Far From the Tree is an exploration of family, the one you find and the one you're born into. Great concept, right? But I definitely did not guess just how good this would be. A story like this is one that can only succeed based off stellar character work, and my expectations for character work in contemporary is often quite low. But this was so lovely.
This book revolves around three siblings, each with their own conflicts.
Grace has recently given birth and put a girl up for adoption. Ostracized at school and by her ex-boyfriend, she’s trying to fit in.
Maya is living with divorcing parents and a dysfunctional home situation. And also her first girlfriend.
Joaquin is a foster child trying to decide whether to trust his maybe adoptees.
And guess what: I loved all three of them. I don’t want to give away much about this book, because it’s one best experienced. But if I were to sum this book up, it feels so personal . With such fantastic characters, the friendship and family element totally stands out.
The older she got, the more human her parents seemed, and that was one of the scariest things in the world. She missed being little, when they were the all-knowing gods of her world, but at the same time, seeing them as human made it easier to see herself that way, too.
Oh, and I love the representations of being adopted. It's amazing. And I adore the way Maya is represented as a gay girl.
It turns out she wasn't the only gay kid at school, and she was never harassed or teased - but she found she didn't know how to be affectionate with friends. Would they think sh was hitting on them if she just hugged them hello? Would she make it weird just by being herself? It hadn't mattered with Lauren, but at her new school, Maya found herself holding back, using sarcasm as affectionate until it became habit, until it became who she was.
This book feels so personal, and so emotional, but also so hopeful. It’s the perfect tone for this kind of story. Would highly, highly recommend.