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Book Talk: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

By Eileen Ramos

Lover's DictionaryIf you like our LexiBoosts than you will simply adore The Lover’s Dictionary. Written by David Levithan (who co-wrote the novel Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and wrote The Realms of Possibility), this novella is written  in the point of view of a nameless man who shares his relationship dictionary with his lover. Constructed entirely by concise definitions, you get a nonlinear and alphabetical glimpse of their relationship together from the mundane yet sweet (apparel,n. – There are times I don’t mind doing the laundry, because folding your clothes reminds me of the shape of you) to the true yet brutal (exacerbate, v. – I believe your exact words were: “You’re getting too emotional.”).

It is a very quick read but you’ll want to read it again and again, reliving each definition as if it were your own.  In fact, every single word entry is relatable, reminding you of your past and current beaus, those who have come and gone in your life.  One definition that I found extremely relevant was this one:

Incessant, adj – The doubts. You had to save me from my constant doubts.  That deep-seeded feeling that I wasn’t good enough for anything—I was  a fake at my job, I wasn’t your equal, my friends would forget me if I moved away for a month.  It wasn’t as easy as hearing voices—nobody was telling me this.  It was just something I knew. Everyone else was playing along, but I was sure that one day they would all stop.

Levithan’s narrator practically bleeds on the page, vulnerable and poignant for all eyes to see. He is also quite funny and real to life (love, n. – I’m not going to even try).  It is an extremely personal and intimate book, allowing anyone to see into the record of his relationship.  It is rather breath taking and you will definitely want more.

And actually, there is a twitter version of The Lover’s Dictionary that you can look at once you’re done or if you want to check it out before you read the book.  In exactly or less than 140 characters, Levithan gives you even more windows to peek through at this relationship from the adorable (connive, v. I may have known, that once, that I had a cold when I kissed you. I may have thought a sick day with you would be nice) to the sad (brink, n. – There will come a time when I will either stop loving you or I will stop believing that you can love me.) but you never lose sight of just how wonderful and beautiful this relationship is.

One of the things I like best is how you don’t know what gender his lover is. There are no clues and it can definitely go either way.  What matters most is not whether the person in question is a male or female but just how much love is shown through the pages.  What lies within this book is the fervent and passionate heart of one individual to his sweetheart. Once you read this book, you’ll want to create your own dictionary and give it to someone special.

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