Far from the Tree
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.

Far from the Tree Details

TitleFar from the Tree
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062330628
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Far from the Tree Review

  • Emma Giordano
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely amazing contemporary novel. I am truly BLOWN AWAY by how fantastic this story is. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone.CW: teen pregnancy, adoption, foster care system, alcoholismI don't feel I even have the words to express how fantastic this book is. It is touching, emotional, heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the exact same time. Far From The Tree is one of those books that causes you to have a weight on your chest the entire time you are reading. I cried from sa What an absolutely amazing contemporary novel. I am truly BLOWN AWAY by how fantastic this story is. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone.CW: teen pregnancy, adoption, foster care system, alcoholismI don't feel I even have the words to express how fantastic this book is. It is touching, emotional, heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the exact same time. Far From The Tree is one of those books that causes you to have a weight on your chest the entire time you are reading. I cried from sadness and happiness all throughout the novel. This novel is absolutely at the top of my recommendations list to anyone interested in serious contemporaries. One of my absolute new faves.
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  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5* This was so well done! The writing was great and I truly felt for the characters and their struggles. I will admit I did struggle a bit with a suspension of disbelief just in regards to the fact that the mother had 3 kids in a very short period of time when she was extremely young. But, that was a very minor thing. Overall I thought this book was really good!
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  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    Hello Goodreaders, it is I, the Black Sheep. Missed me?(No.)Just yesterday I was telling myself how wonderful my reads have been lately. And voilà! I have jinxed myself instantly. I tried, I really did. Then I tried some more, because I am familiar with this author, but alas nothing.Nothing. My heart feels nothing. It should be devastated or filled with admiration or, I don’t know, just *feel* something. Goddamn, why can’t you feel something, heart?Now I don’t want my heart to be giving me a hea Hello Goodreaders, it is I, the Black Sheep. Missed me?(No.)Just yesterday I was telling myself how wonderful my reads have been lately. And voilà! I have jinxed myself instantly. I tried, I really did. Then I tried some more, because I am familiar with this author, but alas nothing.Nothing. My heart feels nothing. It should be devastated or filled with admiration or, I don’t know, just *feel* something. Goddamn, why can’t you feel something, heart?Now I don’t want my heart to be giving me a heart attack out of spite, so I will stop insulting it. It is what it is. I won’t deny that this is an important book. Three siblings who are reunited? That’s incredible! I’ve seen it on TV many times before, and I’ve read different stories with characters in the foster care system (try One for the Murphys right now!) but I thought I should give this a chance nonetheless.And it’s fine. It’s okay. It’s readable. The story didn’t impress me, and I found the writing dry, and the characters two-dimensional, but I guess I could have finished it if I had had the time, but I knew that by the end of it I wouldn’t be able to give it higher than three stars, and that’s just sad.The author’s choice to write it in the third person point of view befuddles me. Why oh why did you do that, dear Robin Benway? I have read books from her written in the first person point of view and I enjoyed them much more. It would have been fine if it hadn’t made me feel disconnected from the characters. Again, they’re alright, but I couldn’t care enough to imagine myself being in their situation and I try as much as I can to do that in order to understand them better and, again, *connect*.I might give this another try in the future. Or I might not. Anyways, it’s a DNF at 25% for now. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars for this one.Robin Benway's Far from the Tree recently won the National Book Award. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking tearjerker of a book, a meditation about family and its different forms, as well as the fears we don't share with those we love, and how what we don't say is often more of a roadblock than the things we do.At times this book had me like: While at other times it had me like: Grace is an only child, although she's always known that she was adopted. But shortly after s 4.5 stars for this one.Robin Benway's Far from the Tree recently won the National Book Award. It's a beautiful, thought-provoking tearjerker of a book, a meditation about family and its different forms, as well as the fears we don't share with those we love, and how what we don't say is often more of a roadblock than the things we do.At times this book had me like: While at other times it had me like: Grace is an only child, although she's always known that she was adopted. But shortly after she gives birth to her own daughter while she's still in high school, and gives the baby up for adoption, she decides that it's time to start looking for her biological mother. She more than surprised to find out from her parents that Grace had two biological siblings—an older brother, Joaquin, and a younger sister, Maya, whom she never knew existed.Maya is tremendously outspoken about everything, perhaps because she's the lone brunette in a house full of