Love…in 185 definitions.

fraught, adj.

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?

Ever read a book that was miraculously able to pinpoint feelings you’ve had but have never expressed out loud, or described moments you’ve experienced that you thought were unique to you? Well if you haven’t, I suggest you give The Lover’s Dictionary’ by David Levithan a go.

This book is…well, it’s different. For a start it’s a dictionary that passes for a novel. We travel from A right through to Z, going through entries that give us insight into the ups and downs of the nameless (male) narrator’s relationship with his unnamed girlfriend.

What makes the reading process so rewarding is that the story is obviously not told in full and is not written chronologically. A lot is left unsaid allowing your imagination to fill in the gaps. Through these anecdotes/entries you learn so much more about these two people than if it were a full blown novel.

breach, n.

I didn’t want to know who he was, or what you did, or that it didn’t mean anything.

This is a love story that doesn’t hold back. All those little nuances of a relationship (both successful and failing) are detailed, making the story unique yet universal. I don’t want to reveal anymore because a lot of the delight in reading this comes from how the story unfolds; alphabetically. 


Interestingly, this book works very well as an ebook. I read it on my kindle and found I had a greater understanding and appreciation of what was being said because I could just touch my screen to find the full definition of more complex words. You could, of course, simply pull out a dictionary from your shelf, but all that hassle when you can just touch.

encroach, adj.

The first three nights we spent together, I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t used to your breathing, your feet on my legs, your weight in the bed. In truth, I still sleep better when I’m alone. But now I allow that sleep isn’t always the most important thing.

This book is funny and it’s sad, but most of all, it’s real. Read it.

D’ya have any favourite words/entries from this dictionary?


One response

  1. Pingback: The Book Cover Wars: UK vs. USA | shelf life

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