January 23, 2013

Book Rec: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

review, n.: Sometimes words can replace the feelings we have for people, places, and things. Sometimes they can't. 

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan is a book that is not so much a book as it is a feeling. It's a story comprised of a series of definitions meant as part of something more. It's a small, tiny little book, and yet the idea behind The Lover's Dictionary is as infinite as the differences love holds for us all.

In a way, the beginning of the book starts like this:

I wondered what I would think of this little book filled with little definitions. I knew it didn't have a traditional narrative structure, but I had confidence in Levithan (Love Is The Higher Law, Every Day) so I began. I was hit with a story that wasn't a story. Feelings that, even though they weren't mine, became so much a part of me that it became effortless to follow the characters who, truly, aren't even there. You begin to fill in the blanks without knowing it. You begin to understand the bigger picture without meaning to. Each definition is part of a larger lover's story, but when looked at individually are simply beautiful quotes about sad and happy and lovely things.

This book makes you feel

The words bleed truth even when they are simple, because sometimes you can't really write about love. Sometimes those kind of words don't speak the truth. And yet, six words on love speak more than most books I've read:

I don't recommend or review books often (although anyone who knows me will tell you that I could spend hours talking about which books you should read), and then not unless they're five stars in my book. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan was a book I didn't just read, I savored. I've opened it every single day since I finished it just to see the words again. It sits on my desk, and I'll find myself opening it just for inspiration. For a smile. 

Read this book.

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