redheads. Her adopted parents' marriage is floundering, her mother has a drinking problem, and she's always felt the outsider in her family, since her younger sister was born shortly after her parents adopted her. She's not sure what she hopes to find in her biological siblings, but she hopes it brings her security.While Grace and Maya were adopted as babies, Joaquin has spent his life in and out of foster families. Even the times he let his guard and his heart down, he ultimately was disappointed and hurt, so he's determined not to let that happen again, even when the situation looks promising. More than anything, he's afraid that he believes he can hurt the people who care about him, so he's afraid to let anyone get too close, even Grace and Maya.Each of the siblings has their emotional wounds and their secrets, which poses challenges for their relationship but also demonstrates just how much they have in common. Beyond their mutual love of eating their French fries with mayonnaise, and their similar physical characteristics, the three share the fear of telling the people they care about the truth, about letting them see all of their problems, which has resulted in friction with others in their lives. But little by little, they let their walls down with one another and try to help each other face those fears—which is far easier said than done."Maya wondered if it would ever be like this with Grace and Joaquin, the ability to just sit quietly side by side, content in the knowledge that no matter what happened with your parents, or your girlfriend, that your siblings will still be there, like a bookend that keeps you upright when you feel like toppling over."There is a lot of emotional upheaval in this book, as the siblings deal with their own issues as well as search for their biological mother. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I'll admit I found their inability to verbalize the things they were afraid of/angry about tremendously frustrating. I know this was a realistic depiction of how people, particularly teenagers, often handle their problems, but to have it be the case with three people at the same time was a bit bothersome.Beyond wanting to shake the characters so they'd finally say what needed to be said, I really enjoyed this book and was tremendously moved by it. It was a very real reminder about the fears and anxieties adopted children and children in the foster care system face, and it also demonstrated how feeling like you belong for the first time can truly make a difference.This is a really well-written book. Benway had an ear for dialogue that was on-target for teenagers without making them sound so much wiser and more sarcastic than their years. I'm always a big fan of books which make me feel while they make me think, which is why I definitely recommend Far from the Tree.See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
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  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    Sap Warning I come from a big family and even though at times they can be annoying as heck and other times make me want to jump out of a window, theyre literally my life and I would die without themokay im done my sap – grossAND THIS BOOK IS ALL ABOUT FAMILY AND ITS AMAZING AND PERFECT AND SO SPECIAL kermit gets me- BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL and honest sibling rep. this was done so sosososooso well- Theyre annoying and irritating and you want to punch them sometimes but like they got your b Sap Warning I come from a big family and even though at times they can be annoying as heck and other times make me want to jump out of a window, theyre literally my life and I would die without themokay im done my sap – grossAND THIS BOOK IS ALL ABOUT FAMILY AND ITS AMAZING AND PERFECT AND SO SPECIAL kermit gets me- BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL and honest sibling rep. this was done so sosososooso well- Theyre annoying and irritating and you want to punch them sometimes but like they got your back no matter what and damn boi that’s some hardcore loyalty - I loved how the book expressed how dysfunctional families can be, but that doesn’t make them any less important - Damn im really getting sappy but I CANT HELP IT THIS BOOK MAKES ME LIKE THIS- So much character development- So much multi-layered characters- It feels so bloody real- Okay so listen, I cried….like a lot…its NOT my fault these KIDS, THEY KILLED ME theyre so precious and sweet darling little teddy bears and they hurt my heart - I literally had to stop reading more than once just to contain myself bc I was just not doing well with the feels- Robin benway is hilarious and I want to be her friend- RAFE MY SWEET SUN CHILD, I NEED MORE ON RAFE PLEASE THAT’S ALL I ASK- I really really really loved how the whole thing with the mom was handled, wow, you got me robin benway, I was properly surprised- Also this is a contemporary but like benway shooks you up so many times, legit from the first paragraph you will be like !!??!!???!11?!1?!!??!- And like it deals with SO MANY important and serious topics- But still manages to perfectly balance that with the humour and cuteness - The conversations between the siblings were literally me and my brothers like I relate so hard I had to punch a pillow - Maya’s sarcasm/humour tho, girl, yes- So just like please read it because its beautiful and funny and sweet and it hurts so much- “I know you don’t believe it now, I know you might not ever believe it, but Mark and Linda are like those training wheels, too. What you described? That’s what parents do. They catch you before you fall. That’s what family is.”Excuse me while I go cry again5 stars!! Buddy read with smol elise
