REVIEW: A Taxonomy of Love by Rachel Allen// a cute and fluffy coming-of-age love story

ataxonomyofloveTitle: A Taxonomy of Love

Author: Emma Mills

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Coming-of-Age

Format: Paperback ARC

Page Count: 336

Release Date: January 9, 2018



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.



I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my overall rating of this book.

I’m happy to say that A Taxonomy of Love was my last read of 2017. I flew through this book and loved every minute of it.

The book starts with our protagonist, Spencer, at age thirteen and chronicles him and his friend Hope until they reach age nineteen. Spencer has a crush on her but she ends up falling for his older, cooler brother Dean.

I loved their relationship but it grew to be so complicated as they grew up. This was realistic and I fell in love with the way Allen wrote their interactions and inner dialogue. There was humor, there was heartbreak, and so much truth squeezed in with such an effortless manner.

Spencer is a nerd and loves bugs. He also has to live with Tourette Syndrome and has to deal with the teasing from peers. He is the definition of a smol bean and I got the urge to protect him like a mother bear protecting her cub throughout the duration of the novel.

Although I did like Hope as a character she was kind of written as the ‘different’ girl and as somebody put upon a pedestal by Spencer as being this wonderful girl that knows and can do anything. I understand that that’s just how Spencer sees her and all, but I don’t like that trope.

Throughout the book we readers see Spencer and Hope becoming friends but gradually growing apart as the book goes on and coming back together. I found myself wanting them to become friends again so many times because Spencer was a lot less happy when they weren’t friends.

The aspect with Spencer’s Tourette Syndrome seemed well-researched and masterfully written, but as somebody that doesn’t have it myself or knows anybody that has Tourette Syndrome, I can’t say for sure if it was portrayed well or not.

Hope went through the process of grieving and I felt for her so much. Seeing the way she dealt with her grief and slowly find herself back made me like her more as a character. She felt more real and three dimensional. Her grief oddly made me like and dislike her more.

I fell in love with these characters. I felt what they felt. I wanted the things they wanted for themselves. It takes a special writer to make me feel these types of feels.


Rating: 5 Stars

Overall this book was such a cute fluffy read that had a much more serious undertone than what I was expecting. This will make my list as one of my favorite contemporaries of all time.


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What are some of your favorite contemporaries? Have you read A Taxonomy of Love? Do you want to read it? Let me know!

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10 thoughts on “REVIEW: A Taxonomy of Love by Rachel Allen// a cute and fluffy coming-of-age love story

  1. GAH!! I loved Spencer… he was a total smol bean!! I agree I had a like and dislike thing going on with Hope. I DO feel like Spencer was sooo close to how a regular boy (and not a hot boy) would react to a girl he crushed on. So that effected how I saw Hope. Did you like the taxonomies? Mine were messed up in my digital copy so I just got a jumbled mess… you didn’t mention them so I feel like they didn’t leave much of an impression?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, since we were reading from Spencer’s perspective, that definitely effected the way we ended up seeing Hope! I did really enjoy the taxonomies, they just weren’t as big a part of the story as I thought they were going to be. It sucks that yours got all jumbled up 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, hope and her sister were seriously sister goals! Wish there didn’t need to be grief though cause it messed with my emotions so much! I’ve been reading a lot of contemporaries lately haha but this was definitely up on top as one of my faves.


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