When Min and Ed break up, Min leaves him a box filled with the tokens of their relationship and tells the story of their love and heartbreak.
A young adult version of David Levithan’s Dictionary for Lovers, Ed and Min’s story is one many will relate to, both adults and teens. A lot of teens will be reeled in by this love story between two people from very different sides of the river; Min, an aspiring film director, and Ed, the co-captain of the basketball team. The dynamic and difficulties between them was very real and relatable, particularly about Ed’s use of the word “gay,” at least in my opinion. I was very glad Handler touched on that, as telling someone that what they’re saying is offensive, particularly if you’re in a friendship or romantic relationship, can be very difficult and I felt the way he dealt with it in the book was quite accurate.
I also liked the way Handler wrote the dialogue between Min and Ed. It was interesting to see how the way they talked to each other evolved throughout the relationship.
I also liked how complicated Ed’s character was. At times I actually felt like he was more dynamic than Min, though she was the main character, because she was always described in the same way (“arty” or “different”) and she didn’t seem to go through as many changes as Ed did. I liked that on the surface he was this kind of jerky, athletic dude but he would do lots of things for Min that were out of his comfort zone. It really did seem like he appreciated the fact that Min was “different,” which was nice to see in a fictional young-adult lit boy.
I have to say though, I personally did not really understand why Min fell for Ed. They really were just so different, and he did a lot of asshole-ish, entitled things that made me wonder why she tolerated him. I still think that their relationship was conceivable; of course people don’t date others who are exactly like them, otherwise, what would be the fun? I just felt like Min and Ed’s temperaments were so different that really, their relationship was doomed from the start.
Despite my personal feelings about Min’s poor taste, this was the best young adult romance I have read in a long while.
Dictionary for Lovers–David Levithan (his first adult novel!)
Encyclopedia of Snow–Sarah Miano
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares,
Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist,
and Naomi & Ely’s No-Kiss List–Rachel Cohn & David Levithan