The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Two people meet

abberant, adj.

‘I don’t normally do this kind of thing,’ you said.

‘Neither do I,’ I assured you.

Fall in love


The kiss I like the most is one of the slow ones. It’s as much breath as touch, as much no as yes. You lean in from the side, and I have to turn a little to make it happen.

Move in together

autonomy, n

‘I want my books to have their own shelves,’ you said, and that’s how I knew it would be okay to live together.

and then the story begins


I’m not going to even try.


...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.

Picked up this hotly anticipated book today in the city after the Moreau exhibition at the NGV by the New York Times bestselling  YA author David Levithan and started to read it immediately on the tram on the the way home and read it within a few hours.  It’s his first post-teen novel told entirely in dictionary definition entries. It started off as a Valentine’s gift to friends and grew into a novel and a twitter account @loversdiction.

‘The Lover’s Dictionary’ traces the 2 year relationship of an unnamed New York couple through the alphabet of definitions- some very short, only one line; others a page and a half long. Each offers snippets of insights into love and human nature and gives us glimpses inside a life, or rather lives and loves.

There are simple observations and profound reflections, quirky comments and deeply felt human experiences, leading to many ‘aha’ moments of recognition, realisation and relatedness. The words haunt you and linger afterwards with resonant meaning allowing you to re-evaluate the terms and and how you feel about them.

You are carried away by the truths revealed and empathise with the lovers as only lovers can. It’s such a personal, intimate and unique reading experience that I enjoyed immensely.

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About Melpomuse

Reader, Writer, Poet, Teacher
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2 Responses to The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

  1. Sarah says:

    Ooo….this is clever and beautiful……

  2. Poppy says:

    What a great idea.

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