David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary is One Resource You’ll Read From Cover to Cover
Summary: The narrator never gets named in The Lover’s Dictionary, but that doesn’t inhibit the reader from becoming deeply engaged in the story of the two teenagers at the center of Levithan’s writing. Levithan weaves a story of two teenagers falling in and out of love as well as all the complications that come from that journey. As the two try to define love and learn who they are as individuals and together, they also have independent narratives about friendship, life, and happiness. At the top of each page is a word ready to be defined, and Levithan defines that word with the poetic writings he places below it. Without realizing it, the reader is learning the definition of many parts of life—from romance and devotion to inconsideration and demise—through these snippets. Each “entry” is packed with narrative details in only a few sentences.
Review: Levithan’s writing always has a unique quality that can engage the reader in a few words or sentences, and that is exactly what he does in The Lover’s Dictionary. He articulates much through his use of silence and also specific word choice, and the reader is never left with a sense of not getting enough or being overwhelmed. With various narratives intertwining with the teenager’s love story, The Lover’s Dictionary is a quick read that keeps the reader enthralled and curious from word to word.
Bottom Line: A dictionary for the heart