A Taxonomy of Love Book Pdf ePub

A Taxonomy of Love

3.89679 votes • 198 reviews
Published 09 Jan 2018
A Taxonomy of Love.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
ISBN 1419725416

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

"A Taxonomy of Love" Reviews

- Australia
Fri, 22 Sep 2017

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.
• 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
• Spencer is too adorable and I love this
I 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.

- Toronto, ON, Canada
Wed, 14 Mar 2018

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.

Mon, 18 Dec 2017

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
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!
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!

- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Tue, 04 Jul 2017

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 ➹
Sat, 26 Aug 2017

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?
-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?

Mel (Epic Reading)
- Calgary, AB, Canada
Sun, 03 Jun 2018

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 Issues
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.
All the feelings
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: Epic Reading
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.