Title: Far From the Tree

Author: Robin Benway

Pages: 389 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster’s Children’s

The Blurb

‘Sometimes, family hurts each other. But after that’s done you bandage each other up, and you move on. Together. So you can go and think that you’re some lone wolf, but you’re not. You’ve got us now, like it or not, and we’ve got you.’

When 16 year-old Grace gives up her baby for adoption, she decides that the time has come to find out more about her own biological mother. Although her biological mum proves elusive, her search leads her to two half-siblings she never knew existed.

Maya, 15, has been adopted by wealthy parents and seems to have the picture-perfect family – that is, if you look past her alcoholic mother and the fact that Maya stands out like a sore thumb.

Older brother Joaquin hasn’t been so lucky. At 18, he’s shuffled between foster home after foster home, always careful never to get attached to anyone or anything, because it always gets taken away. 

When these three siblings come together, they find in themselves the place they can belong, while the secrets they guard threaten to explode…

For fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Nicola Yoon, Far From the Tree is a raw, compelling, and ultimately uplifting story of what it means to be family. 

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Sometimes a book comes along that sweeps you away. It is the sort of book that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page and it will be the book that you shove into the hands of others because you know that they have to read it. For me, this book is Far From the Tree.

Far From the Tree is the story of three siblings who have all been adopted or fostered to different families and who didn’t know the others existed until recently. Along with finding siblings they never knew they also set on a journey of finding themselves.

I honestly loved Far From the Tree. I was hooked from the very first page and it is a book that I have now read with my teenage reading group. It deals with issues such as slut shaming, adoption, the foster system and finding a sense of belonging. Far From the Tree tore my heart out but it also repaired it.

I constantly say it and I am probably boring others with my repetition but YA fiction is the genre that is the most prevalent at the moment. With books like Far From the Tree in its midst you can see why it is a flourishing genre.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway is available now.

For more information regarding Robin Benway (@RobinBenway) please visit www.robinbenway.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster Children’s (@simonkids_UK) please visit www.kids.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay

Author: Laura Steven

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing UK

The Blurb

A hilarious, groundbreaking young adult novel for anyone who’s ever called themselves a feminist . . . and anyone who hasn’t. For fans of Louise O’Neill, Holly Bourne and Amy Schumer. 

Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .

Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off – but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It’s the Exact Opposite of Okay.

Bitingly funny and shockingly relevant, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a bold, brave and necessary read. For readers of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Doing It by Hannah Witton and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

The Review

Oh my wow. What a debut. Laura Steven has knocked it out of the park with her debut novel The Exact Opposite of Okay. It is the teen feminist novel that I didn’t have. I never thought I would hear myself say this but it made me want to be a teenager again so that I could have a copy of The Exact Opposite of Okay as my weapon of choice against the douchebaggery that is high school. I’m not even sure that sentence made sense. That is how good this novel is.

The story centres around protagonist Izzy O’Neill who makes some decisions about her life that don’t fair too well for her. Okay. I’m 34 and I will admit that I did judge Izzy for some of the things she did. I frequently said out loud to the empty room “Oh Izzy, you will regret this.” But then I realised this is exactly what this book is about. Judging people by the standards we set for ourselves and the belief that those standards are universally good and right and moral. Laura Steven teaches us in The Exact Opposite of Okay that if you are happy with how you are living your life then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. She does this all the while looking at the disparity in slut shaming and how the privilege of having xy chromosome gives you license to not be judged for doing the exact same thing as the xx card holders.

The Exact Opposite of Okay will go down as one of my favourite books of the year. It is sharp, sassy and makes me excited to see what else Laura Steven has up her sleeve.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Steven (@LaurMSteven) please visit www.laura_steven.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing UK (@EgmontUK) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.