Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

I was really ecstatic when I heard that that David Levithan was writing an adult novel because I love me some David and I read quite a bit of adult as well…and because it was about loooove. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I knew if it was like most of David’s novels I’d feel some sort of connection to it.

The Lover’s Dictionary was SUCH an interestingly lovely read that I DEVOURED in a day. Each page contains a passage of prose that reflects a word from the dictionary and it is written as though it is a dictionary entry. The passages range in length, some being a sentence or two and some being half of a page long, and follow the love story between a nameless narrator and his lover. You feel kind of a distance at first because you are only seeing snippets (not chronologically) of their love story and because they ARE nameless but you find yourself reading these intensely intimate thoughts and raw emotions and this couple becomes so exposed as the book gives glimpses into some of the most joyful and exciting times in their relationship as well as some of the most difficult and trying times in their relationship.

This book was really such an honest portrayal of the many facets of love as it examines the joys, the doubts, the heartbreaks, the sacrifices and the different nuances and quirks in the love affair between two people. Some passages made me laugh, cry and reflect on my own relationship as certain feelings or situations would hit close to home. The writing was exquisite and I found myself bookmarking page after page thinking that each passage was my new favorite only for it to be dethroned by another.

Some I wanted to share:

ineffable, adj.
these words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convoy. 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.
autonomy, n.
“I want my books to have their own shelves,” you said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together”
placid, adj.
Sometimes I love it when we just lie on our backs, gaze off, stay still.

There are SO many wonderful lines and passages in this book but I tried to pick some shorter ones that stood out in my mind.

My final thought: This book was a gem! Upon finishing it I just held it close to my chest because I was amazed at how raw it was and how much I connected with it. I thought of the moments that made my heart flutter in my relationship, I thought about the doubt and the act of learning how to trust in a relationship, the beauty in the mundane and the wonderful journey love really is despite how hard it can be to love and let yourself be loved in a relationship. The prose was something to be savored and I have no doubts that I will read this book again as it has a permanent place on my shelf. Levithan’s delivery was creative and I found the his connection to each of the words to be genius. I’d recommend to lovers of adult fiction who don’t mind something different and who don’t need to be wooed by a fast moving plot.

Review On A Post-It:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Rie Conley says:

    Now I want this book so bad! I love the idea of that concept. Defining words to tell a story such an unique way of storytelling!

    Thanks for the great review.

  2. Celesta says:

    I'm big on words. While not obsessed, I like having a large vocabulary (and it just so happens to get larger the more I read). I haven't heard of this book before but it has now been added to my TBR pile. Thanks for the great review!!

  3. Ahh I loved this book 🙂
    You're selection of quotes has made me really want to go and pick it up again.

  4. Jess (Gone with the Words) says:

    I felt the exact same way about this book! And I probably bookmarked most of the book with little post-it markers, lol.

  5. Annette says:

    I keep this book on my dresser. It's fun to just flip open to a page once in a while and read it… I really enjoyed this book — and I didn't think that I would! Great thoughts!

  6. Mrs. Vincent says:

    I just recently read Dash and Lily (which I loved) and then had to go get Nick and Norah (which I loved (maybe) even more). I just looked up this morning what else he had written but wasn't sure what to pick next…now I know! Thanks!!!

  7. Adam @ Roof Beam Reader says:

    This "review on a post-it" thing is awesome. I love it. I also love David Levithan, but I haven't had a chance to read this yet. I was hoping someone would send me the hardcover as a gift, because I've been spending too much money on books. LOL

    You've convinced me to shell out the dough, though. Plus, I don't mind supporting a great author like DL.

  8. thelibrarianreads says:

    I'd read a review somewhere else about this book and it didn't intrigue me nearly as much as yours did. Looks like one I'll be picking up in hardcover. Great description of the romance in the book…convinced me to pick it up.

  9. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) says:

    When I opened up your review I instantly thought, "Your review is longer than the book!" I'm just joking really! I really loved this book! I loved that the story wasn't today from the beginning to the end! Thanks for sharing certain entries as well! I get to re-read them!

  10. i actually think i am in love with david. i really do.

  11. lucybirdbooks says:

    I'm kind of hesitant about this book. I've heard lots of good things about it, and I had a flick through and liked what I saw, but I'm not sure it will be very me

  12. Two Readers Reviews says:

    I completely forgot about this one! I really like how it is done with entries like that. I love when something is totally unique to me!

  13. danielle. says:

    Wow, what a review! I need to read this book–now!

  14. Ummm… Wow! I love it when authors are able to deliver a story in a way like no other, and to deliver it in a fantastic way too. It sounds like Levithan did just that, and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on this book; devour, and bookmark.

  15. Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) says:

    I had the same feelings while reading this book. There are so many pages that I bookmarked because, like you said, each one became my favorite. It's a book that I pick up again and again to reread because it just resonates with me so much. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well!

  16. Jennifer says:

    This book certainly sounds like a gem. I love books that play with words and even more I love books about love. I'm definitely putting this one on my wish list!

  17. April (BooksandWine) says:

    I think this is my favorite review you've written.

    Seriously Jamie, I am sold on The Lover's Dictionary.

    It sounds utterly fantastic and gorgeous and beautiful

  18. What an awesome review Jamie! I loved it! I seriously need to get my hands on a copy of this book! This review really makes me want to check it out!!

  19. I love David Levithan. He does such wonderful things. Thanks for the recommendation.


  1. […] The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: This is such a quick book and I read it while lounging outside one summer day. The prose is so […]

  2. […] Contemporary + maybe magical realism? Really defies genre. Series: No. Other Books From Author: The Lover’s Dictionary, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss […]

  3. […] the unreliable narrator thing to the extreme. Stands out to me though! Definitely a unique read. The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: Seriously, I’m so in awe of David always. This book was beautiful and the concept SO unique. […]