October 10, 2012

Book Review: The Lover's Dictionary


Title: The Lover's Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
ISBN: 0374193681
Rating: 


basis, n. 

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. 

If the moment doesn't pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face. 

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.



This was a really unique book. It's very different from the love stories I've read before. I really thought it was a full length novel. I should have taken it's title literally. The Lover's Dictionary. Well, from the title alone, you can deduce what this book is all about. IT's actually a collection of words from A-Z and was defined by sighting occasional situations lover's actually encounter. It was really fun and something fresh to read. I can't help but smile at the definitions because somehow I can relate.

The characters don't have any name. Just you and I. Somehow the dictionary was able to show their real story or how their story flourished without narrating it. The definitions were quite amusing and I admire the author for coming up with such a unique idea. I love how the author came up with situations to illustrate the definition of a particular word.

*According to my research, this book was originally a gift of the author to his friends for Valentine's Day. Then his friends encouraged him to publish it and POOF!

"Love is one kind of abstraction."
"People often say that when couples are married for a long time, they start to look alike. I don't believe that. But I do believe their sentences start to look alike."
"Sometimes desire is air; sometimes desire is liquid. And every now and then, when everything else is air and liquid, desire solidifies, and the body is the magnet that draws its weight. " 
"There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face. "
"I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night, I left the window open, and it started to rust." 
"Even when I detach, I care. You can be separated from a thing and still care about it. If I wanted to detach completely, I would move my body away. I would stop the conversation midsentence. I would leave the bed. Instead, I hover over it for a second. I glance off in another direction. But I always glance back at you." 
"I love the idea that an abuse can be negated. And that the things most often disabused are notions." 
"Does every "I love you deserve" an "I love you too"? Does every kiss deserve a kiss back? Does every night deserve to be spent on a lover? If the answer to any of these is "NO," what do we do?"
"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." 
"Infidel, n. We think of them as hiding in the hills - rebels, ransackers, rogue revolutionaries. But really, aren't they just guilty of infidelity?" 
"When I say, "Be my lover", I don't mean, "Let's have an affair." I don't mean "Sleep with me." I don't mean, "Be my secret." I want us to go back down to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you. " 
"The key to a successful relationship isn't just in the words, it's in the choice of punctuation. When you're in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inverted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations." 

1 comment:

  1. Hi from GoodReads!
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    Happy blogging!

    Lectus :-)

    ReplyDelete

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