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    Library overdrive Audiobook...narrated by Julia Whelan...... .......Julia is a ‘book-reading-pro’!!! I’d go out of my way to listen to books read by her. She’s really terrific....making each character come ALIVE with very distinct personalities. I completely agree with the publishers summary of this National Book Award Winner.... “Perfect for fans of NBC’s “THIS IS US”, ( I am a fan), Robin Benway’s beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the me Library overdrive Audiobook...narrated by Julia Whelan...... .......Julia is a ‘book-reading-pro’!!! I’d go out of my way to listen to books read by her. She’s really terrific....making each character come ALIVE with very distinct personalities. I completely agree with the publishers summary of this National Book Award Winner.... “Perfect for fans of NBC’s “THIS IS US”, ( I am a fan), 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, keep it, and how to love it.”I can’t stress enough how WONDERFUL THIS AUDIOBOOK WAS. There are already many other beautiful reviews....Hannah Greendale, Larry H, Suzanne, Ken, Susan, Maria, Gina, Andrea, Nicole, Rachel, Jenifer, Jessie, Sarah, Vicki, Julie, etc. ......I enjoyed them all.....So, I want to simply add I loved LISTENING to this story. The narrator was so good -I picked up feelings from every sigh and cough. I laughed and I cried.......( definitely cried with Joaquin once) - I rolled my eyes - with Maya a few times, and was incredibly heartbroken for Grace and Joaquin in different ways. I felt sadness for Maya too - but kinda different - I felt she was a little more resilient. I loved Grace, Maya, and Joaquin. All of them are Permanente Book Friends living inside me!!! I REALLY THINK MOST OF MY GIRLFRIENDS WOULD *LOVE* THESE CHARACTERS - guys too- AND THE AUDIOBOOK IS TERRIFICALLY ENGROSSING!!!Maya kept me laughing. I needed her sarcastic personality- and cherished it for tension relief. I could just imagine driving a car with her in the passenger seat....she would be giving me hell for driving too slow and listening to old lady radio stations: NPR...lol....**LARRY H**: you are soooo right - BONDING OVER Condiments/ mayonnaise.... was soooooo CHARMING!! Why do we get teary in these moments? Laughing and crying!I was soaking in our pool listening to that scene. Loved it. My first cousin, Shelley was adopted. A year later Holly was born, then Karen, then Moses. I was very close to all 4 of my cousins growing up: them living in a mansion in Piedmont - but I’ve stayed especially close to Shelley during our adult years....yet I haven’t talked to her or any of my cousins for over a year. So now I feel sad about it. I promise to call my cousin this week!!! Not much else to add - other than this is a BEAUTIFUL BOOK! Heartfelt ....heartfelt.....heartfelt!!!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    🌟full review posted on blog!That was... unexpected. Far From the Tree is an exploration of family, the one you find and the one you're born into. Great concept, right? But I definitely did not guess just how good this would be. A story like this is one that can only succeed based off stellar character work, and my expectations for character work in contemporary is often quite low. But this was so lovely.This book revolves around three siblings, each with their own conflicts. 🌹Grace has recently 🌟full review posted on blog!That was... unexpected. Far From the Tree is an exploration of family, the one you find and the one you're born into. Great concept, right? But I definitely did not guess just how good this would be. A story like this is one that can only succeed based off stellar character work, and my expectations for character work in contemporary is often quite low. But this was so lovely.This book revolves around three siblings, each with their own conflicts. 🌹Grace has recently given birth and put a girl up for adoption. Ostracized at school and by her ex-boyfriend, she’s trying to fit in. 🍁 Maya is living with divorcing parents and a dysfunctional home situation. And also her first girlfriend. 🍃Joaquin is a foster child trying to decide whether to trust his maybe adoptees. And guess what: I loved all three of them. I don’t want to give away much about this book, because it’s one best experienced. But if I were to sum this book up, it feels so personal. With such fantastic characters, the friendship and family element totally stands out. “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.” This book feels so personal, and so emotional, but also so hopeful. It’s the perfect tone for this kind of story. Would highly, highly recommend. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • may ➹ (hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    lazy: “I stopped reading a few days ago but left the book on my currently reading shelf”lazier: “I stopped reading a week ago but left the book on my currently reading shelf”laziest: “I didn’t even read one word of this book but left the book on my currently reading shelf for more than a month”(I’m laziest. and pathetic)----------------------------------------------a conversation with myself:me: so I just read a book that made me cry, what should I read nowmy brain: hmmmy brain: wellmy brain: ho lazy: “I stopped reading a few days ago but left the book on my currently reading shelf”lazier: “I stopped reading a week ago but left the book on my currently reading shelf”laziest: “I didn’t even read one word of this book but left the book on my currently reading shelf for more than a month”(I’m laziest. and pathetic)----------------------------------------------a conversation with myself:me: so I just read a book that made me cry, what should I read nowmy brain: hmmmy brain: wellmy brain: how about another book that’s supposed to break your heart??me: oh my god GREAT IDEA!!!anyways I love self-destruction so this should be fun
