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On the night she should be swaying under the crepe-paper streamers at her homecoming dance, Grace is instead saying goodbye to her newborn daughter as she is whisked away in her adoptive parents’ arms. Thirty minutes away, Maya is texting her girlfriend as she clears empty wine bottles from the depths of her mother’s closet. And not far from them both, Joaquin is tiptoeing around his current foster parents, attempting to hold in all of the trauma and disappointment of his past. These three have absolutely nothing in common – except blood. In Far from the Tree, these three biological siblings discover each other, and all that they had been missing. But sharing a birth mother doesn’t exempt you from keeping secrets, and it doesn’t make you perfect. In fact, all three characters are wonderfully flawed, and their quirks and follies make the very long story pass by in what feels like the blink of an eye. Far from the Tree will hit you right in the feelings, leaving no prisoners – you’ll laugh, cry, wince, squeal, and feel slightly nauseous at least once. I was truly sad to see Far from the Tree end. This is the kind of YA that can speak to readers of all ages, so don’t be surprised if you buy it as a middle-aged mother and your teen steals it from your room before you finish. It’s easy to see why Robin Benway’s book was a National Book Award finalist this year. #bookreview #nationalbookaward
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