National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Robin Benway returns with a story of love, loss, and sisterhood reminiscent of I’ll Give You the Sun and Every Day. Told in reverse chronological order, A Year to the Day will claim a permanent home in your heart.
IT’S BEEN A YEAR—A YEAR OF MISSING NINA
Leo can’t remember what happened the night of the accident. All she knows is that she left the party with her older sister, Nina, and Nina’s boyfriend, East. And now Nina is dead, killed by a drunk driver and leaving Leo with a hole inside her that’s impossible to fill.
East, who loved Nina almost as much as Leo did, is the person who seems to most understand how she feels, and the two form a friendship based on their shared grief. But as she struggles to remember what happened, Leo discovers that East remembers every detail of the accident—and he won’t tell her anything about it. In fact, he refuses to talk about that night at all.
As the days tumble one into the next, Leo’s story comes together while her world falls apart. How can she move on if she never knows what really happened that night? And is happiness even possible in a world without Nina?
Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of nine novels for young people, including Far From the Tree, Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the PEN America Literary Award, the Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults, and ALA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Bookpage, Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than 25 countries. Her sixth novel, Far From the Tree, won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the PEN America Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, and the Boston Globe. In addition to her fictional work, her non-fiction work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Bustle, Elle, and more. Her newest book, The Girls of Skylark Lane, will be in stores in Fall 2024.
Robin grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was a recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Hudson.
"A moving exploration of grief in all its unpredictable messiness... An intelligent, compassionate examination of a family enduring a nightmare." — Kirkus Reviews
"The backward chronology is a bold and worthy experiment... A Year to the Day is a moving exploration of how the mind both punishes and protects, and a reminder of how fortunate we are to love and be loved, even if only for a short time." — New York Times Book Review
"The intense magic of Benway’s storytelling will be most welcome to those who loved her Far From the Tree." — Youth Services Book Review
"Told in reverse chronological order, A Year to the Day will claim a permanent home in your heart." — School Library Journal
"Suspense, unanswered questions, and raw emotion blend together in an honest examination of one family’s varying symptoms and stages of grief." — Publishers Weekly
"An emotional gut punch. Give this to empathetic readers who are ready for an emotional journey less about closure than understanding." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Simultaneously gut-wrenching and heartening, as grief and love so often are. Its [A Year to the Day] unusual structure effectively relates a timeless story in a new and engaging way as Benway offers beautiful, profound reflections on loss, healing and forgiveness. Ultimately, Leo’s story is a lesson in self-compassion and hope, reminding readers that moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting the past, and although love can be painful, it’s worth holding on to." — BookPage (Starred Review)
Praise for Far From the Tree: “Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching... Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A brilliant exercise in empathy.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A sensitive exploration of what it means to be a family…With an abundance of warmth and humor, the novel continues to circle back to the message that love doesn’t require perfection — that perhaps it reveals itself most fully when we don’t quite get it right, but keep trying.”
— Chicago Tribune
“Benway adeptly leads readers through a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery. Expect to cry real tears at this one.”
— School Library Journal
“Far from the Tree is the kind of book that strikes close to a reader’s heart. I had to know what happened to Grace, Maya, and Joaquin, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Beautiful.”
— Ally Condie, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Matched trilogy
“Far from the Tree is a touching story about the strength and love of unconventional families, and the unbreakable bond of siblings near and far. Robin Benway’s characters are authentically crafted, full of heart, hurt, and hope.”
— Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and Little & Lion
“A beautifully written story about the families we’re born with and the families we choose, as well as the power — and potential pain — of that choice.”
“A deeply moving novel...The trials the three teens face are always confronted directly and never diminished; their relationships, both new and old, are complicated and beautiful.”
— Shelf Awareness
“Far from the Tree dives deep into themes of heartbreak and love, and presents a profound, emotional meditation on what it means to be family.”
“If you’ve even once wept at NBC’s This Is Us, you particularly owe it to yourself to pick this one up.”
“The book really is something special.”
— Wall Street Journal
“Readers will appreciate the explorations of family, stigma, and vulnerability. Benway is looking to follow in the Caroline Cooney footsteps of smart, realism-grounded stories.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books