A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Georgia Center for the Book Book All Young Georgians Should Read
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.
**STARRED REVIEW**School Library Connection
" This book is groundbreaking in its demonstration of the complexity of human emotion."
"In this sincerely charming account of one friendship in flux over the course of six years—eons in adolescence—the pair wrestle with their relationship. Simple summer crush? Tireless support through family strife and personal illness? Lovelorn confidante? Through sparkling prose (and Spencer’s clever doodles), Allen depicts how debasing unrequited love can feel, and just how consuming that connection can be when shared at long last."Booklist
"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."Publishers Weekly
" A multilayered and charming novel that blends humor, romance, tragedy, and other universal coming-of-age themes"School Library Journal
"Hope and Spencer are realistic and experience events most teens live through. Like two orbiting planets, they are both drawn to and repulsed by each other as they age and mature . . . Light-hearted, joyful, and yet serious, it bring up topics such as suicide, mental illness, and medication research and side effects. This story, which includes interesting taxonomies, will enthrall readers, bringing them into the life of a struggling and love-ridden teen."VOYA Magazine
"There are things that happen in these pages that just gut the reader . . . There's so much emotion packed into these pages."YA Books Central
"Serve as refreshing reminders that the complexities of adolescent friendship and relationships take place in the context of whole lives, making this a pleasant change from usual teen romance fare."The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books