Published by HarperCollins on December 5th 2017
National Book Award Winner!
Perfect for fans of NBC's "This Is Us," Robin Benway’s beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms—how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it.
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.
Don't miss this moving novel that addresses such important topics as adoption, teen pregnancy, and foster care.
Far From the Tree took me far out of my comfort zone in the most excellent way! It’s only the second audiobook I’ve listen to till the very end and it’s YA.
Here’s what I loved:
The Characters – Grace, Maya, and Joaquin were well-developed characters to love. They’re all basically good kids carrying more baggage than most adults could bear. Some of their baggage is shared and some is very specific to the character.
The Story – There’s a lot going on here but it all blends seamlessly. Themes explored include teen pregnancy, racism, family dynamics, bullying, and behavioral health and substance abuse issues. Yes, lots of heavy stuff! Yet throughout there’s an underlying sense of hope and healing.
The Feels – As you might guess from reading the above, this is a very emotional read. Sadness, despair, joy, fear, etc. All the feels are there! Be prepared for teary eyes.
The Writing/Narration – I can’t speak to how it would be to read this in print but the language was very easy to listen to. The narrator, Julia Whelan did a fantastic job giving each character a very specific voice.
The Takeaway – Far From the Tree is a beautiful story. It’s YA that’s perfect for readers of adult literary fiction.