A Taxonomy of Love

Featured
 
3.7 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1066   0
Write Review
A Taxonomy of Love
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
16+
Release Date
January 09, 2018
ISBN
1419725416

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too. Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

The Story of a Friendship--and More!

Spencer feels like an outsider. His mom left the family when he was five. His dad and brother exclude him as they bond over competitive sports and the outdoors. He's teased mercilessly by kids who think he's a freak thanks to the tics that come with Tourette's Syndrome. And he's pretty sure that no girl will ever like him--especially since the minute a girl meets his brother Dean she immediately falls for him, and Spencer is relegated to the role of geeky little brother rather than potential love interest.

Then, when Spencer is thirteen-years-old, a beautiful, cool, smart girl moves in next door. Hope is the same age as Spencer, and she treats him like a real human being. In fact, they become friends--best friends.

A TAXONOMY OF LOVE by Rachael Allen follows Spencer and Hope from age 13 to 19. The story of their friendship is a standard one with ups and downs, crushes and jealousies, intimacies and periods of not speaking, and hurts, triumphs, and dramas. Spencer's struggles to work through the challenges presented by Tourette's syndrome add an extra layer to all aspects of the story without overwhelming it. Spencer is the primary narrator of A TAXONOMY OF LOVE, and his voice is great. His and Hope's relationships with their families, friends, and each other all ring true, and the varied problems faced by them and the other characters in the book ensure an opportunity for engagement for most readers. The taxonomies/flow charts that Spencer draws as he works out things that bother or interest him are little bonus sections that make the story all the more fun. I'm especially happy that there's a book out in the world that allows teens with Tourette's syndrome to see themselves in literature in an overwhelmingly positive light. Spencer's Tourette's is a part of his life, of course, but it definitely doesn't define him.

I really enjoyed hanging out with Spencer, his friends, and his family. A TAXONOMY OF LOVE is well written and character driven, and it makes me want to read everything else that Rachael Allen has written.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Good Points
Enjoyable primary characters
A unique main character
Well written
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

An Endearing Love

A story of love that spans a childhood.

The story:
Spencer is a lonely boy with Tourette's when he meets Hope. He's learned to categorize people into the ones who make fun of him or shy away from him and the ones who don't. To his surprise, Hope is the latter. She is everything he needs. A friend, a protector, a confident. But growing up tends to complicate relationships between boys and girls. As they age, Spencer falls deeper in love with the friend he thinks will never be his. They go through many years of heartache until they're ready to finally be who they're meant to be.

What I loved:
This book made me cry and I love to cry when reading because it means I've made an emotional connection. There are things that happen in these pages that just gut the reader. It's easy to feel sorry for Spencer. There's so much emotion packed into these pages. A lot of the things that happen are things anyone who is or has been a teenager can relate to. The author perfectly depicts those awkward years.
The best part was the treatment of Spencer's Tourettes. Anyone who has ever been different can relate. The reader gets an inside look at every cruel remark or embarrassing moment and Spencer's strength in dealing with them.

What was just okay:
Neither Spencer or Hope were particularily likable, especially Hope - even before the tragedy. So much of the drama could have been cleared up with just a little honesty and some of the things she did or choices she made didn't make much sense.
The book is written in quite a young style for characters who are having some of the raw experiences for the first time. That being said, I still read it in one day.

Final Verdict:
A cute story of longing throughout the awkward teenage years that packs an enormous amount of emotional punch.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Kai's summer changes when she gets a summer internship at...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Zoe is just your average teenage girl expecting another average,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frango & Chicken
Some things seem impossible, but with the right attitude and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Lane
Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Girl Gone Ghost
A gripping psychological thriller. Inspired by a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice
A perfect tool for young readers as they grow into...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Texas: 1931. It’s the height of the Great Depression, and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Voyage of the Dogs
SOS. Ship damaged. Human crew missing. We are...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Flying in a Cage
A song tugs inside me, like a string pulling...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shorty & Clem Blast Off!
The energetic and zany duo Shorty and Clem are back,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Bear's Spooky Book of Hidden Things: Halloween Seek-and-Find
If you want to keep kids happily busy for hours...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Strange New World
Dahlia 16's life is a lie. The city of...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Like Never And Always
Liv Burnham thinks nobody knows Morgan Frost like she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outcasts- The Blood Dagger: Volume 1
Mystical relics. Powerful vampires. Strange allies. It's hell being...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Side by Side A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
 
4.3
"Bonnie Parker is waiting for Clyde to be released from prison. It's 1931 and she wants him to come..."
Here to Stay
 
4.7
"Bijan Majidi does okay in high school-- he has a good friend, Sean, is on the basketball team, and while..."
Hiding Lies
 
5.0
"HIDING LIES is the second installment in the Eleanor Ames series. It begins with Ellie and Miles saying goodbye since..."
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3)
 
5.0
"Apollo, now known as a human teenager named Lester, must restore five Oracles that have gone dark in order to..."
The Red Ribbon
 
5.0
"Fourteen-year-old Ella is striped down and treated as subhuman by the Nazis and tries to survive. When she hears of..."
Strange New World
 
4.3
"Dahlia 16 just found out her whole life is a lie and that she's not a clone after all...."
Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3)
 
5.0
"After their disastrous climb in The Edge, Ethan, Alessia and Peak are looking for some adventure that is a bit..."
Uncle Tom's Cabin
 
5.0
" “Any mind that is capable of a real sorrow is capable of good.” To be..."
Brave New Girl
 
4.0
"All Dahlia 16 knows is that she's just one of five thousand identical girls that's sole purpose is to work..."
The Last Best Story
 
4.7
"'The Last Best Story' by Maggie Lehrman is provocative and intriguing, bringing a shadow of a doubt to the truth-finding..."
Picture Us in the Light
 
2.0
"I tried, but I just could not finish this book. I could only make it to chapter three. It is..."
Little White Lies
 
4.0
"LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a novel mashup of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in..."
Missing at 17
 
3.0
"When Candice, better known as Candy, discovers that she's adopted, she feels betrayed and angry. These negative emotions make her..."
Let Me List the Ways
 
4.3
"'Let Me List the Ways' by Sarah White is a breezy and engaging look at the relationship between two best..."
LIFEL1K3
 
4.3
"LifeL1k3 is an engaging novel full of incredible writing, violence, action, romance, and strong world-building. Told in third person, and..."
Playing Her Secret Crush
 
4.0
" "Playing Her Secret Crush" follows Katie and Alex as they enter their senior year of high school. Katie has..."
The Year of Living Awkwardly
 
4.7
"Chloe Snow is a high school sophomore who is struggling with the abandonment of her mother. She also is absorbed..."
Six of Crows
 
4.7
" A clever and dark YA fantasy—featuring a well-rounded cast paired to a heist plot that tugs at the mind..."
Three Dark Crowns
 
2.3
"Original Review: literarychaos.com Rating: 2.5 Stars I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, I just..."
These Rebel Waves
 
4.7
"THESE REBEL WAVES is the first book in a fantasy duology by Sara Raasch. The story is told in third..."