A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

My Rating: 3/5 Stars!

Publisher: Abrams Kids

Publish Date: January 9th, 2018

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


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.

Opening Sentences: “Two important things happened the summer I turned thirteen. Hope moved in next door.”


A Taxonomy of Love is an adorable cute novel that I honestly really enjoyed. It is a love story that I never would have expected and it feels a lot like life in a lot of ways.

Spencer and Hope always took a spot in each other’s lives that was one step outside of love. As they grow older and they fall in and out of each other’s and in and out of others lives their relationship takes on different meanings. I love how authentic the taxonomy aspect to this book shown through it was really well done.

Another interesting aspect of this is that Spencer has Tourette’s Syndrome. It adds this other layer of how Spencer gets treated and how he lives his life slightly differently then everyone else. In a lot of ways as each person in the novel gets comfortable with Spencer and his Tourette’s the condition becomes something that is almost apart of the background. It really made it so that Spencer was not sort of an embodiment of Tourette’s for us to read about, but just a character who happened to have Tourette’s and I really liked that about this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice and easy romance book that reads like a wonderful contemporary slice of life.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

9 thoughts on “A Taxonomy of Love: A Review

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