Book Reviews

Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

Grace is the middle child in her adoptive family and is discovering the ups-and downs that come with it. After putting her own child up for adoption sparks a flame in Grace, she begins the search for her biological family members, which leads her to Maya.

Maya, Grace’s younger bio sister who is out-spoken about the family ties. Maya is a brunette in her adoptive family of redheads and has feelings of non-belonging. As her adoptive family begins to crumble she wonders exactly where she belongs.

And Joaquin, the oldest bio brother is quite unlike Maya and Grace. He has zero interest in discovering the identity of their bio mother; afterall, she gave them up. After spending seventeen years in the foster care system, seeing the absolute worst of it, he’s learned that the more he keeps within, the safer he is. 


Wow. This book blew me away. I expected a serious contemporary book with important topics, but this was so much more. I felt so connected to Grace, Maya, and Joquin. This highlights the high and low points of adoption and the foster care system in a non-judgemental way. It also dealt with acceptance and trauma from those within this system. 

Suggested on my GoodReads, the description said “for viewers of This is Us” and while it’s a completely different story, the familial overlap, the honesty and rawness of dealing with relevant issues is very similar to the show. It feels like a personal peek into 3 people’s lives and it captures you. You will cry, but this story is one you simply must read. 

Overall, I found this book to be compelling and stunning. It made me think of how fortunate I am to have the family I do, but also how beautiful families can be because of the diversity in composition. This isn’t just an adoption story; it hits on so many other important points. I highly highly recommend this book. (It would be a great book club pick if you’re looking for one to discuss!)

PUBLICATION DETAILS: HarperTeen; October 3rd, 2017; 0062330624; Fiction/Young Adult