A Taxonomy of Love
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.    

A Taxonomy of Love Details

TitleA Taxonomy of Love
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 9th, 2018
PublisherHarry N. Abrams
ISBN-139781419725418
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A Taxonomy of Love Review

  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Ahh this was cute and angsty and angstily cute! I'm turning into a monster who likes to read fluff, ok, (although this is fluff + serious issues = and done so well I am a FAN) and naught will stop me. Also I read this in just a f ew hours with only 2 breaks!! This is a big deal for I, who has the attention span of a headless gnat!!Also total shout out to books that do neurodiversity so well!That's like 98% of the reason I wanted to read this, okay!? The protagonist, Spencer, has Tourette's Syndr Ahh this was cute and angsty and angstily cute! I'm turning into a monster who likes to read fluff, ok, (although this is fluff + serious issues = and done so well I am a FAN) and naught will stop me. Also I read this in just a f ew hours with only 2 breaks!! This is a big deal for I, who has the attention span of a headless gnat!!Also total shout out to books that do neurodiversity so well!That's like 98% of the reason I wanted to read this, okay!? The protagonist, Spencer, has Tourette's Syndrome! I can't speak for the authenticity, but just the way neurodiversity was handled (yas I am neurodiverse too) was EXCELLENT. And also this book (a) was CUTE and books about disabilities so rarely get cute story lines so afjkdsla this is important, and (b) it smacked down abelism beautifully, and (c) the finale of the story was not a tragedy of how TS ruins ~everything~ as so often happens in books. (Like holy heck we neurodiverse people deserve to have stories where the disability IS NOT the tragedy.)Anyway I am pleased. Can you tell.OKAY BUT HERE'S WHAT TO EXPECT:• It's actually a book that spans 7 years!• So there's like 3 or so chapters per year for Spencer being 13 to 19• Spencer has Tourette's• It also discusses racism, ableism, and grief really well• He's in love with the girl next door, Hope (or in love with the idea of her?!)• There's also some letters and texts from Hope's perspective• He likes bugs and writing taxonomies• There's lots of talk of travel and natural wonders of the world• There is a frikkin' heck of pie• It also has lots of wrestling which I am less thrilled about but ok, i survived• THE COVER IS SO PRETTY• Spencer is too adorable and I love thisI just can't even with how cute Spencer is! I loved how he was simultaneously dorky and nerdy but also kind of a jock?! And I just loved watching him grow up (his voice matures as the book progresses too) so character development was A+ the WHOLE TIME. And look his Tourette's made life hard sometimes (like it physically hurt when he'd tick so hard he'd hurt his body) but he wasn't full of self-loathing about it. This book kind of just says "Hey being different is hard sometimes and sucks but it's also COOL and when you find your people, life can be really good."I kiiind of struggled with Hope?! I though she was realistic, but I kind of wasn't rooting for them to get together lmao I'm sorry. I'm not a romantic.Also it was just really addictive and fun to read. Fast too! I mean, I KEPT READING INSTEAD OF WONDERING OFF which is usually me. But Sundays full of books are the best kind of sundays. Fite me. This is true.There were a few things I didn't like?? But they're pretty "this is just me". Like, it's very Southern and I hate with a wild passion guns and hunting...Spencer isn't exactly into it, so there's not a LOT in the book. But like the dad has a gun cabinet in the house and just...ugh. I know it's an American thing but it creeps me the heck out. I also didn't love Hope. It bothers me that no one really did anything about how badly Spencer got bullied in Middle School (wtf, why didn't his parents help??). And because of the whole "we cover a year in 3 chapters" ...just sometimes things happened so sharply?! Like turn a page and BOOM it's a year later and these people are broken up and these people are hating these people and...WHY DID THIS HAPPEN OFF PAGE.It seems like a lot of peeves, but it's really not! They are tiny squishes against a book I love love love.So this is absolutely one I'm just going to hug. My heart is very full! Every kind of minority needs books that are hard-hitting BUT we also need books that are cute and warm and are filled with family/friends who care. Don't get me wrong: This book has some tough/dark moments. It is NOT full of cotton candy. But it's just a squish of delight and I want 9 more thank you so much.
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  • Skyler Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars I am going to be part of Toronto's Audible Book Club with a special celeb guest as host, and as host, she got to pick the book and her favourite genre (unlike mine) is YA. So as soon as I found out the selection I was royally disappointed I thought YA contemporary romance! UGH! Hard Pass. I thought this book was going to be like every John Green novel filled with melodramatic teenagers waxing poetry and philosophical questions and just having emotional depth way beyond their years. I 3.5 Stars I am going to be part of Toronto's Audible Book Club with a special celeb guest as host, and as host, she got to pick the book and her favourite genre (unlike mine) is YA. So as soon as I found out the selection I was royally disappointed I thought YA contemporary romance! UGH! Hard Pass. I thought this book was going to be like every John Green novel filled with melodramatic teenagers waxing poetry and philosophical questions and just having emotional depth way beyond their years. I don't know about you but when I was a teenager my emotional depth was the equivalent to one of those inflatable kid's pool and I definitely didn't experience any earth-shattering first loves. My crushes back then were fleeting and the boys that fluttered in-and-out of my life couldn't fill the first chapter of a YA romance let alone an entire novel, they could, however, create one hell of a stand-up comedy routine. SO imagine my surprise when I found myself completely engrossed in this novel. Taxonomy of Love follows the adorable relationship of Spencer and Hope from 14 to 19. I know! I gagged a little when I heard the premise but our protagonist Spencer and his barrage of insane, adorable rambling, and insecure inner dialogue draws you in from Chapter one. Not only is Spencer a lovable sweet nerd but he has Tourette's Syndrome, it was both heartbreaking and inspiring to read about a character with Tourettes and the ongoing day-to-day struggles he is faced with. I've never read about Tourettes before and this was a really interesting and informative (I hope, I didn't fact check if the portrayal was correct) read.Honestly, if it wasn't for Spencer, and his character development and humorous personality I would have found this book interchangeable with many YA coming of age novels. It was very predictable and formulaic, I knew what characters not to get attached to right out the gate and I understood the stereotypes others were going to bring to the table about a sentence into their dialogue. You see the ending coming a mile away, and you rest assured in that knowledge through the chapters and all the obstacles the characters face. But although the predictability was there I still found myself grinning, and tearing up right on cue. I enjoyed this book more then I thought I would and although I'm not planning on hitting up the YA section in Indigo anytime soon this novel certainly is encouraging me to read outside my comfort zone because just like now I may be pleasantly surprised with what I find.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael AllenPublisher: Amulet BooksPublication Date: January 9, 2018Rating: 3 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):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 ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael AllenPublisher: Amulet BooksPublication Date: January 9, 2018Rating: 3 starsSource: ARC sent by the publisherSummary (from Goodreads):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.What I Liked:I'd heard great things about this book, and while I'm not a YA contemporary fan (definitely not a tough-issue contemporary person), I was curious enough to want to know more about it. This book broke my heart in many ways, but it was really and truly inspiring and hopeful. It wasn't an easy read but it was a meaningful one, and I'm glad I took a chance on it. This book begins when Spencer is 13 years old, and his new neighbors are moving in. That is when he meets Hope. He likes Hope immediately; she is nice, fun, and she doesn't think he is a weirdo because of his Tourette Syndrome tics and sniffs. But his older brother Dean also thinks Hope is cool. As the years go on, Spencer and Hope are friends... Dean and Hope are a couple... and then they're not... Spencer and Jayla are a couple... Hope and Mikey are a couple... and so life goes. This book is a story of broken hearts and painful sibling relationships, or loss and life, and misunderstandings and lost time. It ends with Spencer being 19 years old, and thus closes the story after six years.Most of the story is narrated by Spencer, though occasional chapters are letters from Hope to her older sister Janie, who travels to third-world countries to do humanitarian work (if I remember correctly). Spencer is a different kind of male protagonist, primarily because he has Tourette Syndrome (and you don't find a lot of YA books featuring