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We Are Not From Here

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A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. An A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go. In this powerful story inspired by current events, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to painful, poignant, vivid life. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.


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A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. An A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go. In this powerful story inspired by current events, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to painful, poignant, vivid life. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

30 review for We Are Not From Here

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Torres

    Wrote it from my heart, hope it reaches yours.

  2. 4 out of 5

    sarah xoxo

    “We are small people, with small names, meant to live small lives. That’s all we’re allowed to live. That’s all the world wants us to live. But sometimes, even that, even that, it won’t give us. Instead the world wants to crush us.” We are not From Here was a book I knew next to nothing about when I picked it up, had heard no one talk about and had no expectations for. I now want to remedy that, because this is the type of book that deserves to be shouted about from the rooftops, hyped and be giv “We are small people, with small names, meant to live small lives. That’s all we’re allowed to live. That’s all the world wants us to live. But sometimes, even that, even that, it won’t give us. Instead the world wants to crush us.” We are not From Here was a book I knew next to nothing about when I picked it up, had heard no one talk about and had no expectations for. I now want to remedy that, because this is the type of book that deserves to be shouted about from the rooftops, hyped and be given attention to. I was in no way prepared for the lasting impact this book would have on me, and I now need to talk about it in the hopes that even one person will read it. We follow three Guatemalan teens on one of the most dangerous and deadly trips a person can take. They want to reach the US, and cross from Guatemala through to Mexico, following La Bestia- the beast train. The characters were the shining light of the story. After seeing everything that had gone through, I was rooting for them with every fibre of my being. I loved their bond-family-though not by blood. I really admired the lack of romance in this book (and that is coming from me, a sucker for any type of romance). Their relationships felt so natural and authentic, and even stronger than if they were romantic ones. “Blood doesn’t matter to us unless its spilling. We’re family. There for each other no matter what.” They're just teenagers-the same age as me- and yet I could never even imagine what they had gone through. Simply hearing their internal dialogue about the types of things they have to worry about broke my heart. They not only prepare for the worst every single day, but they expect it. “Maybe in other places terrible news is unexpected, but here it is not. Here we wait for it always, and it always comes." Pequeña, Chico and Pulga are fictional characters, but this story is real. These are the experiences of thousands of people, their lives. And yet even if they make it through the perilous journey to the US, their troubles continue. “We are so small. We are specks that don’t matter to this world. Our lives, our dreams, our families, don’t matter to this world. Our hearts, our souls, our bodies don’t matter to this world. All it wants to do us is crush us." We Are Not From Here showcased the worst of humanity, the darkest most horrible experiences one could ever encounter- but also the importance of kindness, human connection and love. In terms of storytelling, I could not stop listening. The plot was as riveting as it was difficult to read. I needed to know what would happen, needed everything to work out for these characters. I loved the inclusion of Spanish words throughout, and how they were incorporated so that even I, a non-Spanish speaker could understand through the context. I would really recommend the audiobook to those interested, because to me it elevated the atmosphere and reality of the story. I am not quite sure what is holding me back from giving this a full five stars. It may have been the ending which I think wrapped up a little too quickly for my liking, or the lack of an epilogue. Whatever it is, I would still recommend this book without hesitation to anyone who wants a hard hitting and relevant YA contemporary. “We did it. We are not those in the distance who have stopped running and have to wait for the next train. We are not those back in our neighborhoods, waking up to another day and another and another and whatever threat has climbed in through our windows, whispered our horrible fate into our ears. We are each luchadores. We are fighters. We are those who dared to try against impossible odds." Thank you to Dreamscape Media and Libro.fm for this ALC Release Date: 19 May 2020

