The Lover's Dictionary

David Levithan, Author
David Levithan, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-19368-3
Reviewed on: 11/01/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-00-737799-2
Hardcover - 211 pages - 978-0-00-737797-8
Open Ebook - 232 pages - 978-1-921799-86-0
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-9430-9
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-1-250-00235-8
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-986-229-650-9
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This cute "novel" by YA author Levithan consists of a series of words and their definitions, each evoking a phase or theme about a fledgling romance. (e.g., fledgling: "Part of the reason I preferred reading to sex was that I at least knew I could read well"). The entries do gradually unravel a love story: the narrator has met a woman ("you") through an online dating site (aberrant: " ‘I don't normally do this kind of thing,' you said. ‘Neither do I,' I assured you"). He endures all the writhings of new love, by turns eager, reserved, and hopeful about their evolving relationship, and transported by the joy of mutual exploration, the two move in together (balk: "If it all went wrong, the last thing I'd care about was who was to blame for moving in together") and are eventually undone (livid: "You went and broke our lives"). Levithan attains some heartbreaking moments as well as pitches of hilarity with his concise, polished writing. Inherent in such an endeavor (that just happens to hit shelves around Valentine's Day) is an adorableness thankfully grounded by Levithan's wit. (Feb.)
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