characters with Tourette Syndrome - definitely not them being protagonists). Spencer is an intelligent, clever, logical kid who has his quirks and eccentricities but really is a good kid. He has the worst luck, falling for his best friend. His best friend Hope, who ends up dating his big brother Dean.I have to say, I didn't always like Hope. She didn't seem to think things through, and she definitely wasn't a big fan of communication, from what I could see from her side of her friendship with Spencer. I didn't think she was good for Spencer at all, whether as a friend, or what he wanted (her as his girlfriend). I began to like her more as the story went on, but I was totally rooting for Spencer to not end up with her. You can imagine how messy this book is. Messy isn't always bad because life really is messy. Relationships are messy. Nothing is ever black-and-white, like we'd hope. The relationships in this book are very muddled. Spencer has been in love with Hope for forever. Hope has been interested in Spencer for forever but... she gets with Dean for stupid reasons. And then she gets with Mikey after a bad breakup with Dean. Spencer starts dating a girl named Jayla, and I shipped them so hard. I was so hoping they would be endgame. But like I said... messy.So I wasn't really a fan of the romance (except Spencer and Jayla, but even then...). The relationships I DID like were the slow development of Spencer's relationship with his dad; Spencer's great relationship with his stepmom Pam; Spencer's friendship with Paul, and eventually Traven. I liked seeing these more positive, healthy relationships blossom, because goodness knows none of the romantic relationships were healthy. Not even Spencer and Jayla's, and I had been shipping them. But some of the family relationships and friend relationships were really beautiful to see grow and unfold.I personally thought the author did a great job with Tourette Syndrome representation. I knew a few students in primary and secondary school that had Tourette, but I don't really know much of the specifics of the syndrome. To me it seemed like Allen did her research and really understand the depth of the syndrome and how it affected life for the character, and the surrounding characters. And of course, the taxonomy illustrations at the beginning of each chapter (most chapters, anyway) were really cool. They definitely tied everything together! I would occasionally skip one (because I was engrossed in the story) but I always came back to read that taxonomy that I skipped because they were interesting, and mostly foreshadowed that chapter's events.This story was really hard to read, because it's heartbreaking (especially in terms of Spencer/Hope, but also for other reasons). But I'm glad I gave it a chance. It's worth the read and makes you think about things like relationships, and loss.What I Did Not Like:My personal opinion: I thought Hope was kind of a toxic character, especially for Spencer. She seemed to be a negative influence in his life and didn't act like much of a friend. She started dating Dean and I thought that should have been the end of her and Spencer's friendship. Spencer didn't take it well (Hope and Dean dating), and I think he should have cut the friendship at that point. Hope was not a very supportive friend and didn't do a good job of being Spencer's friend. I hated when she walled herself off from Spencer and how much time they wasted not talking to each other, because of Hope's hardheadedness. Anyway, even if Spencer hadn't had feelings for Hope, I still would have wanted him to distance himself from her. She was toxic for so many reasons, before and after the big loss in her family.In all honesty I was so hoping Spencer and Hope would not end up together. I thought Spencer and his girlfriend Jayla were great together! (Until Jayla did something awful.) I definitely didn't want Spencer and Hope together. So that was disappointing. Would I Recommend It:I do and don't recommend this book. If you're a YA contemporary fan, especially if you're a tough-issue contemporary fan, then I DO recommend this book. You'll probably love it - it's very well-written and so thought-provoking. But if you're not a YA contemporary person? Don't even bother considering reading it. It's not a non-contemporary-fan's type of read, for sure!Rating:3 stars. I am glad I gave this book a chance. It made me think and reflect on my own relationships, past and present. But it wasn't a book that I loved or totally enjoyed. This type of contemporary really isn't for me but I'd hoped that I would like it. But I think it wasn't for me!
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  • Paulo Ratz
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 estrelasUm dos YAs contemporâneos mais legais que eu já li! Amei a oportunidade de ter lido com antecedência ao lançamento.. o livro só sai em janeiro de 2018 lá nos Estados Unidos.O livro acompanha a vida do Spencer e da Hope, dos 13 até os 19 anos de idade. Spencer tem Síndrome de Tourette e Hope se muda para a casa ao lado da dele logo no começo da história. Pode parecer que vai ser óbvio o que vai acontecer, MAS NÃO! Muita merda acontece, gente.A coisa que eu mais gostei nesse livro é qu 4,5 estrelasUm dos YAs contemporâneos mais legais que eu já li! Amei a oportunidade de ter lido com antecedência ao lançamento.. o livro só sai em janeiro de 2018 lá nos Estados Unidos.O livro acompanha a vida do Spencer e da Hope, dos 13 até os 19 anos de idade. Spencer tem Síndrome de Tourette e Hope se muda para a casa ao lado da dele logo no começo da história. Pode parecer que vai ser óbvio o que vai acontecer, MAS NÃO! Muita merda acontece, gente.A coisa que eu mais gostei nesse livro é que, basicamente, eu sou Spencer e Hope ao mesmo tempo. E amei as referências de cultura pop, até porque grande maioria delas são à musicais da Broadway, especialmente de Hamilton! Sério <3.Tem representativade, tem tragédia, tem vários romances e ai... gostei demais!
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    Book #3 for the Contemporary-A-Thon, for the challenge of (and dont laugh okay):""read a contemporary with orange on the cover"NOW LISTENif you look REALLY closely, you can very clearly see there is indeed orange on this cover.....also the spine is orange okay dont @ me
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  • ilsa ➹
    January 1, 1970
    Can you hear those vague squeals from the other end of the world and i just feel those FEELS and JUST eep! What is happening to me? I don't like contemporaries. REMEMBER. wait, I like this book. Scrap that I love it. This is about a boy with Tourettes called Spencer who loves insects and animals and helping everyone out and is so dorky and smol and ruins so much yet you still love him. And he's basically this little enthusiastic bean who has emotions like 'OMG PANCAKES THIS IS HAPPENING' and kn Can you hear those vague squeals from the other end of the world and i just feel those FEELS and JUST eep! What is happening to me? I don't like contemporaries. REMEMBER. wait, I like this book. Scrap that I love it. This is about a boy with Tourettes called Spencer who loves insects and animals and helping everyone out and is so dorky and smol and ruins so much yet you still love him. And he's basically this little enthusiastic bean who has emotions like 'OMG PANCAKES THIS IS HAPPENING' and know how to describe things pretty well. And did I mention he's dorky and he's ALL THE AWKWARD - OMG HE IS SO DARN RELATABLE OKAY? And can I mention his syndrome was SO WELL REPRESENTED? It didn't define him at all, it wasn't the plot or storyline and OKAY CAN I HUG THIS BOOK NOW?This is about a girl called Hope and she's freaking bad-ass. She doesn't take crap from ANYONE, stands up for herself and everyone else so bad. And she wants to travel the world and she is basically the character I am squealing over, Ilubhersomuch. Did I mention she reads Laini Taylor's books? HAHA YES, SHE READS BOOK and again I just want to be best friends with her!Oh, and there is the so god-damn beautiful relationship between Hope and her sister Janie. And not just any old good but like the best kind. They do everything together and squeal and talk and have sibling fights and tell each other everything and just #GOALS. And I could just relate so much, okay?Have we talked about everything yet? Have we talked about Dean yet? And his brotherly relationship with Spencer. Or how have we talked about awesome Mimi is and how she says 'No' to slavery and own her life? And have we talked about this dad that goes from a jerk to all the awesome? Smol LIST OF GUSHES.-That cover which is just darn gorgeous. this is important okay. AESTHETIC IS LIFE. -the little 'taxonomies' list. UM YES. And the emails and texts and stuff. I love books with unique formatting- the way it handled grief so well and at the same time funny and swoony. Perfect balance.-the way the writing is so clever and sneaky and just bursting and i love it so much asdfghjkl-The way everything is developed so beautifully you could cry??????-FOOD.Oh, and it appreciates latte and ice cream and lasagna. I'M HERE.And I want friends like Spencer's because they watch movies together and watch the stars and I am jealous okay?This was a very odd book. It 's very weirdly paced like it happens over what? 5 years yet I finished this in one day. But i'm totally okay with that! And it's kind of dual narrated but more Spencer than Hope which again I am fine with! I don't think it really affected my feelings about this book except this was the damn opposite of insta love. basically, it's not 'ASDFGHJKL' it's 'asdfghjkl' my feelings right now are just hey can i coddle this book?
