2/5/12

The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

I read several reviews of this book on GoodReads, where the reader just raved about this book.  Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high, but I found myself disappointed at the end.

The structure of this book is its most redeeming quality.  It's written as a series of dictionary entries, as the title suggests, each chapter starting with a word (n. or adj. etc), followed by a sentence to a page and a half of text.  I haven't read any other books with a similar layout, so I did love the book purely for that fact.

The story is narrated by a male narrator, whose name we never learn.  It's told semi-journal style, somewhat like a letter to his former lover, telling the story of their failed relationship (this is NOT a spoiler -- he talks about the first time that he wanted to leave her on approximately page 3).  Perhaps this is why the book didn't resonate with me: it's not very positive.  Levithan does have a good way with words, and puts some beautiful imagery together in the brief snippets of text, but the story doesn't really grab you and take hold.  This may be due to the very short chapters and the fact that the timeline bounces around from chapter to chapter.

On the whole, the book was okay.  I may give Levithan a second chance because I did like his writing style, just not the content of this story.  If anyone's read a good Levithan novel, let me know in the comments section!

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