Release Date: 3rd October 2017
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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.
Having never read anything by Benway before, I had no expectations before I started Far From the Tree. To be honest, I only clicked on it because I liked the cover, and then after reading that the book is about adopted siblings, I thought it had potential. I’m really glad that I requested this one for review, because otherwise I don’t think I would have read it. And it’s a really good story, so I would have been missing out.
Far From The Tree is hella emotional. There were tears. If you’re an emotional person, you’ll probably cry. I love that Benway’s writing was able to evoke such emotion in me, and because of this I now want to read all of her books.
The relationship between the siblings was really well done. I loved that they were hesitant to meet and get to know one another to begin with, because finding out you have two siblings is a massive deal. But then their relationships grew, and they became really protective of one another.
I did feel that the book and the relationships in it were a bit rushed. It’s a very short book, so I feel like it could have been fleshed out a bit more to make the relationships and character growth feel more organic.
Also, also! One of the siblings, Maya, is gay, and Joaquin is a POC. Yay for representation!
Far From the Tree has made me really want to read Benway’s other books. I’d highly recommend this one if you’re looking for an emotional read about some great sibling relationships. I can see why it has been nominated for a couple of awards!