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  • Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 5/5"Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a family''This book is an example of why I need the Goodreads Rating Scale to be bigger. On a scale of 1 to 10, definitely a 10!Robin Benway is an amazing writer. I could not put this book down. I was reading it at school in-between classes, in the car (which I NEVER do) and I think at one point I actually read while walking. I think it’s safe to say I was obsessed.This is the story of three adopted siblings who find each other at just the r RATING: 5/5"Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a family''This book is an example of why I need the Goodreads Rating Scale to be bigger. On a scale of 1 to 10, definitely a 10!Robin Benway is an amazing writer. I could not put this book down. I was reading it at school in-between classes, in the car (which I NEVER do) and I think at one point I actually read while walking. I think it’s safe to say I was obsessed.This is the story of three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.We get three POVs, told in the third person (which I think was definitely the way to go). There’s Joaquin (older child), Grace (middle child) and Maya (the younger child. I love Grace’s character because she seemed very real and non-fictional to me. Maya is the one I relate to because of the sarcasm and the upbeat attitude. And Joaquin is so sweet and lovable, I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and hug him! The relationship between the siblings is awkward at first but they soon become closer and more comfortable around each other. They each have special traits and qualities that complement the other two. Every time they acknowledge each other as brother or sister, I felt like crying. I never realized how important and personal those words are before now. Not only do the characters have to deal with the stress and emotions of meeting for the first time, but they’re also experiencing changes in their household (a teenage pregnancy, a divorce, among other things). I loved how supportive they were of each other through all the lows and how they celebrated the highs.I’m not sure how much thought went into writing this book but it seems like a lot. The author managed to build each personality individually, include realistic and believable conflict and wrap it all up nicely in just 300 pages. I honestly think this should’ve been longer. I want to see more of their interactions; I want to know what happens with their love interests and what about Grace’s baby? Oh how I wish I knew…*Side note: I was shocked to realize I haven’t read many books involving teen pregnancy. Not sure if YA authors don’t know how to handle the topic or I haven’t looked enough*Overall, an excellent book that I think EVERYONE should read. It is now one of my all-time favorite contemporaries.
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    Damn, that was beautiful.
  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    Okay. First, we must talk about the most important thing, and that is that cover. Holy sh*t that thing is beautiful. Man oh man. I hate myself for reading this as an ebook out of excitement instead of waiting to buy a copy. I’m way too materialistic for this BS.Now we can talk about the actual contents.I first heard about this book because it won the National Book Award for Young Adult Literature, and I was doing a very grown-up blog post for the very grown up college-affiliated blog I’m part of Okay. First, we must talk about the most important thing, and that is that cover. Holy sh*t that thing is beautiful. Man oh man. I hate myself for reading this as an ebook out of excitement instead of waiting to buy a copy. I’m way too materialistic for this BS.Now we can talk about the actual contents.I first heard about this book because it won the National Book Award for Young Adult Literature, and I was doing a very grown-up blog post for the very grown up college-affiliated blog I’m part of on the best books of the year. (Objectively speaking. Like, awards and stuff. Offering up my measly weird pickings from last year would have been...not awesome.)I was p surprised??? I read Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway, which was fine, but nothing to write home about. Let alone write the National Book Award about! Hahahaha.Anyway. It’s a contemporary and it has a pretty cover and it won a Big Award, so I figured may as well.And that’s pretty much what I got. It’s a contemporary. It has a pretty cover. I see why it won an award. But it just didn’t...click for me.It’s diverse, which I like. It’s a new, unique story. I haven’t read that many books about adopted families, let alone biological siblings adopted into different families. And I did really like the budding sibling relationship between the three! I have a soft spot for siblings.But other than that...I don’t know. I feel like this book is like. The Mona Lisa, or something. I can recognize what’s rad about it from an objective standpoint. It’s nice looking. I would keep it in my home. But it doesn’t make me feel anything.I sound sociopathic now. I didn’t aaaaaactualllyyyy feel nothing while I read this! Their family development is so good. There are emotional moments. But I didn’t connect with the characters that much. They felt kind of half developed to me. Maybe afterthoughts to their plotlines?I don’t know. This wasn’t bad. I don’t not recommend.What I do not recommend is this review!!! Oh my god!!! I’m the worst ever!!!Bottom line: Looks great on paper (which you would think would be good enough for a book...buh dum ch) but something is MISSING AHHHHH I AM LOSING IT.
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Omg. So touching. I cry 😭
  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    January 1, 1970
    You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. 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 You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. 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.