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is adorable! I don't usually like contemporary teen books but am so glad that every now and again I am reminded of why I read them. I don't know how close to being a teenager Rachael Allen is at the time of writing this; but it feels genuine. The narrative, dialogue, taxonomy and journal entries all really worked well together giving this diverse book unique diverse ways to tell it's story! Neuro IssuesThis book focuses on two teens: our main narrative, a boy with Tourette's syndrome; This book is adorable! I don't usually like contemporary teen books but am so glad that every now and again I am reminded of why I read them. I don't know how close to being a teenager Rachael Allen is at the time of writing this; but it feels genuine. The narrative, dialogue, taxonomy and journal entries all really worked well together giving this diverse book unique diverse ways to tell it's story! Neuro IssuesThis book focuses on two teens: our main narrative, a boy with Tourette's syndrome; and a girl who (early on) loses an important person to her. Both are well done but certainly our lead guy is the primary character for this story. As with many neuro disorders it is hard to hide the external signs. I have overactive nerves and constantly have people ask me if I'm okay because my legs are twitching or vibrating. There is nothing I can do about it, and like our lead guy, thinking about not doing it only makes the sensation and compulsion worse. Allen clearly did her homework when it comes to the embarrassment and awkwardness that comes with Tourette's and I commend her for making her lead boy someone completely average that happens to have a neuro disease. Additionally she deserves HUGE props for talking about medication, it's side effects and the continuing struggle to balance medication, side effects and life. I struggle with this on an almost daily basis myself for both my nerve disorder pain and my anxiety. It's refreshing to see an author include medication conversations and considerations as part of the normal everyday life of someone with a neuro disorder or disease. All the feelingsLike many contemporary teen books, The Taxonomy of Love, takes it's reader on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. There are no moments where I felt the emotion or events were cheap, unrealistic or overplayed. It was like Allen had been in the minds of each teen she wrote about and understood how they would have reacted and felt. It's impressive to write teenagers so well and without it coming across as drama for the sake of drama. Be prepared as there are tear jerker events, heartbreak, disappointment, etc. As well as bullying, first time having sex, suicidal thoughts, and other moments that may be difficult to handle. But amongst all those events and feelings are ones of trust, love and survival. If nothing else I would say Allen is telling a story of teenagers who survived being a teenager. While I am 20 years away from having been a teenager, I still remain glad that I survived that stage of life. And survival seems the right word for what most of us experience as a teen. I think this book will help teenagers feel a little more normal and (maybe) gain some perspective into their own confused and overpowering feelings. OverallI really enjoyed this quick read. The taxonomy is cute; however I would have liked a bit of a lesson on taxonomy. While I personally know what it is, I believe there are many teens and adults that wouldn't. So I take one star away because the one thing Allen fails at is educating the reader on what taxonomy is and why it is used. A little ironic given the extensive use of taxonomy and it's use on the cover of the book. While I want books to be fun and enjoyable; I do like learning things as well. This seems like an easy teaching opportunity that was missed. I would highly recommend this for boys or girls that are over 13. There is one scene in which it's a little nerve wracking as a character has a suicidal moment. It's brief and not focused on (I can't spoil why, but I promise it makes sense); however, it could be traumatizing for a pre-teen to read. That said it's a quick read so if you want to read it in advance before giving it to a teen I don't think even adults would be disappointed.For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at: Epic ReadingPlease note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing is wrong with this one, exactly. More of a matter of personal taste. And misplaced expectations. Something just isn't clicking here.This was a solid case of 'it's me, not you'. Well, kind of. I will admit to going into this with high expectations, because a) its formatted uniquely and science-y and I love these two things quite a lot, b) the book is broken down into years; ie age thirteen, age fourteen, all the way to nineteen, which seemed really cool, c) I actually don't mind the frien Nothing is wrong with this one, exactly. More of a matter of personal taste. And misplaced expectations. Something just isn't clicking here.This was a solid case of 'it's me, not you'. Well, kind of. I will admit to going into this with high expectations, because a) its formatted uniquely and science-y and I love these two things quite a lot, b) the book is broken down into years; ie age thirteen, age fourteen, all the way to nineteen, which seemed really cool, c) I actually don't mind the friends-turned-lovers trope, d) the cover is too gorgeous for anything ugly inside, and e) I saw quite a lot of positivity surrounding this lovely mint-green book and was thus assured of the fact that I will love it.But, as it is, these aforementioned points all lied to me. Or misled me. Or maybe the book's simply not good enough. Whatever the case may be, A TAXONOMY OF LOVE left me with a sour taste in my mouth and a newfound hate for friends-turned-lovers trope. Even though I liked it. And even though I picked this book up precisely for that narrative.Alright, first things first: let's talk positives. Because yes, I may severely dislike a book, but that doesn't discount any strengths included in it. Or I'm just trying to stay friendly here. But regardless: positives. Let's go.L I K E S- It does feature a narrator with Tourette's syndrome. And it does go into the specifics, like treatment and doctor visits and the like. Although I personally know the facts surrounding Tourette's, I have no way of knowing if the rep as a whole was a 100%. I'd truly love insight from readers more experienced than I, so I can't truly judge accuracy here. But generally speaking, and the reason this is placed under the Likes section, is because I'm just glad we have a lead with this condition. I haven't seen Tourette's repped in YA before.- The formatting, as mentioned above, was super interesting. In addition to having parts broken up by the characters' ages, we also get cute little taxonomy charts labelling everyday things ... like Spencer's crushes (what.) I just love books with doodles, and I definitely got that here. Also, the cover is basically one giant doodle. And the colors are doctor-y with that mint green and pale pink spine. Look, all I'm saying is this: If I had to judge on physical appeal alone, this book would be an all-time favorite. For real.Unfortunately, those are all the positives I got. I tried finding more, I swear. But there just aren't any more to pull out.Onwards.D I S L I K E S- I hated Hope's character almost as much as I hated Spencer's. And when both leads suck majorly for you, I'm not sure there's anything even left in the story to enjoy. Hope was basically a manic dream pixie girl. She was THE definition of that trope. She's irritating and impulsive and reckless to a point where I just simply couldn't fathom why Spencer was so drawn to her. She's mean. She's hella moody. She toys with Spencer and his feelings in the most disgusting of ways. And if the entire premise of the book centered on the reader shipping the two, you could see why I was left just a liiittle but angry at the whole thing. Stay away from each other, my children, and move on. But they don't, and they insist on pining after each other, and drama ensues. And I nap.I think I've made it quite clear that I am not much for drama.- Any character that was not Spencer or Hope was as two-dimentional as an old Disney movie. Meaning: there was no character development for the side characters. NONE. No one has any personality, and when the book spans five-ish years and the leads have new friends that pop up with no 3D-ness whatsoever, the names start looking more like an attendance roster than actual characters breathing on the page. Spencer had three friends, and I kid you not, I could not tell them apart. Same personalities and boring teen boy jokes and flirting with the girls and the like. Excuse me if I napped, but half the time I kept forgetting who was who, and the other half I couldn’t bring myself to care. Harsh? Yeah. But I’m not getting much to work with here to keep me positive. Or nice.All in all? A solid no from me. These kinds of stories need the reader to like the characters, ship them, and care about those around them. The characters did nothing for me, unfortunately, so we can all see why this one went south. For me, at least.*sigh* What a waste of a pretty cover.Thank you, Abrams, for the ARC!
