A Taxonomy of Love

Rachael Allen. Amulet, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2541-8
Over the span of six years, Spencer and his neighbor Hope oscillate between being best friends and virtual strangers. When they first meet, he’s a gawky 13-year-old with Tourette’s syndrome, and she’s a fearless wannabe adventurer. Spencer provides the lion’s share of the narration, accompanied by flowchart-like taxonomies that he uses to try to chart and define their intense bond. Intermittent passages from Hope—usually conversations with her older sister, Janie—flesh out her side of the story. Spencer’s anxiety seeps from the page as his everyday interactions comingle with his intrusive thoughts. But Hope’s life is far from perfect: she falls for Spencer’s older brother, grapples with a death in the family, and enters a self-destructive phase of grief just as Spencer is gaining social traction among his classmates as a wrestler. Allen (The Revenge Playbook) presents an honest look at adolescent attraction and life with a neurological disorder in a story populated by fully believable characters who are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in the world. Ages 13–up. Agent: Susan Hawk, Upstart Crow. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-978650-05-3
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4197-3985-9
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