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  • Yusra ✨
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars ✨ "Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a family." I can't express in words how much I loved this book. It was just what I needed, everything I wanted and so much more . It's been a loooong time since I've gave out a 5 stars (actually, I think this is my first 5 star of 2018? correct me if I'm wrong? but yay?)😊When I say I love contemporary, or whenever I get the need to read contemporary books this is what I'm talking about. This is the feeling I crave for when I'm done with 5 stars ✨ "Seventeen years is a long time to wait for a family." I can't express in words how much I loved this book. It was just what I needed, everything I wanted and so much more . It's been a loooong time since I've gave out a 5 stars (actually, I think this is my first 5 star of 2018? correct me if I'm wrong? but yay?)😊When I say I love contemporary, or whenever I get the need to read contemporary books this is what I'm talking about. This is the feeling I crave for when I'm done with reading fantasy or dystopian novels, or have just recovered from a slump, or a really bad book. All I know is this was so freaking good & please let the author release more books. Maybe pt. 2 of this book would be nice. I'm going to stop before this turns into a sappy mess. 😪Far from the Tree is a book about loss, family, and finding yourself even when you're in a mess. & did I mention family? I just thought everything in this book was executed so so so so well. I'm not a crier, especially when it comes to books, and I didn't cry in this one either;but my heart cried. This is one of the books that made my heart feel heavy and sad and depressed but also gave me such happiness? How is this possible?😢😢😣okok there's going to be a lot of quotes below, but no major spoilers (they're marked if they come up) because I loved so much about this and I jotted down a lotttt Grace🌷 First of all, what a powerful story. Grace was the epitome of everything. She was so mature but she was still sixteen ffs and she deserved a life and she GOT IT. Her story is one of teen pregnancy and the struggles of giving up your child for adoption. The twist? She herself is adopted and her mother had to give her way. All of her scenes blew me away and hurt my heart; I have never seen such an accurate description of feelings and the whole she-bang. IT WAS SO GOOD. holy, I'm still getting over how sad I was/am. Even though I've never gone through the experience, I felt the authenticity of everything going through her head: did she pick the right foster family? how is her child? & it doesn't help that when she was giving birth, the baby's father was getting crowned homecoming king. yeah. that's all you need to know about Max. he's a douche. Maya🌹 thank u for the diverse characters ms. benway xoxo much love. 👏🏼👏🏼😊 maya is crazy, relatable, funny and a lesbian. I loved her. (view spoiler)[ tbh i wish she didn't get back w claire but that's fine (hide spoiler)]her foster parents are getting a divorce. her mom has a drinking problem. she's like a machine of anger and love and wonder. SO MUCH LOVE Joaquin 🌿 There was no one to take a picture of him standing under the blue ribbon that someone had pinned to his drawing at the school's art fair in fourth grade, or to drive him to that one birthday party across town in fifth....He still had that blue ribbon, though. He kept it buried at the back of his sock drawer, its edges frayed from the eighteen months that Joaquin had slept with it under his pillow. I have to say, he was my favorite character and he was the reason I kept breaking apart when reading. I just wanted to give the poor boy happiness and wanted to see him joyful and I wanted him to love himself so badly. I'm close to weeping just writing this. Such a well-crafted character. Let me just tell you, too, he's a sweetheart. & I loved him. & this is why I wish I had an older brother. He hadn't realized it until he said it, but Joaquin thought that if anyone had ever hurt either one of these girls, he would grind them to dust. This was so freaking powerful, let me just tell you this was AFTER LIKE ONE MEETING I THINK and he was ready to do anything to protect his sisters & it just comes to show how deep bonds are. & it also comes to show how amazing my baby Joaquin is. sorry if that wrecked the moment. His story deals with foster care, travelling from house to house but never finding a home. He's been adopted once, but that didn't work well, and he's been in the foster care system all is life. Naturally, he's unwilling to trust anyone. Which broke my heart. & I wish he could get his childhood back. But his story is so raw and enduring and beautiful, and he gets what he deserves at the end. also he's a great brother. (view spoiler)[ him and Birdie, on the other hand? nuh-uh. it’s a no from me. (hide spoiler)] Rafe🍂 He may have taken some warming up to, but I loved him. Let me just insert the quote that confirmed my love for him; "It has pockets," Grace said. "That's always nice." "It is." Rafe