  3. 4 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    A timely, thought provoking, heart wrenching, desperate tale of 3 teens trying to cross the Mexican border into the US for safety and a future that will viscerally tear through your heart. ⁣ ⁣ Jenny Torres Sanchez has literally ripped my heart out with this book! Pulga, Chico and Pequeña’s journey brought up so many emotions in me - I ugly cried, I laughed, I felt horror, I felt hope but above all I felt such admiration and love for these characters. ⁣ ⁣ This is a reality we hear often in the ne A timely, thought provoking, heart wrenching, desperate tale of 3 teens trying to cross the Mexican border into the US for safety and a future that will viscerally tear through your heart. ⁣ ⁣ Jenny Torres Sanchez has literally ripped my heart out with this book! Pulga, Chico and Pequeña’s journey brought up so many emotions in me - I ugly cried, I laughed, I felt horror, I felt hope but above all I felt such admiration and love for these characters. ⁣ ⁣ This is a reality we hear often in the news - immigrants desperately trying to cross into US borders. This story brings this to life in such a vivid, emotional way. We experience why these teens need to leave everything and everyone they know and love. We are with them every step of their perilous, often daunting journey and feel all their loss and their unyielding desire to survive. ⁣ ⁣ 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐈 𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝. It was my favorite June read and easily will be in my top books for the year. Thank you to Libro.fm for providing me with an ALC which was absolutely amazing! ⁣

  4. 4 out of 5

    BookNightOwl

    One of my favorite reads of this year!!! This tugged at all the heart strings. I cried and I smiled reading this book. We are not from here is about 3 kids who want to leave the lives behind in Guatemala and head to the United States. It talks about the dangers they face in their own country. It talks about the dangers they encounter in trying to come into the States. I have never read a book like this one. A true eye opener.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ We Are Not From Here is such an impactful, emotional and character-driven novel that focuses on immigration as 3 teens flee Guatemala to reach the US. This novel is a must read for 2020, it will stay with you long after the final page. ↠ We Are Not From Here full ARC review 🌿✨ Novels such as this one are so difficult to review, especially as a reader from a Latinx family. Sanchez brilliantly focuses on the characters internal and emotional journeys that change throughout th Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ We Are Not From Here is such an impactful, emotional and character-driven novel that focuses on immigration as 3 teens flee Guatemala to reach the US. This novel is a must read for 2020, it will stay with you long after the final page. ↠ We Are Not From Here full ARC review 🌿✨ Novels such as this one are so difficult to review, especially as a reader from a Latinx family. Sanchez brilliantly focuses on the characters internal and emotional journeys that change throughout the course of this novel as the reach the US. Pulga, Chico & Pequeña are characters that came to life in such an indescribable way. They each have their own personal and heartfelt stories that not only come to life, but intertwine as these 3 teens who are basically family, continue despite facing uncertainties. The writing is poetic, the narrative also weaves in elements of magical realism, as it follows each of our main cast's journeys. It also explores very real topics in a heartbreaking way. However, this novel is not without hope. I'm speechless after finishing this book, I highly recommend this book, its not one to miss! *Read an ARC sent by the publisher (Full review will be on my blog)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carmensutra

    This is a clear and direct YA alternative to American Dirt. A heart-stopping and emotional story of immigrating to the US by teens who have no choices left where they are. Beautiful and so incredibly sad. Makes you think about why people still risk coming to this country, even when they face being locked in cages. A stunner of a book and so, so timely.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tomes And Textiles