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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Spencer is a bug lover and all around nerd who understands that one never grows too old to climb trees. He also has Tourette syndrome. When Hope moves next door the summer before seventh grade he understands right off that she's special but that because of that last label he may never get the girl. As they grow up together and experience the growing pains of life in high school (sibling feuds, family tragedies, new relationships and broken heart Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Spencer is a bug lover and all around nerd who understands that one never grows too old to climb trees. He also has Tourette syndrome. When Hope moves next door the summer before seventh grade he understands right off that she's special but that because of that last label he may never get the girl. As they grow up together and experience the growing pains of life in high school (sibling feuds, family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts) they are only one step away from each other, but it may as well be a mile. The short review...GAH!! Spencer and Hope as young teenagers totally captured my heart!! It was that perfect time before high school where feelings are raw and beautiful and not yet complicated by feelings of impending adulthood. I feel like I raced through the book and was engaged the entire story because of this STRONG start. Spencer is who I really bonded with... his Tourette syndrome was shown so spot on that I felt like I understood what he and others with it have to go through as teenagers.It's not clear from the premise that there were large time jumps. At first I didn't like it but then about halfway it started to make sense. It became fascinating and I only wish that those jumps were more defined with dates or seasons to help me know how much time passed. I did feel that the passage of time was important for Hope. This book was really from Spencer's POV but we got this lovely time from Hope's POV early on so that we could understand her later in the story. This is totally a romance albeit crossed with a cute coming of age for a boy!Cover & Title grade -> A-GAH!! I totally love this cover!! It totally drew me in and captured my attention. If not for that unique slant on contemporary YA I probably wouldn't have even stopped to read the premise, and what a tragedy that would have been! For a male POV contemporary I thought this was a great title and focus. The ONLY thing that could make this better is that ALL the taxonomies throughout the book be drawn in this style (though b&w would work fine).What saved the book from being a 3 star?!The time jumps! Yeah I know at first I was put off but that was because they weren't clear. Because Hope was dealing with grief, true life altering grief, the only medicine is time. I LOVED that Allen didn't shove that healing into a year of HS and snap Hope was emotionally stable again. That isn't how it works. It's great that the target audience can see how long real grief can have you in its grip and that poor choices may be part of it.The sex talk! You probably didn't expect that... as I don't really want to read about anyone having sex but the sex talk between Spencer and Hope about a girl's first time was a great way to show those reading who are of an age or coming on it, how they OUGHT to be treated. And BEST OF ALL it is never confirmed or denied that Spencer had that first time with his first girlfriend.The talk of racism! I LOVED Jayla. I loved all the things Spencer loved about her, her love of gossip and how she shone in the spotlight. There is a powerful bit of dialogue about racism when his dad insensitively supports an issue in front of Jayla. And there is an issue Jayla feels is racism in action at school. Personally I know of others in her situation who felt EXACTLY like she did except they were NOT a POC. So was what Jayla experienced really racism? This kind of discussion is powerful and NEEDS to be explored!!As a Writer...I was engaged! I said it in my mini-review and it is totally the strength of the book (and why I constantly preach building sympathy with the reader for your protagonist)! I cared about Spencer and the feelings he was going through, not only with Hope, but his Tourettes, his relationship with his brother and dad, his love of his stepmother but also the hope of his mother's happiness, wrestling and needing that outlet as well as a sense of belonging to the HS crowd while having to own the fact he's different from many of them. The narrative power of the book really sold the story for me even though I didn't agree with some of way things were developed. I literally cringed at moments in the plot and shrunk, hiding my face from the book! There were details of Spencer I wanted incorporated more, like his love of bugs (and I wish I had been able to read each taxonomy) but these became moot in the face of CARING so much for this precious cinnamon roll!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingBOTTOM LINE: Tourettes + Spencer * Hope = The BEST!Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    This book!!! I cried so many tears today - happy tears, sad tears, broken hearted tears, frustrated tears, but in the end, I cried tears of joy. This book had an intro letter from the editor, which called this a YA When Harry Met Sally, and I have to agree with her assessment. It was a tough 6 year journey with Hope and Spencer, but I am so happy I took it. In the introduction by the editor, this book was cited as a YA When Harry Met Sally, and I have to say, that was a great reference for this This book!!! I cried so many tears today - happy tears, sad tears, broken hearted tears, frustrated tears, but in the end, I cried tears of joy. This book had an intro letter from the editor, which called this a YA When Harry Met Sally, and I have to agree with her assessment. It was a tough 6 year journey with Hope and Spencer, but I am so happy I took it. In the introduction by the editor, this book was cited as a YA When Harry Met Sally, and I have to say, that was a great reference for this story of friendship, family, love, and growing up.Fact: She makes bullies twice her size cower in fear (which suggests mind control, or at the very least, otherworldly bravery.)I am a fan of male-female friendships, and this one was really special. When Hope and Spencer first met, I knew immediately that they would play a special part in each others lives. I loved that at 13 years old, Hope was able to see beyond Spencer's tics, and that Spencer was able to find a kindred spirit, who would listen to him talk about bugs and climb trees with him."Spencer, what are you looking at?" asks Pam.Some things can stun you into absolute honesty. "The most beautiful girl I've ever seen."Watching Hope grow and change over the years was tough. She started out as a sort of Luna Lovegood (her own description), and she was very precious when we first met her. Her life had quite a few major ups and downs, and she didn't always deal with them in the best way. I think I shed the most tears for her, but through it all, Spencer never gave up on her. *Crying*"I was gonna go climb trees. You wanna come?"OMGPANCAKES, IS THIS REAL LIFE???From page 1, I was head over heels in love with Spencer. I knew when I started this book, that I would be spending several years with him, and the whole time I kept hoping that he would stay the sweet cupcake of a boy he was when I met him. I worried about him often, because things were not easy for Spencer. He experienced a lot of disappointments and was often targeted by bullies, but he was lucky enough to have some great people in his corner, who were looking out for him.I hate how the swearing is what everyone things when they hear "Tourette's