The Lover’s Dictionary tells an everyday love story in a unique way. From the first date on, the narrator introduces moments of a romantic relationship through words. Accompanying each word is a short snippet of its meaning in regards to the relationship, rarely longer than a page.
I’m incredibly impressed by the mixture of creativity and organization in the novel. Like all dictionaries, it’s alphabetized. To be able to imagine and mold words and definitions to the story (and vice versa) is fascinating. Major props to David Levithan as an author.
Not only did I see new ways to look at ordinary words, I learned new ones along the way.
Here are two, with their actual definitions from Merriam-Webster, followed in italics by their definitions from The Lover’s Dictionary.
neophyte, n. – a person who has just started learning or doing something
There are millions upon millions of people who have been through this before – why is it that no one can give me good advice. (Comment from Melanie: But seriously! Story of my life.)
panoply, n. – a group or collection that is impressive because it is so big or because it includes so many different kinds of people or things
We stuck to the plan: you had your bookshelves and I had mine. Yours simply had books, most of them from college, while mine was overrun by souvenir thimbles purchased by my pre-teen self, compact discs that had been orphaned from their cases, mugs from colleges attended by forgotten friends, and jam jars of quarters (just in case, for some reason, I had to quickly launder everything we owned).
You never seemed to mind. Although one day you did say, “if our shelves were a seesaw, my things would be stuck in the air.”
I didn’t know whether you were being judgmental or self-pitying. Bit I had learned: there’s no good answer to either.
Pretty neat, huh? Want more of The Lover’s Dictionary? View the unabridgement on Twitter.
Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermuda Onion. It’s a chance to “share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.”
Zahra is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…
Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire as time unravels and enemies close in, in this dazzling retelling of Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
I love fantasy. I love timeless stories. I love new perspectives.
I’m pretty sure The Forbidden Wish is a perfect fit for me.
Though Aladdin retellings are now something of a trend, I first heard of The Forgotten Wish at a sci-fi author book signing over a year ago. It was the first of its kind I’d been exposed to, and I’m hoping it will be the first I read.
The Forbidden Wish will be released on February 23, 2016 from Razorbill.
If you want to see some glorious beauty, visit Jessica Khoury’s pinterest page for The Forbidden Wish. It is absolutely gorgeous.
Allyson Healey begins the upending of her planned, predictable life in Just One Day. What can happen during 24 hours in Paris? Maybe the better question is: What can’t?
FYI: I picked up Just One Day after spending three days in London,where the book begins. Even though I had triple the time Allyson did in that great city, nothing remotely romantic* happened. I am slightly miffed at the universe for this slight.
Just One Day and Just One Year are an incredibly compelling duo, fast and easy to read. On the surface, they feed the beautiful idea that in one moment, everything can change. Say yes, not no. Be free and experience life. All of those Instagram worthy quotes that sound wonderful but can be so difficult in practice when confronted with the unwieldiness of life.
While I was going into this expecting fun, escapist reads, the duo pleasantly surprised me by showing pieces of the journey to knowing oneself. It’s certainly a lifelong process and something far too complicated to be completely captured in a few hundred pages, but it was nice to walk along with Alyson and Willem, the romantic interest, for a little while.
There are two things I would have liked to have known before jumping into these books.
- Just One Day does not actually take place over the course of one day. I expected this because of the title and the fact that Gayle Forman’s If I Stay does happen over the course of twenty-four hours. The significance of both books’ titles are metaphorical.
- Just One Year does not actually continue the timeline. Instead, it is the same story, but from Willem’s perspective. It’s fascinating and definitely enriches the reading experience, but it won’t necessarily satisfy the But What Happened?! feelings that might occur after finishing the books.
I never read novellas, but Just One Night by Gayle Forman is something I’ll be picking up for a little more closure. Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner has a great review of the final part of Allyson and Willem’s lives we get a glimpse into.
I left Just One Day and Just One Year on a book trade bookshelf in a hostel in Dublin. Maybe the books’ next owner will have more romantic inclinations. I’d kind of like to think so.
*Looking back, this was probably for the best.