said, then stuck his hand in the front pocket and flapped it a little. "Room for all my secrets. Sorry, that's me attempting humor again, in case you couldn't tell. He was the bright spot in Grace's life, and so funny and cute and adorable. I thought this would be a case of rebounds and instalove but it sure as heck wasn't. (view spoiler)[ I do wish that at the ending, there was a better wrap up of their relationship, and I would have LOVED a platonic relationship but uhm I'm fine with this love I guessss (hide spoiler)]Here's another joke from him cause why not, "I just... I'm not really looking to hook up with or date anyone right now, okay? I don't want to." Rafe : "Woah, woah, woah." ... "Who said anything about hooking up or dating? I said yogourt. They don't even rhyme! And later on, Grace tells him this again, and he's all like; "Okay, honestly, Grace? Why do you keep insisting that I'm trying to date you? This is sexual harassment, that's what this is. In my place of employment, even." Love him. 😂😂💗Just in general, this book covered family so well. Like please, please, please go read it. This is me begging. For you. To read it. "Well, she's kind of annoying." Grace said. She hadn't even known it was true until she said it. "She kept interrupting me, she only talked about herself, and she was sort of rude, too, honestly.". "Honey?" Grace's mom said. "Yeah." "Welcome to having a sister." Like how much more accurate and loving is this going to get?? HOW MUCH MORE?Family hurts. But family also puts you back together. And I loved that the author just stressed that blood relationships mean a lot; but other relationships mean a lot, too. & who the fuck says family’s perfect? cause it isn’t, but it sure is. (lolol I make no sense)I though this book was not going to end well. I mean, I was just like, everything's gettin wrapped up way too quick and what the heck. BUT THAT ENDING. OMG. OMG. OMG. my heart. (view spoiler)[ finding out about their bio mom was also ... predictable?? But I overlooked it. because I loved this book. so much. (hide spoiler)] I don't want to say more, because I don't want to spoil anything or give away too much. But seriously, read this. the cover is beautiful, the book is beautiful... & then message me so we can cry together. -xoxox update March 26/18 | I’m still so sad , this book ruined me
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  • Jillian (bookishandnerdy)
    January 1, 1970
    OH FUCK THIS WAS SO GOOD.this was emotional and put my heart through the wringer.this won the national book award for a reason and it's an all time favorite.family stories are always a favorite of mine and this was just incredible.i really wanted to read this originally because it was compared to This Is Us and that is one of my all time favorite shows and JESUS IT IS SUCH A GOOD COMPARISON in terms of family and feels and just UGH OMG I HAVE TOO MANY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW.
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  • Glitterbomb
    January 1, 1970
    So, I may or may not have shaken the the shit out of this thing and yelled WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!! WHY AREN'T THERE MORE BOOKS LIKE YOU IN THE WORLD!!This thing had be sobbing, and laughing, and sobbing while laughing, and tearing my hair out, and more sobbing, and yelling "How did you know?!?!" I swear there's not a box of tissues or a roll of toilet paper left in the house.I am emotionally done. I'll write a review later after I put myself back together. Seriously though, read this.------------ So, I may or may not have shaken the the shit out of this thing and yelled WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!! WHY AREN'T THERE MORE BOOKS LIKE YOU IN THE WORLD!!This thing had be sobbing, and laughing, and sobbing while laughing, and tearing my hair out, and more sobbing, and yelling "How did you know?!?!" I swear there's not a box of tissues or a roll of toilet paper left in the house.I am emotionally done. I'll write a review later after I put myself back together. Seriously though, read this.-------------This book is destroying me. It's bringing a whole lotta feelings I thought I had under control to the surface.I was a teen mum. I'm not ashamed of it, though I was made to feel that way at the time. I was left to 'deal' with it by my son's father and his family. He washed his hands of it and walked away. I did not, and it was the hardest, and most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. My son is now a teen himself and I pat us both on the back and say 'we did it kid'. He's turned out pretty damn alright if I do say so. I'm proud of us.This is dredging up a lot of the emotions I had 17 years ago. I thought I had put all that behind me, but Robin Benway is eerily good at putting my chaotic mindset (at the time) into words. I can sense this is going to be a healing read for me and I hope other girls in this position can also gain comfort from it.You're not alone, don't ever feel that you are, and don't ever let anyone say you are less than you are because of the choices you make.
