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The Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan


Although my coworker laughed this novel off as “pervy,” there is nothing really lascivious about the entries in this dictionary. Consisting of short sentences or paragraphs relating to an alphabetized word, the entries come together to frame the story of a young couple as they meet and become intimate, learning about each other, working through arguments and all the foibles of a new relationship. Levithan deftly captures the gamut of emotions, feelings, and incidents inherent in any new and growing relationship, from the arguments over the toothpaste cap to learning about exes, meeting the parents and sharing childhood dreams, dealing with infidelity and the questions of “where is this all really going, anyway?” Those in a relationship or who have been in any sort of dynamic romance will easily relate to the various situations and conundrums which are related, and may laugh or cry at how the entries capture the feelings and reactions of any up-and-down relationship.

This author has written for young adult audiences before, and this particular novel, though marketed as general fiction, will have a great deal of appeal to teens, whose relationships are so variable and full of the emotional turmoil related herein. Very likable, readable, and recommended.

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