The Lover’s Dictionary | Book Review

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Leviathan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Year: 2011
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 211
Genre: Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Lover’s Dictionary presents a love story between two unnamed lovers wherein the man records the details of their relationship in an unusual format and style–in a dictionary form. 

The book’s format was pretty interesting to me. It was such a clever idea! I was curious as to how the author would write a novel in a dictionary format. It turns out that every word entry contains a definition which is actually more like a narration which highlights a certain event or period in the lovers’ relationship. There are short and long entries, and as we move along, we get to know not only the different aspects of the relationship of the two but also their individual personalities.

aberrant, adj.
“I don’t normally do this kind of thing,” you said.

“Neither do I,” I assured you.

Later it turned out we had both met people online before, and we had both slept with people on first dates before, and we had both found ourselves too fast before. But we comforted ourselves with what we really meant to say, which was:

“I don’t normally feel this good about what I’m doing.”

Measure the hope of that moment, that feeling.
Everything else will be measured against it.

gravity, n.
I imagine you saved my life. And then I wonder if I’m just imagining it.


Can I just say that I loved the narration in the entries?! I loved how even though an entry doesn’t necessarily continue the thought of the previous entries, we could still make the connection and fill in the context and flow of the relationship. Like I mentioned earlier, there are short and long entries. Some even just contain one sentence, however, I still find the short entries amusing and witty.

love, n. 
I’m not going to even try.


Let me ask you before you go!

Have you read The Lover’s Dictionary? Did you like the unusual style of the novel or did it bother you? Let me know your thoughts below!