“What does it mean to be a family?”

11 Dec

IMG_20171210_101241.jpgSynopsis: Grace has had a rough few months – she misses the Homecoming Dance because she gives birth to her daughter the same night and puts her up for adoption, finds out that although she grew up an only child is actually the middle child with an older brother in foster care and a younger sister adopted by another family and she feels like she doesn’t know who she is anymore.

Maya, Grace’s younger sister, was adopted at birth and has grown up in a family of redheads as the only brunette – her family life looks perfect, except for the fighting and arguing and drinking that goes on behind closed doors. Maya’s girlfriend is a pillar of strength in the midst of the turmoil, but even she begins to get frustrated as Maya keeps her at arm’s length.

Joaquin has bounced around foster homes most of his life and after one failed adoption due to an event he refuses to talk about, Joaquin can’t allow anyone else to get hurt by his anger boiling under the surface.

What happens next is an exploration of what it means to be a family.

Review: I really loved this up-close look at bio-siblings that grew up in extremely different circumstances and yet could still see similarities among them. Told in third person from each character’s perspective you could see the heart-breaking parallels and struggles these teens had, but also their resiliency and strength when brought together. The characters were all fully developed with back stories that really showed you how and why the characters acted and made decisions and clear voices that kept you engaged in each story individually and in the book as a whole. The writing makes you want to keep turning the pages to see what happened next and although it wasn’t without it’s heart-wrenching parts. The hope and courage that kept shining through each difficult passage made this book worth for me in the end.

Twitter Booktalk (280 characters or less): When three bio-siblings meet for the first time as teens, their struggles, hardships and joys are laid out in front of them. What does family mean and how do you hold on to something you never knew existed?

Title: Far From the Tree
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Page Number:  374 pgs.

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