Amy Reads Books

The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel

The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan This book is unlike anything I've read before. Using a dictionary formula, David Levithan tells the story of an unnamed couple through the eyes of an unnamed male narrator from their first meeting after meeting on an online dating sight, through to a situation that looks like it'll push the relationship to the limit.However, the novel doesn't follow the usual pattern of most novels. The definitions are snapshots of events and of feelings in no particular order; the beginning and the (maybe) beginning of the end of the relationship are sandwiched next to each other. In between these are the inner feelings of the unnamed male partner as he reflects on his falling in love. The structure of the novel is almost addressed by Levithan in his exploration of the word 'circuitous'-'We do not divulge our histories chronologically. It's not like we can sit each other down and say "Tell me what happened" and then rise from that conversation knowing everything'. This sentiment is certainly true and this totally fits the structure of the novel.In addition to being beautifully written, or perhaps because of this, The Lover's Dictionary is also a wonderful exploration of language we use. The different uses of the word 'fast' for instance in it being both adjective and noun, and the way that the narrator occasionally questions why words are either adjectives or nouns, in their application to everyday life. As part of this reflection is the lovely entry for 'x, n' where the narrator states that 'if you and I really, truly wanted to change the world, we'd invent more words that begin with x'.It's difficult to really talk about the novel due its totally original form. However, I really do recommend this novel; I had to force myself to put it down in order not to read it all in one night. It's beautifully written; there are times when it's laugh-out-loud funny, other times when it's wonderfully touching, and Levithan manages to bring to life emotion in a simple, yet effective way throughout.