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Far from the Tree

by Robin Benway

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9005223,292 (4.16)14
Romance. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:

National Book Award Winner, PEN America Award Winner, and New York Times Bestseller!

Perfect for fans of 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.… (more)

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Starting with the positive:

Compelling story about three biological siblings (Joaquin, 17; Grace, 16; Maya, 15) whose mother gave them up for adoption when they were small. They meet for the first time, get to know each other, and help each other work out their issues. It's interesting how they've had very different lives, but still have similarities, like how they eat french fries with mayonnaise and how they aren't good at sustaining romantic relationships.

There have been a lot of good books recently about the effects of growing up the in the foster care system, and you can add this one to the list.

It's also harrowing in its depiction of teen pregnancy resulting in adoption. It made me so, so sad.

Now the negative:

I can't believe this won the National Book Award! This is written in the third person so there is no forgiveness from me for the misuse and overuse of "literally" and some super lazy descriptive similes. This is a solid book, sure, but I'm baffled by it taking home a big literary prize. The ending was way too tidy. The message seemed to be that connecting to your biological relatives can heal the pain of being adopted -- which may very well be the case if every single bio relative you meet happens to be very caring and amazing, but it felt a bit shallow to me. Especially Joaquin being miserable over not having any baby pictures and then being given his baby pictures in the end. Too good to feel true. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
I loved the phrasing in this book, like poetry ( )
  anniesdreaming | Aug 7, 2023 |
I used the Seattle Public Library's "Your Next Five Books" service to find this one. Narrated by a favorite of mine, Julia Whelan, this young adult novel centers around the themes of family relationships and secrets. It's a feel-good story, and I chose it for that reason. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
This was such a sweet and lovely story that I really enjoyed! All three main characters are truly fabulous, and I lvoed learning about their similarities and all the "secrets" they were keeping and all the walls they put up. And Maya's gayness was pretty darn great, too. None of this felt contrived at all, as I feel like adoption stories are frequently in danger of being.

Also, RAFE. I'M IN LOVE. I'LL TAKE HIM. Gosh. ( )
  whakaora | Mar 5, 2023 |
3.5 Stars ( )
  Mrs_Tapsell_Bookzone | Feb 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Benwayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forrester, KateCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JulieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
For my brother
Thank you for being my bungee buddy
First words
Grace hadn't really thought too much about homecoming.
Quotations
He wished they would go away, because nothing was worse than someone wanting to talk when the words you needed to say hadn't been invented yet.
Sympathy was sometimes worse than being ignored.
One of the reasons Grace had given up Peach was because she hadn't wanted her life to stop ("You're so young," her parents had implored over and over again), but nobody had told Grace that her life might stop anyway, that she'd be trapped in the amber of her pregnancy, of Peach, while the rest of the world continued to change around her.
She had spent  so long operating under the idea that secrets never left their house that she didn't know how to handle it when any of them escaped, except to make her walls closer, tighter, hugging her in so no one else would ever be able to enter.
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Romance. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML:

National Book Award Winner, PEN America Award Winner, and New York Times Bestseller!

Perfect for fans of 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.

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