Book review: The Lover’s Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary

The Lover's Dictionary The Lover’s Dictionary
By
David Levithan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN: 9780374193683
Pages:  211
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Public Library
Literary Award: ALA Alex Award (2012)
Goodreads
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This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:
New Authors 2013 2013 TBR Pile

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

Rating system

I enjoy very much Literary Fiction, especially if I can discern in it a great research behind each word chosen, and also if there’s some originality in the structure of the book. Novels  coming from the Oulipo movement, with Italo Calvino as one of his most famous followers, are definitely my favorite.
So it was a nice surprise to find a young writer trying his hand, or his pen, well, his keyboard, I should say, at a definitely original structure.

The Lover’s Dictionary is a love story, and it is a kind of dictionary. Instead of a regular narrative of what happened between the narrator and the girl he was in love with, he addresses her as he remembers, and chooses to follow the order of the alphabet and select  a few important words to allude to their relationship. For each word, what he proposes as the definition is actually snippets reflecting on him or her, on how they met, fell in love, and struggled at times.

I liked very much the style, dense and succinct, more evocative than explanatory, that left space for  the mystery of each person in this love relationship. 
The result is something touching, beautiful, but not all “cheap romance”.

And did you notice the beautiful simplicity of the book cover?

QUOTATIONS

autonomy, n.
“I want my books to have their own shelves,” yuu said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.

ineffable, adj.
These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship. [Goodreads]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Levithan

David Levithan (born 1972)
is an American children’s book editor
and award-winning author.
He published his first YA book, Boy Meets Boy, in 2003.
Levithan is also the founding editor of PUSH,
a Young Adult imprint of Scholastic Press.

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Please click on the book covers to access the Goodreads synopsis, my review, or virtual book tours.

What are you currently reading?

The Pagan Lord

Bernard Cornwell is one of my favorite historical fiction writers.
Sad to know this is, I think, the last book of the series,
with the death of dear Uhtred!
I met him for the first time in May 2011,
in the first book of the series


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What did you recently finish reading?

The Conversation

A totally fascinating fictive conversation between
Napoleon Bonaparte and the 2nd consul,
held just before he declared himself Emperor.
I really loved how the book was made,
and how it portrayed the situation of France
just after the Revolution,
how Napoleon put it back on its feet;
and also his character.
Click on the cover to see its virtual book tour
on France Book Tours!
And the book is actually released today!


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What do you think you’ll read next?

The Lover's DictionaryTime to work
on my TBR!
This book sounds whimsy in its structure.

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