(This post is a re-upload from my books only blog.)

I’ve heard this book recommended by several book-tubers and my goodness was it worth it! And, at only 215 pages long, it was the perfect way to ease me back into reading contemporary fiction after a semester of writing and eighteenth century novels!

The first thing to say about this book is it’s layout. I’ve never seen a book quite like this. Complied of a series of dictionary entries we see fragments of a relationship between two unnamed people displayed for us to collect together. This book is quite unlike anything I’ve read, some entries a word or sentence, others a page or two long, and completely out of any form of chronology, this is the kind of book that makes you work to find out the story, but it is so satisfying once you get into it. As it’s so short, I would recommend reading this in one sitting if you can, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours and it would allow you to retain as much of the story as possible so it’s easier to piece together. We never learn the whole story, which in some books can make for an uncomfortable reading experience, but in this story I really got the sense that Levithan knew exactly what happened and was simply choosing to show his audience the key moments.

If this isn’t enough to convince you to read this book, the maybe the language will. In places this book is like reading poetry, the language glistens and glides along the page as if every word was exactly constructed. The entry titles in this are a huge part of the narrative, and occasionally are more revealing than the entry itself. Simple but stunning.

I highly recommend this book for a young adult to adult audience (I picked it up in the adult section of Waterstones but it could belong in either). This book is also a very ‘writerly book’, so if you are interested in writing creative fiction, then it really gives a new and innovative way of telling a narrative and using language.

I gave this book 5/5 on Goodreads, and fully intend to read it again as soon as I have the chance. If you’re planning to read this book or have read it already let me know your thoughts on it!

Author: Levithan, David

Title: The Lover’s Dictionary
No. Pages: 215
Genre: YA/Adult
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Publication Date: 2012
My Rating: 5/5