A Taxonomy of Love

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 Spen...

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Title:A Taxonomy of Love
Author:Rachael Allen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Taxonomy of Love Reviews

  • Paulo Ratz

    4,5 estrelas

    Um 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 estrelas

    Um 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!

  • ilsa ➹

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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!

    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 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?

    -

    this is important okay. AESTHETIC IS LIFE.

    -

    UM YES. And the emails and texts and stuff. I love books with unique formatting

    -

    and at the same time funny and swoony. Perfect balance.

    -

    and sneaky and just bursting and i love it so much asdfghjkl

    -The way everything is developed so beautifully you could cry??????

    -

    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?

    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

  • C.G. Drews

    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!!

    That's like 98% of the reason I wanted to read this, okay!? The protagonist, Spencer, has Tourette's Syndr

    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!!

    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

    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.

    • 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 this

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

  • Dani - 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

    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.

    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!

    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).

    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!!

    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 Building

    BOTTOM LINE: Tourettes + Spencer * Hope = The BEST!

    ______________________

    You can find this review and many others on my book blog @

    . See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

  • Mel (Epic Reading)

    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!

    This 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!

    This 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.

    Like 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.

    I 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:

  • Alyssa

    ***

    ***

    A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

    Publisher: Amulet Books

    Publication Date: January 9, 2018

    Rating: 3 stars

    Source: ARC sent by the publisher

    Summary (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

    ***

    ***

    A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

    Publisher: Amulet Books

    Publication Date: January 9, 2018

    Rating: 3 stars

    Source: ARC sent by the publisher

    Summary (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!

  • may ❀

    ✔ Book #3 done for the Contemporary-A-Thon

    Challenge: "

    "

    this book was so sickly cute i got nauseous from just reading it (okay im exaggerating, sliiightly)

    - this book spans over many years, starting from when the mc is 13 and ending when he is 19

    - the mc is a precious sweet little soft boy named spencer and her has

    - i loved how we got to see spencer dealing with his condition throughout his life and how we see that it isn

    ✔️ Book #3 done for the Contemporary-A-Thon

    Challenge: "

    "

    this book was so sickly cute i got nauseous from just reading it (okay im exaggerating, sliiightly)

    - this book spans over many years, starting from when the mc is 13 and ending when he is 19

    - the mc is a precious sweet little soft boy named spencer and her has

    - i loved how we got to see spencer dealing with his condition throughout his life and how we see that it isnt the end all to who he is

    - yes, it isnt so great all the time, he describes moments when he has this

    and it feel like hes snapping in half and then there are days when his medication is working well for him and he feels fantastic

    - but hes so much more than just a boy with Tourette's

    - he loves bugs and insects and memorizing facts about them and drawing out taxonomies of

    and wrestling and being a sweet little bean

    - and hes also hopelessly in love with his next door neighbour

    - also i found this video on youtube and gosh it broke my heart to see how badly some of these kids are treated, THEYRE SO SMOL AND YET PEOPLE ARE SO MEAN, WHY but its so eye opening bc people around us are facing these conditions are we're so,,,,ignorant to it

    -

    - back to the book, the writing was easy to get through, i've found this to be the same with Rachael Allen's other book too. she definitely knows how to craft a story

    - theres discussion on racism and abelism which i thought was super cool

    - one character faces the death of a very close person to them and the grief was written really well

    - I LOVE THE TAXONOMY CHARTS AND THE LETTERS

    - i literally love any sort of graphic in books (its the artist deep, deep, deep down inside me)

    - its really really sickly sweet

    - like maybe a little too much

    - i can only handle so much cheese okay im sorry

    - also there were moments when these kids were actual trash bins (when they were younger) and bc of the time spans, we just kinda skip 3 years and then WOW WE'RE ALL HAPPY FRIENDS

    - and instead im like but that little bish was a rudemouth a chapter back???

    - uhhhh Hope

    - this girl

    - this fricken girl

    - look shes a really strong and fierce character

    - i love seeing female characters who stand up for themselves and kick butt and have a strong voice

    - but this bish was kinda really awful to my boy spencer and it was just kinda left in the air

    - and then a *3 years later* lolz we're besties again

    - honey no

    - the romance was kinda lackluster for me as well

    - i liked them better with other people lol oops sorry goodbye

    -

    was left in the lost and found and no one came to pick it up :(

    - i

    its a contemporary and its totally cool for contemps to have no plot beyond the couple getting together but meh, not my cup of coffee (see what i did there, bc all cups of tea are

    cup of tea.....except earl gray. earl gray is really gross)

    anywho, good book, read it for my cutie spencer

    3.5 stars!!

  • Skyler Autumn

    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

    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.

  • Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak

    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.

    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

    -

    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.

    -

    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

    -

    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.

    -

    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.

    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.

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