A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: YA Lit

Medium: Paperback, ARC

Synopsis: Spencer meets Hope just before 7th grade.  It’s not necessarily love at first sight, but it’s something.  Over the course of five years, the two become intertwined whilst struggling with Tourette’s, death, older siblings, and school.

Review: This book taught me so much about love, friendship, death, feelings, and Tourette’s.  This book is so well designed and so well written that it would be a crime not to share it with you all.  Spencer loves taxonomy–classifying things into groups and subgroups helps him understand them better.  And each new year begins with a taxonomy diagram featuring what just might happen in the following section.  And it’s usually pretty dang funny.

This book also makes great use of different storytelling abilities.  It features both classic storytelling, instant messaging, and letters.  It also switches between Spencer and Hope’s points of view to give a better rounded view of what’s going on in their respective personal lives which helps elaborate on their personal and interpersonal struggles.

What I also really appreciated was how the emotions played out.  Because the characters were angry.  And sometimes suicidal.  And happy.  And confused.  And it all felt so realistic.

I also truly appreciated how much I learned about Tourette’s, and how Allen was effortlessly able to slide in information about ableist language and how different medications can affect people without seeming overbearing or too distracting from the plot.

Overall, this is just a beautifully tailored coming of age story that I think will immediately enrapture all of its readers.

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