Goodreads Summary- A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.
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.
Characters- This book is full of complex but likable and relatable characters. I really connected and was invested in the three siblings, but the side characters even stood out to me- especially Joaquin’s foster dad Mark, Grace’s friend Rafe, and Maya’s sister! Far From the Tree is most definitely a character driven story and these characters truly shine. It was a joy to get to know them and watch them grow and change over the course of the novel.
Familial Relationships- If you have read any of my past reviews then you might have noticed that I love reading about family dynamics! I much prefer reading about the relationships between family members vs. romantic relationships. There is some romance in this novel, which I truly enjoyed reading about, but the main focus is on siblings as well as the complicated relationships between parents and children. These families are some of the most realistic that I have ever read about in not only YA but in fiction in general. Far From the Tree shines a light on the fact that there is no perfect family and that families comes in all forms.
Important Issues- Far From a Tree tackles so many important issues and handles them respectfully. It addresses adoption, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, race, violence,etc. This book is also very diverse. I was so impressed with the messages that this book sends. Far From the Tree is one of those books that, despite dealing with heavy subjects manner, still manages to be light and put a smile on your face.
I am sitting here scratching my head trying to come up with something that I did not like about Far From the Tree and I can not come up with a single thing! I do not give star ratings on my blog but if I did this would for sure be a 5 STAR book!
“The older she got, the more human her parents seemed, and that was one of the scariest things in the world. She missed being little, when they were the all-knowing gods of her world, but at the same time, seeing them as human made it easier to see herself that way, too.”
Far From the Tree was a book that took me completely by surprise. I was in no way expecting to fall in love with this book in the way that I did. It will forever be a book that I recommend that everyone should read. I can not wait to read more of Robin Benway’s work!
If you read Far From the Tree I would love to know your thoughts!