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 adored this book so much that I don’t think I’ll be able to do the book justice. This was one from my 10 Books on my Summer TBR list, and quite a few of you commented saying that this book was amazing, so I prioritized it. And I’m so glad I did. I didn’t mean to read the book as fast as I did, but I just couldn’t put it down either!
Grace, Maya, and Joaquin wormed their way into my heart. Each of them were flawed, but so, so loveable. Maya’s sarcasm had me giggling, Grace was just so lost after giving up her baby, and Joaquin needed all the hugs in the world. What they all had in common, aside from dipping their fries in mayonnaise (maybe I’m related to them too?), was that they were all self-sabotaging in some way. It’s as if they felt like they didn’t deserve to be fully happy, and just always waited for the other shoe to drop. This wasn’t so much Grace as much as it was Maya and Joaquin, but I know it was somewhere inside of Grace that she felt like she didn’t deserve happiness after giving up her child.
As far as side characters go, Rafe was by far my favorite and he deserved some more page time when he was hanging out with Grace. He was a great companion for her when she really needed a friend as she was going through all these emotions and meeting her bio-siblings.
What I loved with these three was that they felt a familial bond with one another right away, and when each of their secrets were revealed, they only bonded more. Yet, that didn’t stop them from trying to keep one another at arm’s length at first, which is understandable, but I just loved how accepting they were with one another and didn’t let their secrets get in the way of their growing relationship. I was very happy when Maya and Joaquin joined Grace to look for their birth mother, and I wasn’t all surprised with the outcome of it.
Again, I’m not even sure how to explain how much I enjoyed this book. I think my only complaint is that I didn’t want this book to end, so I wish it had been longer. I would have loved to see more of these siblings with each other and their families. I highly recommend this book, and thanks to everyone who basically recommended it to me!
Rating: 5/5 stars