Review: Far from the Tree // A heartfelt contemporary YA

Far from the Tree

Hello everyone!

So, I was about to share mini-reviews of two books. However, as I began typing the review for Far from the Tree, I realized that it was WAAAY too long to qualify for a mini-review (that’s how much I LOVED it). Therefore we will go back to the conventional review format for today!

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A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

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.

I loved Joaquin, Maya and Grace, who have similarities as siblings but are very different people. Maya is loud and outspoken. She feels strongly and has a witty, sarcastic style of humour. On the other hand, Grace is reserved. As a teen mom who recently gave her child away for adoption, she has a lot of guilt and sadness. However, on the outside Grace appears to have everything under control. And while Maya and Grace connected right away, Joaquin sets himself apart from the girls. As the only sibling who was not adopted and spent his life in foster care, Joaquin never felt like he belonged. He puts on an act, trying to do and say the things that people like, but he doesn’t believe that people will truly like him. Even though these characters are very different, we learn to walk in their shoes and understand how they think.

I loved the focus on family. There is a small element of romance, though this isn’t the focal point of this story. We get a glimpse of the dynamics within the different families in this story. Even though Grace, Maya and Joaquin were given up at birth, we see how they come to understand their own meaning of family.

In relation to that, I loved how parents are portrayed as human. They behave very much like real parents- They are worried about their children, sometimes in an exaggerated way, and they love their children very much.

I enjoyed the writing in this novel, which flows well and keeps me turning the pages. However, I did notice that there are some repetitive use of words. For example, on many occasions people’s “chins wobble”, they are often “shaking”. Also, people cry a lot in this book. Then again, so will you 😉

Which brings me to my next point, which is that you will not be able to get through this book with dry eyes.

The Bottom Line: 4.5/5 stars!

If you are looking for a book that will touch your heart, Far from the Tree is a must-read!

Hint: Have a box of tissues near by.

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As I am writing this post, I am preparing for my one-way flight from Toronto to Vancouver (eek!) I will talk to you guys on the other side!

 

22 thoughts on “Review: Far from the Tree // A heartfelt contemporary YA

  1. Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm) says:

    Ahh! I just finished reading this one as well and I also absolutely loved it! Fantastic review!!! Mine is going up tomorrow haha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoie says:

    Oooooh I’m reading this book for my book club next month! I got the recommendation from Marie’s review of this book a while back, but your review makes me even more excited to read it 😊 It’s been a while since I’ve read a story that was family-focused… and a sad story too. Oh no, should I warn my book club that there’s a possibility they might cry while reading this book? 😯 Have a safe flight to Vancouver, and I enjoyed reading your review! 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hi Zoie ❤ Haha I'd say that it's not a sad book, however it is heartfelt (which is what made me cry!) And actually Marie's review was the reason why I decided to read this book! Hope that you will enjoy this book when you read it for your book club!
      Thank you Zoie ❤ I did arrive safely in Vancouver 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Find Me at the Library says:

    I absolutely love this book! I just wrote my review for it, and it should be going up sometime this week. It truly was a great contemporary read–I loved the focus on the family. I feel like in YA family is an overlooked theme. I agree, I also love the way it shows adults as humans capable of mistakes. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marie says:

    Yay! I am so happy you enjoyed this one so much, Sophie, I loved it as well. The characters were so endearing, I loveed the siblings dynamic and how they slowly got to know each other. I also really appreciate the romance and the fact that it wasn’t a main part of the story, just something on the side of it all 🙂
    Have a safe flight, Sophie! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Great review for this book Sophie. I saw a review for Far From the Tree on Marie’s blog a little while back and added it to my to-read list (and I have to admit forgot about it a little bit until I saw your review for this one (my TBR is so long I tend to forget more of the books on it than not)). This sounds like a brilliant contemporary story, and it has the main thing I love in YA contemporary books which is great family/sibling relationships. I’m really glad to see you enjoyed this one, and I’m definitely going to have to move it up my TBR list as well. 🙂
    Hope you land safe in Vancouver, and happy reading. I bet you’ll be able to get through a book or two on the plane journey at least right?! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Hello Beth!! ❤
      I remember Marie's review of this book a while back, which was actually the reason why I decided to read this one! It was definitely a worthwhile read and I really do hope that you will read it one day 🙂 Yes it is amazing to read about family and sibling relationships.
      I am in Vancouver now, however, I am having a difficult time with my landlord! He is unsure whether a dog of Charles' size is permitted in the building, although I had given them a heads up about him before 😦 😦
      On the plus side, I was able to finish a book (PS I still love you) and start another one (My Lady Jane) 🙂 Hope you have been doing well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sophie Li says:

      Thank you Julianna ❤ Yes the cover of this book looks so pretty! I hope that you will read this book one day and enjoy it as much as I did! Haha I usually don't cry easily when it comes to books but there were a few moments in this one which really got to me! XD

      Liked by 1 person

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