    FULL REVIEW CAN BE FOUND ON TOMES AND TEXTILES. “We are not those back in our neighborhoods waking up to another day and another and another of whatever threat has climbed in through our windows, whispered our horrible fate into our ears. We are luchadores. We are fighters. We are those that dare to try against impossible odds. We determine our own fate.” Jenny Torres Sanchez, We Are Not From Here⁣ 💙⁣ I have really struggled with what to say about this book. It hurt my heart to read it, like so man FULL REVIEW CAN BE FOUND ON TOMES AND TEXTILES. “We are not those back in our neighborhoods waking up to another day and another and another of whatever threat has climbed in through our windows, whispered our horrible fate into our ears. We are luchadores. We are fighters. We are those that dare to try against impossible odds. We determine our own fate.” Jenny Torres Sanchez, We Are Not From Here⁣ 💙⁣ I have really struggled with what to say about this book. It hurt my heart to read it, like so many things that I have learned about the undocumented immigrant experience, but, also, I was unable to stop listening to the audiobook. I stayed up late to finish it. I was carried away by the narrative, sure, but this book was first a character study of three young teens struggling with life in Guatemala and faced with impossible circumstances. They risk it all to make the trek north on La Bestia, where they are outsiders and struggling along the way against insurmountable circumstances, outcasts everywhere they go. They encounter both help and hurt and you can’t help but root for them.⁣ 💙⁣ The entire beating heart of of this compelling story are the characters themselves and their relationships: Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña. The found family trope was so delicately drawn to expose the humanity and complexity of these three friends. It was beautiful.⁣ 💙⁣ On the other side of the coin, I do always wonder how many stories of the struggle to make it to the US to escape dire circumstances only to be tossed aside and imprisoned or worse are needed. There has been tremendous discourse on IG about harmful books, who gets to tell a story, what types of stories capture authentic experiences, and capitalizing on Black and Brown pain. We know which books are extremely harmful to the immigrant experience (AD) and which ones are necessary and authentic (The Undocumented Americans, for example). To me, We Are Not From Here falls towards The Undocumented Americans side of the spectrum. This fiction was well-researched and also obviously part of Jenny’s family lived experiences. It was heartfelt and poignant with tension necessary to carry the story without seeming exploitive. ⁣ 💙⁣ I think you’re going to see this one on a lot of year-end lists, so I encourage you to pick it up and tell me what you think.⁣ FOLLOW TOMES AND TEXTILES FOR MORE BOOKISH PHOTOS AND GENERAL FLAILING ABOUT BOOKS.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Padma Venkatraman

