I’ve loved all Robin Benway’s books since way, way back in the olden days of YA (okay, 2008) when I read Audrey, Wait!
But I have to admit that I wasn’t super-excited about reading Far From The Tree based on the description. It sounded a little soap-opera-ish for my taste.
And I was right – it was, but in a good way!
Review: Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
Published on October 3, 2017 by Harper Teen
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads): Grace, after putting her own baby up for adoption, goes looking for her biological family. This includes 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. Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, 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 is a book that tackles a lot of serious issues. In fact, there aren’t many issues this book doesn’t touch on. Included in the story are adoption, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, bullying, the foster care system, racism, divorce, self-esteem issues, anger management issues. It IS lot, but it works. And I’m sure there are kids out there who’ve been through as much as the three kids — all relinquished for adoption by the same bio mother — who narrate this story. The underlying theme of the story is family. The main focus is on sibling relationships, but I loved the parent/child relationships too.
At times really sad, at times really funny, this book will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
I really developed a lot of affection for these characters. And I also loved that Rafe (not a POV character but one who completely cracked me up with his humor. If you remember Roux from Benway’s AKA books, you’ll know what I mean.)
I definitely recommend Far From the Tree for those who love contemporary books that have you laughing one minute and tearing up the next. If you haven’t tried one of Robin Benway’s books, now is the time!