form.

It's kind of hard for me to describe just how wonderfully this novel unfolds, so I'll let the book do some of the talking for me. Still, I am afraid I can't do it justice.

breathtaking, adj.
Those mornings when we kiss and surrender for an hour before we say a single word.

I know, right?!

fluke, n.
The date before the one with you had gone so badly -- egotist, smoker, bad breath -- that I'd vowed to delete my profile the next morning. Except when I went to do it, I realized I only had eight days left in the billing cycle. So I gave it eight days. You emailed me on the sixth.

and then there's...

neophyte, n.
There are millions upon millions of people who have been through this before -- why is it that no one can give me good advice?

So, if you're looking to experience the throes of lust, the ups and downs of a lover's path, and the magic of falling deeply in love, look no further than The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan.

It's unlike any love story you'll ever read. #fact
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ending...., February 18, 2014
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This review is from: The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book, although I must say wasn't a big fan of the ending. It didn't really seem to tie the whole story together
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The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel
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