Far From The Tree
Author: Robin Benway
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Contemporary
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
Page Count: 384
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
I absolutely loved this one. It was so much more than I was expecting and I think it’s pretty underrated. Contemporary young adult fiction is one of my favourite genres, but I feel like I’ve been picking up some really great ones recently. Far From The Tree was no exception.
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.
What I Liked
The characters. Once again, I have found a wonderful character driven contemporary story. As you may already know, character driven stories are definitely my favourite books to read. Far From The Tree contains three main characters, Grace, Maya & Joaquin, all of whom were either adopted or grew up in the foster care system. They also all happen to have the same birth mother. We get to see these three meet each other for the first time and learn about one another and the different ways that they were brought up. It was really interesting to see them interact with one another and form a sibling bond even though they had technically just met.
The multiple perspectives. As mentioned above, Far From The Tree follows three main characters. What I loved about this book was that we got to hear the story from each of their perspectives. I absolutely LOVE stories that are told through different points of view, especially when they’re written so well. Each of these characters were interesting and had their own unique stories on the way that they grew up. Some more fortunate than others.
The realness. Not only did we get to see these three characters meet and form a sibling bond, but we also got to learn more about their personal lives. There were a lot of topics covered in this novel on top of adoption/fostering. Far From The Tree was a really well rounded and compelling story that deserved to be talked about more.
What I Didn’t Like
Loved this book. My 2018 seems to be off to a great start! I have already read a few pretty amazing books and it’s not even the end of January yet! I really don’t have anything bad to say about this novel! I absolutely loved everything about it and I can’t wait to check out more of Robin Benway’s work!
About The Author
Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young adults, including Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including a 2008 Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, 2009’s ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and 2014’s ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than twenty countries. Her newest book, Far From the Tree, won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and was published by Harper Teen on October 3, 2017.
Robin grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was the 1997 recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she spends her time hanging out with her dog, Hudson, making coffee, and procrastinating on writing.
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