syndrome".Recently, I have been reading more and more books featuring neurodivergent characters, but this is the first one I have read spotlighting Tourette's syndrome. Like Spencer laments, I have only really seen swearing TS characters and some with tics, but I was never aware of all the different symptoms some people experience or how physically taxing they could be. Allen did such a good job conveying Spencer's feelings and his personal struggles, and I appreciated the bit of education Allen gave me on that and on the "social model of disability". Sometimes, it's good to have someone call my attention to such things, and I will admit, I went on to read more about both things."Yeah, and maybe it isn't about finding a way to make yourself fit," says Paul. "Maybe it's about finding the other people who don't fit the same way you don't fit."As previously mentioned, Spencer didn't have it easy, but eventually, he found his tribe. It was quite a wonderful and eclectic group Allen assembled for him, and I also loved that they embraced this idea of not changing in order to fit in, but rather, finding people they fit with. It's a beautiful concept. I also got to see Spencer's relationship with his father and his brother improve, and his step mother and grandmother were always fabulous allies and supporters of his. In fact, I thought Mimi needed more page time, because she was one super-fabulous grandma.Something falls out of the tree and splats against the rocks below. My heart. I'm pretty sure it's my heart.My heart went splat quite a few times as I read this book. I got snippets of Spencer and Hope's lives from age 13 to 19, and it wasn't all sunshine and unicorns. Their friendship had many dark days. It evolved and changed as they evolved and changed. My heart broke, ached, and soared for these two. It was quite an emotional journey, which Allen wrapped up quite nicely. I pretty much jumped for joy reading the epilogue, because I got answers, and that is all I am ever asking for in an ending.I was throwing away my dreams, and you were literally picking them up.There were several things I loved about the format of this book. This book was broken up years, and each part highlights the major things that happened in Hope and Spencer's friendship. It's like a highlight reel, and I really got to see how their outlook on things changed as they matured. Most of the book is told in a narrative format from Spencer's point of view, which I loved, but we also got to be in Hope's head at times. Her POV was accomplished via emails and texts to her older sister, and they really added something special to the story.Overall: A beautiful and honest look at how messy relationships can be, which took me through a full range of emotions, but in the end, left me elated.*I would like to thank the publisher for the review copy of this book. BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Juan Manuel Sarmiento
    January 1, 1970
    Me alegra ver cómo poco a poco están saliendo cada vez más novelas con diversidad en sus personajes para incluir protagonistas con enfermedades mentales (otros ejemplos: Buscando a Audrey; Aquí empieza todo; Made you up). Ahora le ha tocado el turno a Rachael Allen y el Síndrome de Tourette, algo de lo que nunca había leído antes (en una novela).Reseña completa en THE BEST READ YET BLOG
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  • Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
    January 1, 1970
    Have mixed emotions but mostly, I really liked it 💕
  • Minnie Anders
    January 1, 1970
    A Taxonomy of Love follows Spencer and Hope from the day they meet, at age 13, all the way to age 18, with a short epilogue after, of age 19. But even before they get there, to the grand finale (of the story), we see them go through all their teenage years, growing up, and going through the ups and downs of life.Question: Is it a spoiler to say (if) they end up together?The story is mainly shown through the point of view of Spencer. He loves bugs, the science of taxonomies, and he has Tourette’s A Taxonomy of Love follows Spencer and Hope from the day they meet, at age 13, all the way to age 18, with a short epilogue after, of age 19. But even before they get there, to the grand finale (of the story), we see them go through all their teenage years, growing up, and going through the ups and downs of life.Question: Is it a spoiler to say (if) they end up together?The story is mainly shown through the point of view of Spencer. He loves bugs, the science of taxonomies, and he has Tourette’s. And even though it is a pretty big thing, it didn’t define his character. He was a regular person that did regular people things, but he had an extra something. And it was interesting reading this story because I have only heard of Tourette’s and Spencer was living with it so that was cool to read about through his own self. But aside from that, he was a sweet, maybe a bit naive, boy who really developed throughout the book, and his teenage years. He went from feeling like an outcast and keeping mainly to himself to being a literal champion. And it was nice to see Spencer grow and come into his own confident self. And we do get Hope’s pov a bit. This part was through letters, emails, and messages written to her sister Janie. Overall, I did not like Hope’s character. She was definitely a manic-pixie-dream-girl. She was the girl next door who Spencer fell in love with at first sight. She was a dreamer. She was quirky and seemed perfect. And I didn’t really get her. In the book, she goes through a really tough tragedy and I felt sorry for her but there comes a time when you have to stop suffering, be strong, and focus. After the tragedy, Hope was reckless, impulsive, moody, came off as selfish and didn’t make very great choices. And I don’t think it was after that I just started disliking her. (view spoiler)[I think it was even before when she started dating Spencer’s brother. (hide spoiler)] So, overall, I very much disliked Hope’s character. Which leads me to the romance: I was not a big fan mainly because I didn’t like Hope and couldn’t see why Spencer liked her. He was in love with the idea of her and I wasn’t.The biggest problem (of the entire book): For me, was that the story wasn’t continuous. A year would go by really fast since we only got pieces of each year. In the story, things would happen instantly because the story was missing the in-betweens of what happened during the events shown. I kind of got lost a couple of times where exactly in the year the events were taking place.The ending: (view spoiler)[What I didn’t understand was why/how Spencer, after breaking up with his girlfriend Jayla (of 2 years!), went to loving Hope instantaneously. I know, he never stopped, but still! (hide spoiler)]So the actual ending was nice and sweet. It made me smile but I thought it was a little too perfect and clean-cut. It was the ending to literally every rom-com ever. The guy runs to get the girl, for the final time, before it’s too late. I call it The Race to the Finish. They live happily ever after.Overall, the book was enjoyable. I was laughing, smiling with joy, and rubbing my forehead with frustration (maybe that one’s not so great). I loved the story’s focus on family and friends and the love there was. I loved that it dealt with serious topics like racism, ableism, and death. It was not a lighthearted story as I thought it would be (why did I think that? I think it was the cover.) It was a bit too teenage angst but what do you expect, they’re teenagers! And I too am a teenager. 3.5 stars
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsI really am the worst buddy reader ever BUT THIS WAS SO CUTE HOW COULD I NOT BINGE IT (so sorry though Henn). But this was so cute! I loved the neurodiversity! Plus, so cute!! RTC maybe?
