Title: Far From The Tree
Author: Robin Benway
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Being the middle child has its ups and downs.
But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—
Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.
And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
Far From The Tree is a beautifully written novel about a family that comes even though the world seemed to want them apart. Robin Benway wrote a book that made me laugh out loud, that pulled on my heart-strings. She also wrote scenes and characters that I related to in ways that I never thought I would and even if I did imagine relating to characters for those particular reasons, I never would have thought that I would’ve actually liked seeing those things represented. But I enjoyed every part of this book, from beginning to end.
Joaquin, Grace and Maya are three different characters that are similar in many ways that both we the readers and the characters themselves see. It was interesting to see (or read about) siblings that had so many things in common even though they had three different life experiences.
Those different life experiences blended seamlessly to showcase three different issues teenagers are facing in this world right now. Each POV gives readers a different scene to witness, with different family dynamics, different struggles, different thought processes and different personalities.
I don’t think this story could have been told any better. It had a simple yet engaging writing style, with relatable and endearing characters all wrapped up in a unique and thought provoking storyline.
Far From The Tree also had some wonderful representation. We have f/f relationships, inter-racial relationships, and a half Mexican main character. This book also deals with mental illnesses and teenage pregnancy.
I am so glad I picked this book up, I can’t wait to the rest of Robin Benway’s work.
That’s All I Got, Danielle.