The structure of this book is absolutely brilliant.
There is no narrative here; it’s merely short paragraphs centering on love that align with different words in the dictionary. Some of the entries convey the hope for love in the future, some the heartache of a love that has ended, and others the joy and enthusiasm of new, exciting love.
While I thought this book was beautiful and poignant, I would say a reader’s opinion may easily be swayed depending on what type of love they have and are currently experiencing. I myself am in a very happy relationship at the moment, and thus related heavily to the overly romantic entries to the point of photographing a few to show to my partner. Those who may be just ending a relationship may not enjoy it nearly as much as I have.
Levithan has a beautiful way with words. Not only are his entries wonderful, his ability to match these with the correct word/definition to convey the appropriate emotion is stellar. The book is made up of quick entries as well, some only a sentence long, so it reads almost more like poetry than a fiction novel. For the record, “juxtaposition” was my absolute favorite. Leviathan has been a favorite author of mine for a while, and this certainly did not disappoint.
Title: The Lover’s Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Three Descriptors: Unconventional, Bittersweet, Thought-Provoking