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  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading this book, and I honest to goodness cannot stop crying thinking about it. What a beautiful, raw, honest portrayal of families in a way I've never really encountered before. What an amazing sibling story. The relationships, the characters, the story - all just so wonderful, and this is def my fave Robin Benway book as of right now.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so beautiful and so lovely. I would recommend it to everyone, I thought it was so heart-warming, but also so heart-breaking at times. Seriously guys, read this! It's one of those books that makes you feel so many things and it takes serious willpower for me not to recommend this to everyone I come across. Once I finished this book, I realised it actually dealt with so many issues and it was done so eloquently. Sometimes when books deal with quite a lot, it can feel either too heavy This book was so beautiful and so lovely. I would recommend it to everyone, I thought it was so heart-warming, but also so heart-breaking at times. Seriously guys, read this! It's one of those books that makes you feel so many things and it takes serious willpower for me not to recommend this to everyone I come across. Once I finished this book, I realised it actually dealt with so many issues and it was done so eloquently. Sometimes when books deal with quite a lot, it can feel either too heavy or too light (light as in when it feels like books just use topics to shock you etc. and they don't actually explore the issue in a proper way). This book perfectly dealt with every issue. Without going into too much detail or giving anything away, I will just say I loved the overall themes of family, love, loss and friendship. Everything just fitted together so brilliantly to create this wonderful book. The characters were all so great. Every main character was so different and refined. I really liked how the book was split into three different POV's because we got to see just how distinctive each character was. They were all dealing with different things and it was just great to see how each of them dealt with everything. Overall, the story was perfect. I did feel like the end was a teeny bit rushed but that was just a minor thing for me. I will say though, that the ending is filled with so much hope but it didn't feel forced, it felt like a very genuine, positive ending. The writing was so good. This was my first book by Robin Benway and I really really enjoyed her writing style. I also felt like this book was written with so much love and care, and books that feel like that are always extra special to read. I would 100% recommend this book to everyone. Even if you don't usually read Young Adult books, it is one of those books that transcends the genre. ----------------*Slight spoilers in the quotes so don't read on if you don't want spoilers."Maya loved the way that she had spent her entire life trying to figure out where she fit, only to have Claire snap right into place next to her, like they had been waiting their whole lives to find each other.""Maya had never realized how much power there was in loving someone. At first, she thought it was a source of strength, but now she was realizing that, in the wrong hands, on the wrong day, that power was strong enough to destroy the very thing that had built it.""Maya wondered if it would ever be like this with Grace and Joaquin, the ability to just sit quietly side by side, content in the knowledge that no matter what happened with your parents, or your girlfriend, that your siblings will still be there, like a bookend that keeps you upright when you feel like toppling over.""It wasn't just Maya's mom who was no longer there, but the space that her drinking had taken up seemed to hang over the house like a cloud, reminding Maya of all the time that she had invested in solving a problem that wasn't even hers to fix."
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    So beautiful! I loved this book so much. This is a story about three siblings who have been fostered and adopted by separate families very early in their lives, and shows readers the many definitions family can have. I adored every minute of reading this book! Overall, love the characters, the story, and the meaning behind this entire book!
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    I applaud anyone who was able to review this book coherently. Basically all I can think to say is : be prepared to cry. A lot.
  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a perfectly fine feel-good novel about adoption and sibling love, with abundance of compassionate people and HEA for all. A bit too sentimental, simplistic and tear-jerky for my taste.Reminded me of Sara Zarr’s novels, but less nuanced.
  • Ken
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 star lights, star brights. This winner of the National Book Award is an old-school weepie bringing together three siblings who have been adopted (except for one still in foster care) by different families. The chapters rotate between each, beginning with Grace, a teenaged mom who just gave up a child herself to adoption (and the wheels spin inexorably). She comes to know younger sister Maya, and eventually THEY come to know older brother Joaquin (different father, as he is part Mexican). Gra 3.5 star lights, star brights. This winner of the National Book Award is an old-school weepie bringing together three siblings who have been adopted (except for one still in foster care) by different families. The chapters rotate between each, beginning with Grace, a teenaged mom who just gave up a child herself to adoption (and the wheels spin inexorably). She comes to know younger sister Maya, and eventually THEY come to know older brother Joaquin (different father, as he is part Mexican). Grace is being bullied in school because she had a child and thus, to the tormentors, is a "slut." Maya is the requisite (for YA these days) LGBT character with a rapier wit and a mouth that won't quit. Joaquin is the angry young man (cue Billy Joel).All told, it gets a bit old as it heads for the high 300s. And it suffers two peculiar YA problems -- coincidences and "perfect" characters (often boyfriends--in this case, Grace's understanding and oh-so-sensitive bf Rafe whose humor looks too similar to Maya's, truth be told).Enjoyable in its way. A bit bloated in its way. Talky in the typical way. And they all live happily ever after *sob*....
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  • beth
    January 1, 1970
    Rating - 5 stars. Okay wow this book is beautiful. This story follows three siblings who have been separated - adopted & fostered - when they were younger into different families. It has such amazing and honest representation of family, friends and relationships. I laughed and I cried with this book. It affected me in a personal way as I have a large family myself. It also had a good representation of LGBT, families, foster care, adoption etc etc. This is a story that will most definitely Rating - 5 stars. Okay wow this book is beautiful. This story follows three siblings who have been separated - adopted & fostered - when they were younger into different families. It has such amazing and honest representation of family, friends and relationships. I laughed and I cried with this book. It affected me in a personal way as I have a large family myself. It also had a good representation of LGBT, families, foster care, adoption etc etc. This is a story that will most definitely stick with me.I would recommend this to everybody to read.**I am planning to do a reread sometime this year so I can do a full review**
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  • Donalyn
    January 1, 1970
    I haven’t cried so much reading a book in a long time. Beautiful.
