Hey guys! As I write this I’m in the car on the way up to college! Today is move in day and I’m so scared/excited. This book actually made me cry because it was so poignant particularly right now.
I received an advanced readers copy of “A Taxonomy of Love” by Rachael Allen (pub Jan 9th, 2018), and it blew me away. This story follows two kids, Spencer and Hope, from the summer before 7th grade until they graduate high school. Spencer has Tourettes and enjoys creating taxonomies of the people in his life. Hope is a runner and she loves climbing trees and going on adventures. Her sister Janie does volunteer aid work in other countries, and Hope dreams of someday helping people like her sister. But when tragedy strikes, Hope and Spencer’s friendship changes forever.
This book was incredible. It followed the kids for 5 years and I really felt like I got to watch them grow up. Rachael Allen did something very challenging; she managed to create a very true midgrade voice in the beginning, and then shift it to a YA voice later in the novel. This takes some serious writing skill, and Rachael Allen did it flawlessly.
The passage of time in this novel was both exciting and heartbreaking. We saw Spencer and hope go from awkward, exuberant little kids to passionate, exciting adults. Books like this are few and far between, and it was incredible to find one as skillful as this.
The friendship and romance in this story were so true and full of heart. Rachael Allen creates a relationship that we all recognize: a best friendship that changes and shifts as the kids grow. It’s always shifting; sometimes Spener and Hope are close, sometimes they aren’t, sometimes one is crushing, sometimes the other. But they are always there for each other.
This novel also touches on some important political topics currently. Set in Georgia, the issue of the Confederate flag and racism run throughout, and are discussed in a thoughtful, meaningful way. This always stands out to me; when YA treats teens as knowledgeable, capable human beings, and acknowledges that they deserve books that understand this.
Overall, this book was a funny, sweet novel full of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would definitely read it again.
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