Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Taxonomy of Love (Hardcover) by Rachael Allen

Normally I am not that fond of novels that mix letters, emails, etc into the text as plot movers. In this case, I didn't mind, as some really fun taxonomy drawings were part of that mix. (Also, the emails/texts between Hope and her sister made sense, as they were separated by an ocean, not by an office wall or city block as often seems to be the case when electronic communications are used as a device.) Two other things endeared this book to me -- it covers the course of a relationship between the characters (and among the characters) over 5 years, 8th grade to 12th grade, showing ebbs and flows, giving room for growth or exposures of weaknesses. It also featured a main character with a disability. Spencer has Tourette's syndrome. The author uses this as a teaching tool, modeling how (and how not) to relate to someone with a disability, be it Tourette's, Spina Bifida, or Sickle Cell Anemia. The medical treatment o Tourette's was also interesting for me, as a retired RN. It really is am alphabet soup of trying to find the right drug to do the trick along with awareness of triggers/responses.

All in all, I enjoyed this story of exploring what being a friend means, and how love grows and changes over time. Thanks to the publishers who gave me this copy while at YAllfest 2017. The book is due out in January 2018.

Tags: 2017-read, advanced-reader-copy, fantasy, read, rounded-up-in-star-rating, ya-lit, yallfest

From the publisher:
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment