Book Review: Far From the Tree

Far From the Tree
Benway, Robin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!

Putting up her baby for adoption after getting pregnant at 16 left Grace sad and something missing in her life, something that her adoptive parents could never fill. Grace's longing to find her own birth mother increased, but she was unreachable, and Grace was heartbroken, bullied, and alone. Then, Grace discovered she had siblings. Maya, a 15 year old spunky and bold brown haired daughter in a family of redheads, was adopted by rich parents who only months later had their biological daughter, Lauren. Joaquin, a 17 year old bounced around in the foster care system for all his life, with many failed foster parents and one failed adoption. When his current foster parents express their interest in adopting him, Joaquin is scared of having a rebound of his younger days. With a longing for someone else to call family, Grace reaches out to her biological siblings. They bond quickly, sharing interests in odd food combinations and growing closer due to their shared genes. However, each sibling still keeps their own secrets among the laughter the share. Maya hides from telling about her mother's alcohol addiction, Joaquin won't tell his siblings about his previous failed adoption, and Grace is scared about telling her siblings about her pregnancy and baby.
Grace expresses her interest in finding their birth mother to secretly attempt to fill the hole her baby made in her heart, but neither Maya or Joaquin want to participate after the betrayal they experienced. Meanwhile, Lauren, Maya's sister, is scared about Maya not wanting to be with her anymore when Maya gets closer to her "real" siblings. In this heartbreaking, bittersweet, and empowering book, Robin Benway perfectly captures what is really means to be family.

Reviewer's Name: 
Anna C.

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