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    “Sometimes you have a day that is so epic that you know, even before it’s over, that it’s going to be one of the dozens that you remember forever.” I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Release date was January 9th, 2018.A Taxonomy of Love had ALL the feels. It was cute, it was happy, it was sad (omg, was it sad!), it had me tearing up, it had me laughing, there were times I was annoyed, and times I was angry. Like I said, it had all the feels. I think all that makes “Sometimes you have a day that is so epic that you know, even before it’s over, that it’s going to be one of the dozens that you remember forever.” I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Release date was January 9th, 2018.A Taxonomy of Love had ALL the feels. It was cute, it was happy, it was sad (omg, was it sad!), it had me tearing up, it had me laughing, there were times I was annoyed, and times I was angry. Like I said, it had all the feels. I think all that makes for a good book, especially if you’re able to connect with the characters and experience all of the feelings and emotions they are going through. I felt that when I was reading this book and Rachael did a good job with writing it.The book stars off with Spencer and Hope being in just seventh grade and it following them all through high school. It was really cool getting to see all the characters in this story grow and navigate life and high school. It wasn’t always easy for Spencer (especially in his younger years) since he has Tourette Syndrome. I felt so bad for him a lot of the time and I was rooting for him every page. It felt like he had to try 100 times harder than everyone. Hope had her own struggles through the years as well. It wasn’t always easy for her, but I think in ways both Spencer and Hope got through things because they had their friendship.There were also times where Hope made me pretty angry as well. I felt so protective of Spencer, so anything that was against it made me mad or annoyed me though. So many other great characters in this story as well as the MC; like their families, although Dean (Spencer’s brother) was questionable at times. There were also times I did think things were a little weird or didn’t make sense to the story. It also jumped around quite a bit without warning. Like first they were in seventh grade and then all of a sudden it would be months or a year later without warning. So had to figure that out. I’m also not sure if that’s just the way that the e-ARC was setup, because there weren’t always breaks or headers other than “chapter numbers” or when Spencer created a taxonomy list.Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I am really happy that I was given the opportunity to read it. There were a lot of things to take away from this and it was interesting to learn a little about Tourette Syndrome. I haven’t read any books that had a character with TS, so that was also cool about reading this one. New experiences and learning things I don’t know a whole lot about. It was just released earlier this month, so definitely go check it out!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Where to start?!The cover is amazing, the chapter headers are the cutest, and I absolutely love the taxonomies interspersed throughout. I love YA books with complex families and present parents, parents (and siblings) with personalities and house rules and names!"Maybe it's about finding the other people who don't fit the same way you don't fit""If it's a matter of us versus them, I always want to be on the side of people who choose kindness over hate."I laughed, I cried (a lot), I honestly love Where to start?!The cover is amazing, the chapter headers are the cutest, and I absolutely love the taxonomies interspersed throughout. I love YA books with complex families and present parents, parents (and siblings) with personalities and house rules and names!"Maybe it's about finding the other people who don't fit the same way you don't fit""If it's a matter of us versus them, I always want to be on the side of people who choose kindness over hate."I laughed, I cried (a lot), I honestly loved it. I want to hug Spencer and Hope and I legit hugged this book.I can't wait for this story to be out in the world ❤️
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Is there a way to understand and capture the complexities of life, friendship, and love? A Taxonomy of Love is a sweet story that captures all the magic and heartbreak of friendship and growing up.When the new girl moves in next door, she and Spencer become strong friends. Who else but Hope could understand Spencer's love of bugs and climbing trees. Who else could understand the ways in which he is different and yet not treat him as if he is any different at all. But sometimes life is messy and Is there a way to understand and capture the complexities of life, friendship, and love? A Taxonomy of Love is a sweet story that captures all the magic and heartbreak of friendship and growing up.When the new girl moves in next door, she and Spencer become strong friends. Who else but Hope could understand Spencer's love of bugs and climbing trees. Who else could understand the ways in which he is different and yet not treat him as if he is any different at all. But sometimes life is messy and not as easy to categorise as Spencer would like. Friends, more than friends, not friends at all? A Taxonomy of Love spans seven years. Written in six parts, plus an eliplogue, this book starts when Spencer is thirteen, picks up again when he is fourteen and continues revisiting him for a chunk of time each year until he and Hope are nineteen. In this way we readers get to view the journey of Spencer and Hope's friendship, from their early teen years and their first days as friends spent climbing trees and making plans for the future, through family tragedies and other relationships, to times when they were not speaking and times when they were each other's rock. This large timespan also allows readers to watch Spencer and Hope grow up. It made me really proud to see what sort of adults they were becoming, watching how their pasts shaped them, but also how the choices they made changed them. These six parts do mean that a few things are skipped over. We don't get to witness first-hand all the major events of their lives. But this worked surprisingly well, and it was always fun to begin a new part and catch up on the events of the past year. All the chapters are written from Spencer's point of view, however, throughout the novel Hope's perspective is shared through her journal entries and emails and texts to her older sister. These are particularly prominent during a traumatic time in her life and they help readers to understand what she is feeling and experiencing - if only poor Spencer could have had the same privilege. But misunderstandings, distance, and hurt are all part of life, as Spencer learns.A Taxonomy of Love is about love and romance, but it is also about so much more than that. Spencer has Tourette's syndrome and his journey of understanding and accepting this, or rather, more importantly, how he sees other people accepting him, is a prominent and important part of this book. So too is his relationships with his father and with his brother. Along with the complexity of his friendship with Hope, Spencer has other friendships and relationships and the glimpses of these help us to understand Spencer and who he would like to be. Wrestling, too, becomes an important part of Spencer's life. It is all these little things that connect to make up the bigger story, one that is - at its heart - a simple but powerful journey of a young boy growing up, learning, falling in love, and accepting himself.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Maggie • Library of Colors
    January 1, 1970
    Also posted at Library of Colors.I feel like I should preface this review to say that I’ve solely been reading YA contemporaries over the past couple months. I’ve devoured one, sometimes two a week, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. So, when NetGalley approved an eARC of A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen for me, I dove in head first - what a great swim it was! This book will stand out in the sea of contemporaries that I’ve been reading.“Maybe it's about finding the other people who don't Also posted at Library of Colors.I feel like I should preface this review to say that I’ve solely been reading YA contemporaries over the past couple months. I’ve devoured one, sometimes two a week, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. So, when NetGalley approved an eARC of A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen for me, I dove in head first - what a great swim it was! This book will stand out in the sea of contemporaries that I’ve been reading.“Maybe it's about finding the other people who don't fit the same way you don't fit.”The first thing I loved about this book is the fact that I feel more informed and sensitive to things. Reading about Spencer’s Tourette’s helped me to see what that would be like, and how to react in those moments. I also loved the subtle - I mean, maybe not so subtle - hints of equality in the book. It wasn’t the main focus, but it’s always relevant, especially in the South and in a high school in the South. Ultimately, these pieces made the book feel real. It made the love story take a back seat sometimes, and I - surprisingly - wasn’t upset!Spencer’s character is down right hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud all the time at what would go through his head and out of his mouth. The way he went about and handled life was so fun to follow. I love that he was a nerd and jock and “the kid with Tourette’s” all at the same time. His complexity was refreshing after so many male characters in YA books seem one dimensional - broody and sad or cool but “understanding.” Spencer is weird! Spencer loves his stepmom! Spencer goes to camp and talks about how to cope with things! I love Spencer. And I love that Spencer plays Magic.Side note: I’m glad we never experienced Spencer at camp. I feel like that’s a totally different book, and the omission of it was right. I liked hearing about what he learned and that he always went.Oh, Hope. How I relate. Tragedy is something I haven’t had to deal with much in my life - praise the Lord - but I know being a girl in high school is hard. Well, that was an understatement, but you get what I mean! Confusion about who you should be with and like and surround yourself with is rampant in those ages. Fighting what your heart says with your mind was (read: is) the headline for my life! Again, another “realness” factor.I didn’t find myself squealing quite as much in this book as I have with other YA contemporaries. This was more a coming of age novel of a young guy. A young guy who’s in high school in Georgia and deals with that while having Tourette’s and falling in love with his neighbor. The last piece was what drove the story, but the other pieces really are what kept the story alive. I devoured this book, and I can’t wait for others to read Rachael Allen’s novel.As for who should read this: I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has loved Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley or Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I got a lot of the same feelings in this one. I hope you enjoy this book when it’s out in January of 2018, and thanks for reading!
