The Lover's Dictionary is written unconventionally through dictionary entries detailing the relationship of a nameless couple out of chronological order. The entries aren't definitions, per se, but a passage relating the relationship to the word.
I'm no stranger to David Levithan's amazingly poetic writing style, but he completely blew me away with The Lover's Dictionary. The main characters are the only ones in the book not given names yet I felt so invested in their story.
The story is pieced together cleverly. Under the entry for 'circuitous' on page 55, the main character says that:
We do not divulge our histories chronologically. It's not like we can sit each other down and say, "Tell me what happened," and then rise from the conversation knowing everything. Most of the time, we don't even realize we're dividing ourselves into clues.And the narration is the same: not chronological and in clues. We need to take each new entry and think about where it goes in the grand scheme of the story. I like stories like that - where everything isn't laid out plain and obvious.
The ending is bittersweet, the same as the rest of the story. A realistic ending to a story about a highly realistic relationship dynamic.
The Lover's Dictionary is short (I read it in an hour's sitting) and sweet and beautifully written. I give it a 5 out of 5.