  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    A heartwarming story of family, identity and discovering your place in the world. This the second of Robin Benway’s books I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint. Her writing is so comfortable to read, her stories easy to follow and her characters are undeniably quick to warm to. I throughly enjoyed the multitude of topics this book covered, whilst simultaneously keeping them intertwined but not overwhelming the plot with ‘too much’. I thought the various relationships explored throughout were wonder A heartwarming story of family, identity and discovering your place in the world. This the second of Robin Benway’s books I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint. Her writing is so comfortable to read, her stories easy to follow and her characters are undeniably quick to warm to. I throughly enjoyed the multitude of topics this book covered, whilst simultaneously keeping them intertwined but not overwhelming the plot with ‘too much’. I thought the various relationships explored throughout were wonderful and the diverse cast of characters and their individual narratives were brilliant to read. Overall this was a lovely and unique YA read and one I’d definitely recommend.
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  • Alexis (TheSlothReader)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThis book was so beautiful. It follows three biological siblings as they discover each other. They're all dealing with their own heap of issues and they're all such unique characters. I absolutely loved each of the siblings and I especially loved getting to watch them grow together as people and as family. Maya, the youngest, is a lesbian and I loved how accepting every character was of her sexuality. She felt so authentic and she was hilarious. Grace, the middle child, absolutely broke 4.5 starsThis book was so beautiful. It follows three biological siblings as they discover each other. They're all dealing with their own heap of issues and they're all such unique characters. I absolutely loved each of the siblings and I especially loved getting to watch them grow together as people and as family. Maya, the youngest, is a lesbian and I loved how accepting every character was of her sexuality. She felt so authentic and she was hilarious. Grace, the middle child, absolutely broke my heart every chapter since she was dealing with the aftermath of having given up her newborn baby for adoption. Joaquin, the oldest, had such a sad story and watching him undergo a healing process with Grace and Maya's help was so beautiful. This book is a quiet novel that packs such an emotional punch as it deals with family and overcoming the ways in which people have wronged you in order to conquer your past.I didn't give it full marks because there were certain parts when I was invested in some characters more than others, but I highly recommend this book.
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  • rachel • typed truths
    January 1, 1970
    pls can i read more books like this
  • Fuzaila
    January 1, 1970
    You know you’ve read a good book when you –1) Have a deep ache in the pit of your stomach, because it ended.2) Close your eyes, and heave a deep sigh, because it ended exactly at the right moment.Far from the Tree falls into the second category for me. Well, I didn’t read it technically. I listened to the audiobook and it was splendid. Heartwarming, the right tones at all the right places; the narration was brilliant. And I,... it is not easy to point out exactly why I loved it so much. You know You know you’ve read a good book when you –1) Have a deep ache in the pit of your stomach, because it ended.2) Close your eyes, and heave a deep sigh, because it ended exactly at the right moment.Far from the Tree falls into the second category for me. Well, I didn’t read it technically. I listened to the audiobook and it was splendid. Heartwarming, the right tones at all the right places; the narration was brilliant. And I,... it is not easy to point out exactly why I loved it so much. You know the times when you read an awful book and have LOTS to say about it? But then you read a really good book and you just can’t find the words to describe how it felt. Well, I’m there now, and I… uhh forget it.4.5/5 stars THE PLOT Grace is sixteen years old, and she has birthed a child already. She calls her Peach, but her adoptive parents name her Amelia, Millie for short. Grace is depressed after putting her up for adoption. Grace was adopted too, and she couldn’t have asked for better parents. But her grief over Peach leads her to think of HER biological parents. The search leads her to her siblings – Maya, a younger sister, and Joaquin, her elder brother. Maya is living with her adoptive parents, who are on the verge of splitting up; and her sister Lauren. Joaquin, on the other hand, was put up late for adoption, and due to anger issues in the past, finds himself still under foster care. The three siblings meet and share their woes, supporting one another through thick and thin, and finally go on to find their Mom.Told through alternating narratives of Grace, Maya and Joaquin, the story takes the reader through heartbreaks, laughter, and an overwhelming emotive ride, questioning relationships and human behavior as they go. WHY IT WASN’T A FIVE-STAR READ ● The character development was mazing and all, and the plot in itself was really good and touchy, except the story was a little too predictable● Everything wrapped up rather too conveniently. I mean, I did like the way it ended and all that, but I wouldn’t say they were realistic. Because it was not.● Okay, I admit it. This was just my second audiobook, but I really can’t bring myself to rate it five stars, because, it didn’t feel like a book. Uh, I am not saying audiobooks are trashy, they’re really convenient actually, but still I feel I would have LOVED it had I actually read the book. It’s not fair, I know. But still. Overall, this book was really well written, really good . I never felt bored at any single moment, and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone. It deserves the National Book Award, you know. That’s how good it is.
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  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    --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.Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
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