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*
  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    Not going to rate the book because I kind of skimmed/skipped through a bit of it in the interest of time. (As I am typing this, it is 3 am.)LIKES- Exploration of grief and relationships. I loved seeing Spencer grow into his friendships and family relationships - especially as this book takes place from the preteen to young adult years. Although I didn't agree with the way Hope handled her grief, I thought it was very heartaching and reflective of many such situations in real life.- Neurodiverse Not going to rate the book because I kind of skimmed/skipped through a bit of it in the interest of time. (As I am typing this, it is 3 am.)LIKES- Exploration of grief and relationships. I loved seeing Spencer grow into his friendships and family relationships - especially as this book takes place from the preteen to young adult years. Although I didn't agree with the way Hope handled her grief, I thought it was very heartaching and reflective of many such situations in real life.- Neurodiverse representation.I could tell that the author put in a lot of effort to create an authentic voice for Spencer, who has Tourette's Syndrome. It's not a huge point of the book, but definitely shapes the way he behaves and how people treat him. I also really liked Spencer's voice - way way more than Hope's. - Just how realistic it was.Although I didn't agree with certain paths that the story took, I think Allen did a great job in showing how complicated and messy life can become. The narrative really got me thinking (many points of the book were quite existential) of how sometimes things happen in life just because of convenience, or no good reason at all. This happens quite a lot in this book. DISLIKES: - The romantic entanglements. (This was such a huge factor.)I really thought this would be a light romance with a focus on family/friendships/growth, but there's a surprising amount of romantic thoughts, and with various people. The lead ship is Spencer and Hope, but Hope ends up dating Spencer's brother Dean and I was not having it. Like I said above, there are certain parts of this particular plot that really demonstrate how life can be, but truth be told I still couldn't really enjoy it as a reader. Both of them date other people, but I didn't think it was fair at all to those particular supporting characters (especially as the break-ups are led with those characters doing something that couldn't be condoned). You had me with the adorable narrative, but I left after the messy romance. - Insignificant aspects for the sake of angst.Once the high school drama came into this book, I quickly became disengaged. I'm honestly becoming so picky with my contemporary books, and clearly this one had a bit more angst than I usually go for in a story. I didn't see how Spencer liked Hope despite all she did and I just *clenches fist* think he deserves better. Anyway, I can't say more about this particular detail because (thankfully) I skipped/skimmed these parts.I think this will be right up contemporary readers' allies. But for all the cuteness that the blurb advertised, I find it weighed down by plot points that I couldn't find myself caring for. Despite that, I did enjoy the narrative (and style), Spencer's character, and his developing relationships with the people around him. I do wish that romance would not have been such a large focus.Content Warnings: grief, bullying, ableism, mild sexual content
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  • *Ritzrenee*
    January 1, 1970
    GOOD SOOO GOODI enjoyed every bit of this!This book reminded me of What to Say Next. Weird guy stumbling over love, friendships and growing up. I really enjoyed this book because it felt realistic and very relate-able. The milestones to growing up as the story progresses together with the different events occurring really captured how a real life romance would be. Puppy love to teenage love... how long would either last? And those taxonomy images? It was really interesting especially the taxono GOOD SOOO GOODI enjoyed every bit of this!This book reminded me of What to Say Next. Weird guy stumbling over love, friendships and growing up. I really enjoyed this book because it felt realistic and very relate-able. The milestones to growing up as the story progresses together with the different events occurring really captured how a real life romance would be. Puppy love to teenage love... how long would either last? And those taxonomy images? It was really interesting especially the taxonomy of Hope's smiles one. So cute and maybe i might be inspired to do one of these taxonomy for my loved ones!
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  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    So I made sure to be the one to check the mail. Every day for a whole year, I opened the box and reached for a letter that never came. How am I ever supposed to figure anything out when such a big piece of me is missing?It would be more of a 2.5-star rating but that's not an option, is it? I'm not much of a contemporary enthusiast. It's that kind of genre that just does not surprise. A Taxonomy of Love has it all - a protagonist with Tourette's Syndrome, a cool love interest, a golden-boy brothe So I made sure to be the one to check the mail. Every day for a whole year, I opened the box and reached for a letter that never came. How am I ever supposed to figure anything out when such a big piece of me is missing?It would be more of a 2.5-star rating but that's not an option, is it? I'm not much of a contemporary enthusiast. It's that kind of genre that just does not surprise. A Taxonomy of Love has it all - a protagonist with Tourette's Syndrome, a cool love interest, a golden-boy brother, a diverse main-ish character, a love triangle (or a love square?) *sigh*, family issues, tragedy, even a representation of an LGBTQ+ relationship is thrown into the mix *cheers*. So why only two stars? Well, that's simple - because it was just like every other contemporary YA book.You're a dark tunnel. In the distance, there's the faintest circle of light, so you know it's possible to feel good again someday, but at the same time, it feels like you'll never get there. All the steps are made with such painful slowness, that maybe you don't even want to try. Maybe you want to curl up in the middle of the tunnel and stay there. Maybe forever.I did have a bit of an issue with the writing. I felt like the author couldn't decide what style she wanted to use, so she mashed up two incompatible ones and it just doesn't work out. One moment the narrator would use the teenage-boy speech, the next he would get into a poetic description of his deepest, most dramatic feelings which he would end with a phrase along the lines of "or something," as if the author suddenly realized that the main character was a 13-year-old boy not a middle-aged essayist. Talking about 13-year-old boys, I was immensely frustrated throughout the whole first half of the book. Spencer was almost unbearably annoying up until he turned 16. The second half turned out to be a huge improvement, though I still found myself rolling my eyes in exasperation here and there.I hated having you gone, but every time you came back, it was like our lives were one long conversation and we had just paused for a second to catch our breath.However mediocre it may have been, A Taxonomy of Love did deal with serious topics, which I do appreciate. First of them, and the one that was given the most attention, was Spencer's Tourette syndrome and how it caused him to be excluded, how it made him feel like he didn't belong. Albeism is a huge problem that is not given half the attention it should get. A Taxonomy of Love portrays this issue with respect and care. Racism, in my opinion, could have been handled better. Tragedy and coping, which were, once again, two of the main focuses of the book, were shown through Hope's characters and let's just say that it felt very raw and natural. The book also touched on the topic of bullying, but it wasn't really dealt with in any greater measures and kind of stopped once (view spoiler)[Spencer started wrestling (hide spoiler)].In the end, (view spoiler)[the underdog wins the game and gets the girl, what more can you ask for? (hide spoiler)]If it's a matter of us vs. them, I always want to be on the side of people who choose kindness over hate.2 (and a half) it-was-just-fine stars.Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for kindly allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    For more of my reviews, visit my blog, As the Book Ends or follow me on my Bookstagram!Have you ever bought a book because Bookstagram told you to? I have purchased SO MANY books because they were featured by someone on feed or story. This is, fortunately, one of them! One of my favorite accounts featured this ARC on her page and just gushed about how great it was. So, of course, I had to have it the minute it came out.I am SO happy that I picked this one up, it may be one of my favorite contemp For more of my reviews, visit my blog, As the Book Ends or follow me on my Bookstagram!Have you ever bought a book because Bookstagram told you to? I have purchased SO MANY books because they were featured by someone on feed or story. This is, fortunately, one of them! One of my favorite accounts featured this ARC on her page and just gushed about how great it was. So, of course, I had to have it the minute it came out.I am SO happy that I picked this one up, it may be one of my favorite contemporaries this year. I loved the main character Spencer so much. He was relatable and quirky and just such a good person. It was enlightening to learn about his Tourettes and his tics. The bug facts, while unexpected, were interesting and fun. I also really liked the Taxonomy charts that were drawn throughout the book. I just can’t say enough good things about Spencer, the man is the definition of a cinnamon roll. (To save you all some time, I’ve pasted the urban dictionary definition of cinnamon roll at the end of this review).Another thing that I really enjoyed about the book was the way that the author gave us insight into Hope’s mind through her conversations and letters to her sister. Even though she wasn’t the main character, and didn’t get her own narrative per se, I was able to completely connect with her. I could feel her grief and frustration.The best part of this book, for me, was watching the two of them grow up together. A Taxonomy of Love begins when Spencer and Hope are 13 years old, and ends when they are 19. The author did an incredible job of showing Spencer’s growth and development through his character’s narration. As the chapters progressed, and Spencer aged, I could feel the change in his thoughts, in his character. It was just so well done and kept me completely enthralled.My Takeaway: This was such a wonderful book, filled with humor and grief, love and character growth. The main character, Spencer was both hilarious and relatable. I loved the focus on his Tourettes and the way that I as a reader got to grow with him. **Urban Dictionary definition of a cinnamon roll: A character that is very kind and sweet but faces more hardship and suffering than they truly deserve. Comes from the usage of an article headline from ‘The Onion’ titled ‘Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good For This World, Too Pure.’ to describe a person or character that is very good but faces a lot of pain in their life.**