    I was traveling and had a million things to get done when this novel was sent to me for a potential blurb. I was riveted from the first page of this book and shocked and touched by the plight of the three teenagers in Guatemala whose plight and fate this story follows. I could not put this book down and I am honored to help it enter the world. I can’t imagine any teen being anything but riveted by the story of Pulga Chico and Pequena as they are forced to make a terrifying journey, leaving behin I was traveling and had a million things to get done when this novel was sent to me for a potential blurb. I was riveted from the first page of this book and shocked and touched by the plight of the three teenagers in Guatemala whose plight and fate this story follows. I could not put this book down and I am honored to help it enter the world. I can’t imagine any teen being anything but riveted by the story of Pulga Chico and Pequena as they are forced to make a terrifying journey, leaving behind their home and loved ones when their lives are threatened. I can’t imagine any heart would not be moved by their fight to survive and retain their humanity. Sanchez has created characters that are real and flawed and brave and young and unforgettable; each of the three strong in a different way. If you aren’t afraid of being ripped apart by raw emotion, read this book. If you are afraid of being ripped apart by raw emotion, read this book. Because some books, like We Are Not From Here are important and necessary and they force us to imagine the unimaginable. They shrink our world by expanding our understanding and empathy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    We Are Not From Here follows three Guatemalan teens along their treacherous journey to the United States as they flee the violence of their homeland. Pequeña, Pulga, and Chico, whose Spanish nicknames even deny their humanity, ride La Bestia—the beast, the death train—dreaming of better lives. Eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust, this book is about the unthinkable events that force people from their homes, that occur along their journey to the U.S., and that greet them once they arrive (so long We Are Not From Here follows three Guatemalan teens along their treacherous journey to the United States as they flee the violence of their homeland. Pequeña, Pulga, and Chico, whose Spanish nicknames even deny their humanity, ride La Bestia—the beast, the death train—dreaming of better lives. Eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust, this book is about the unthinkable events that force people from their homes, that occur along their journey to the U.S., and that greet them once they arrive (so long as they survive). Unforgettable—the squealing brakes of La Bestia are the screams of migrant children, demanding to be heard. Open your eyes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    I don’t want to spoil this story by revealing too may details, so I’ll keep this brief. Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña are teens being threatened so much that it’s no longer safe to remain in their country. So they make the gut-wrenching decision to leave the only home they’ve known and begin the devastating journey through the deadly dessert and into the United States. It’s a grueling and tearful journey, but based on many real-life experiences. And that’s all I’m going to share of the plot line. 🙂 I don’t want to spoil this story by revealing too may details, so I’ll keep this brief. Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña are teens being threatened so much that it’s no longer safe to remain in their country. So they make the gut-wrenching decision to leave the only home they’ve known and begin the devastating journey through the deadly dessert and into the United States. It’s a grueling and tearful journey, but based on many real-life experiences. And that’s all I’m going to share of the plot line. 🙂 But I’ll also say that it’s absolutely heartbreaking and will keep the reader on the edge of their seat until they discover how it all ends. Americans generally have such a limited understanding of the reasons why so many cross the border to get into our country without going through so-called “proper channels.” Ignorance is bliss, y’all. Because this story made me feel such anger and sorrow at the lack of options for people literally running for their lives. This story forces the reader to consider — if your family was being threatened, held at gunpoint, children being raped, your food/money being stolen, while you basically become slaves to hostile community leaders, would you take a major risk and break the law in order to save your family? Perhaps you’ll never truly know. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me the audiobook of We Are Not From Here. For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. From the perspective of the story line I can’t begin to describe the emotions I felt alongside the characters as they push to survive. Their fear, their despair, the loss, their love and loyalty. This was a look into a truth you don’t hear much about unless the news decides to brandish their spin on it. This may be one of the most powerfully imprinted reads I have personally listened to this year. My rating is strictly based on the audio exp This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. From the perspective of the story line I can’t begin to describe the emotions I felt alongside the characters as they push to survive. Their fear, their despair, the loss, their love and loyalty. This was a look into a truth you don’t hear much about unless the news decides to brandish their spin on it. This may be one of the most powerfully imprinted reads I have personally listened to this year. My rating is strictly based on the audio experience, writing and character connections. The story itself is a strong 5/5 for me but the narration does not do it the justice I felt it needed. There honestly may not be a narration possible to capture the emotion running through these pages. The characters are easy to connect with and you find yourself cheering them on, wanting to reach a hand through the pages and lift them up every step of the way. It did take me a couple chapters to form a bond with them and I’m not sure if that was due to listening or the writing style. There were also scenes that delved around the mentally imaginative thought process of the characters and at times I couldn’t see how it fit with the current setting. It was faced paced and has a lot of topics that may be too much for some younger readers. Reader warnings: Drugs, gang violence, descriptive death, rape, detention center conditions. I recommend this novel for too many reasons to count. Whether you listen to it or read it I think this should be one that doesn’t get missed this year. Thank you to libro.fm and Philomel Books for providing the advanced listening copy for an honest and unbiased opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    Haunting and phenomenal.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This may well become known as the "American Dirt" for Young Adults. In fact, I found the premise more believable. Three teens -- Pequena, Pulga and Chico, ages 17, 15 and 13 -- are in way over their heads where gangs are concerned in their Guatemalan home town. Through no fault of their own, they see themselves as out of local options, making the life-threatening decision to leave their families to travel to Nogales, Mexico, crossing the border to sanctuary in the U.S. The trip is 1740 miles as t This may well become known as the "American Dirt" for Young Adults. In fact, I found the premise more believable. Three teens -- Pequena, Pulga and Chico, ages 17, 15 and 13 -- are in way over their heads where gangs are concerned in their Guatemalan home town. Through no fault of their own, they see themselves as out of local options, making the life-threatening decision to leave their families to travel to Nogales, Mexico, crossing the border to sanctuary in the U.S. The trip is 1740 miles as the crow flies. The road distance is 2249 miles. The trip by bus is two days, eight hours and costs between $130 and $180. There are no direct flights. The quickest flight is more than 14 hours with one stopover and costs less than $300. But they are illegals. Their only option other than walking is to get to La Bestia, The Beast, the train -- actually series of trains -- taking them almost to the border. They ride trains for three weeks -- on and off/on and off/on and off endlessly. Each on and off is a horrifying and life-threatening challenge taken along with others. Injuries are commonplace. Sometimes the injuries cause death. They must not trust anyone. They must not befriend anyone. But even when the train rides end, they are not there yet. They must pay a coyote an exorbitant amount to lead them to safety in the U.S. over another three nights of grueling walking through desert and hiding during the day. Hunger. Fear. Pain. Endless danger. Kidnappers. Thirst. Dehydration. Hallucinations. Death. Tears. Hurt. Anger. Lies. Nightmares. Rain. Lightning. Thunder. Sorrow. Puglia: "Whatever good luck we get, we will pay for it eventually." Puglia: We are specks that don't matter to this world. Our lives, our dreams, our families don't matter to this world. Our hearts, our souls, our bodies don't matter to this world. All it wants to do is crush us." This is a "ripped-from-the-headlines" story that will stay with the reader long after turning the last page.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I will never forget this book. I read between 200 and 400 books every year and when I am on my deathbed, I will be able to book talk this book. I am devastated by this story as I have been about the reality that this story speaks of for some time. Simply devastated. This book is timely. It’s important. It’s going to kick some entitled teens in the shins and force them to see how different and difficult and heartbreaking and dangerous their lives could be if the circumstances surrounding their bi I will never forget this book. I read between 200 and 400 books every year and when I am on my deathbed, I will be able to book talk this book. I am devastated by this story as I have been about the reality that this story speaks of for some time. Simply devastated. This book is timely. It’s important. It’s going to kick some entitled teens in the shins and force them to see how different and difficult and heartbreaking and dangerous their lives could be if the circumstances surrounding their birth had been different. This book is going to turn into a bruja for me. Reappearing and showing me things that will hopefully help me become a better person who takes action in different ways to help realize positive, humane changes to immigration policy, reform, and practice. Families belong together. Kids don’t belong in cages. No human is an alien. And people seeking asylum and escaping dangerous situations are refugees - no matter their country/continent of origin.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Ferencz