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  • Clephiro
    January 1, 1970
    A Taxonomy of Love is a such a lovely book in many aspects, however, there were a lot of parts that just made me want to throttle the two main characters. Or at least lock them in a closet together so they could actually talk out their problems.Spencer and Hope live next door to each other. Spencer has a crush on Hope, who, in his eyes, is the perfect girl. Hope and Spencer become friends and share in many experiences over their childhood and into their teenage years. At least until Hope begins A Taxonomy of Love is a such a lovely book in many aspects, however, there were a lot of parts that just made me want to throttle the two main characters. Or at least lock them in a closet together so they could actually talk out their problems.Spencer and Hope live next door to each other. Spencer has a crush on Hope, who, in his eyes, is the perfect girl. Hope and Spencer become friends and share in many experiences over their childhood and into their teenage years. At least until Hope begins dating Spencer's older brother Dean. After tragedy strikes, Hope changes and the two grow apart. Eventually though, they reunite and discover that they still have feelings for each other.Things I wished I knew prior to reading this book:*It spans Spencer and Hope's childhood and into adulthood (13-19)*Spencer has Tourette's Syndrome, and from my untrained eye, it appears to be portrayed well in the book*There is a lot of science in the book, kind of casually thrown in, most likely because Rachael Allen is working on a Phd in neuroscience (HOW COOL IS THAT?)It was an enjoyable read, except for the angst-filled teenage years in which Spencer and Hope just needed to TALK about things. There were some super cute moments, I just wish that some of the conflict can from something other than their ability to communicate.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a sweet romance/coming of age/slice of life book that goes deeper into the idea of being an outsider/considered different. I loved the taxonomy pages- they were a great touch. Allen deftly navigated the balance of Tourette Syndrome being a prominent aspect of Spencer's (the main character's) life and a crucial component in how he has been shaped growing up, yet at the same time not making that what the novel is about. Oh and Hope was a great character. Even though we didn't get much from This is a sweet romance/coming of age/slice of life book that goes deeper into the idea of being an outsider/considered different. I loved the taxonomy pages- they were a great touch. Allen deftly navigated the balance of Tourette Syndrome being a prominent aspect of Spencer's (the main character's) life and a crucial component in how he has been shaped growing up, yet at the same time not making that what the novel is about. Oh and Hope was a great character. Even though we didn't get much from her perspective, I liked the windows into Hope through her communications with Janie and thought Allen nailed the sister relationship pretty well (or at least one version of it). Oh and the setting was interesting in that it was noticeably there, but in a way that didn't feel.. natural? Some times it felt like Allen was tapping you on the head, saying "hey look around you" and I can't tell yet how I respond to that. It was good that you were *made aware* but then at the same time I could just imagine someone checking references off of a check list during the editing/writing process which pulled me out.All-in-all super cute novel that actually made me interested in bugs!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Every fan of YA needs to make this one a priority for 2018! The characters are dynamic and easy to become emotionally attached to. The story flows well despite the great span of time covered in just over 300 pages. I look forward to seeing 'A Taxonomy of Love' become a bestseller in the coming year.
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  • Curtis
    January 1, 1970
    Few stories have pulled me in so thoroughly as the journey of Spencer and Hope.Fantastic writing coupled with a great story which spans the ups and downs of growth -- personal, interpersonal, and romantic -- through adolescence.Read this book. ASAP.
  • Julia Frampton
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute read! A little fluffy and the characters - though drawn well - irritated me at times. I was inclined to give it one fewer star because of this, but I think this YA novel dealt with a lot of important issues in intriguing ways and I'm happy to know many young adults will be reading it!
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  • Jinghay (TheSecretNoceur)
    January 1, 1970
    The majority of this book was just so frustrating and I honestly wanted to walk up to some of the characters and shake some sense into them like "Dude stop! You're going in a big circle again, just TALK to one another for once, pleaseeee? You're killing me over here!!"But the epilogue kinda salvaged my rating from a 2 star to a 3.5
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  • Vani
    January 1, 1970
    A Taxonomy of Love caught my attention right away! First, the title. I love it. The cover is adorable, and so apt. And the description of Spencer, our narrator, who has Tourette Syndrome (something I hadn’t seen in a book, and certainly not like this), and who is obsessed with the idea of classifications and taxonomies. I knew I would love it, and I did.The Writinghere pulls off something I think can be super difficult, which is that through the one book the kids age quite a bit. At the start, S A Taxonomy of Love caught my attention right away! First, the title. I love it. The cover is adorable, and so apt. And the description of Spencer, our narrator, who has Tourette Syndrome (something I hadn’t seen in a book, and certainly not like this), and who is obsessed with the idea of classifications and taxonomies. I knew I would love it, and I did.The Writinghere pulls off something I think can be super difficult, which is that through the one book the kids age quite a bit. At the start, Spencer and Hope are just thirteen. Their crushes are very indicative of children that age. By the end, they’re nineteen! It’s a huge leap. The story takes place in separate parts for each age, and it does mean we miss a lot. For instance, we leave one year with Spencer and Hope not having spoken for a while, and when the next part starts, they’re friends again. This can be SO incredibly hard to pull off, and it is done so well here. The kids genuinely feel like they age without becoming whole new people, and it doesn’t feel rushed.There’s also just a lot here that’s special. Most of our chapters are from Spencer’s point of view, first person present-tense narration. We also get some instant message (is this antiquated phraseology? Am I showing my age?) conversation between Hope and her sister, Janie. As well as letters from Hope to Janie. Interspersed throughout are little taxonomies, written out by Spencer, and they are so fun.The CharactersThis is so special to me, because the characters and my opinions of them changed quite a bit!First, we have Spencer. He is just such a wonderful kid. We watch him go through so much. Not only his interest in girls starting to peak, but his life with Tourette Syndrome, his relationship with his brother (always perceived as perfect), the abandonment of his mother, his relationship with his father and stepdad. There is A LOT here, and I rooted for him the entire time. He’s also just such a good guy. Given his relationship with Hope, I was genuinely amazed and thrilled that the phrase “friend zone” was never thrown around.Hope goes through her own arc, and thank goodness, right? Because how often do we see these stories from boys points of view where they chase their manic pixie dream girl around and we have no idea about what’s even going on with her. Hope is a person. She’s flawed, she deals with her own grief, and she’s not always entirely likable. I think it’s perfect, necessary that she’s like this. Her grief is so realistic to me, and I definitely felt for her even when I didn’t really like her.The side characters are fun. Spencer eventually has some great friends. His brother and father also both go through incredible transitions.The Representation As I mentioned earlier, I’d never read a story about someone with TS! And definitely, absolutely not like this. I hadn’t seen one as the main protagonist. And when I have seen them, they’re often in movies to be laughed at (think Duece Bigalow: Male Gigalo, if you’re old enough). This is an honest depiction of a kid trying to have a normal life with tics, and it’s so great.Spencer also has an interracial relationship at one point, and they’re not shy to talk about the issues. They live in Georgia, and he talks a lot about being both proud and embarrassed of where he’s from. His girlfriend isn’t cast in a play because the male lead is white and they don’t want them to kiss on stage. They discuss the removal of the Confederate flag from the school, and how the kids are no longer allowed to wear it, and we get to see some interesting growth from Spencer’s brother and dad over it. The discussion about race playing a decent size while not being what the story is about is a huge deal to me.My Final ThoughtIs that this is a fun, easy read that will most definitely tug at your heartstrings!Thanks to NetGalley for advanced access to this book in exchange for an honest review!
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