    This is a heart-breaking book. Full of grief, pain, and also hope, it is a lyrically-written account of three young people’s attempt to leave their dangerous circumstances in Guatemala.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Dyer

    Intense and utterly heartbreaking! This book really opened my eyes to the plights of those seeking better lives in the US.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalia

    This is a book everyone needs to read. This should've been the American dirt ideal of the country.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This was an incredible story about three young people from Guatemala fleeing danger with hopes of reaching America. I highly recommend this powerful story. I could see it being paired with Manuelito by Elisa Amado: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... This was an incredible story about three young people from Guatemala fleeing danger with hopes of reaching America. I highly recommend this powerful story. I could see it being paired with Manuelito by Elisa Amado: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    The rating is my own, not a testament to the book which will be received and rated much higher because of the emotional appeal of three teenagers escaping their lives fraught with danger in Guatemala and trying to get to the United States using a generally deadly train system. I thought the writing was dense and plodded through it in a way that left me less than thrilled to keep pace with the three central characters (and the two that narrate). It just didn't roll well and it's likely because of The rating is my own, not a testament to the book which will be received and rated much higher because of the emotional appeal of three teenagers escaping their lives fraught with danger in Guatemala and trying to get to the United States using a generally deadly train system. I thought the writing was dense and plodded through it in a way that left me less than thrilled to keep pace with the three central characters (and the two that narrate). It just didn't roll well and it's likely because of the weight of the story needed more weighted words- so I get it- I just couldn't get into a rhythm because it was so heavy. The story is absolutely relevant and proves a voice to the dangers and tragedies that happened and continue to happen at the border because of homeland violence and the need for a better life elsewhere.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    I learned a lot during (and after) my reading experience of American Dirt and really wanted to read more books about immigration, specifically by "Own Voices" authors. When I saw that We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez was one of the LibroFM ALC choices, I couldn't wait to listen.  We are introduced to three young Guatalmean teenagers, Pulga, Chico, and Pequena. Author Torres Sanchez pulled us right in as we learn about their backstories, their relationships with one another, and the vi I learned a lot during (and after) my reading experience of American Dirt and really wanted to read more books about immigration, specifically by "Own Voices" authors. When I saw that We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez was one of the LibroFM ALC choices, I couldn't wait to listen.  We are introduced to three young Guatalmean teenagers, Pulga, Chico, and Pequena. Author Torres Sanchez pulled us right in as we learn about their backstories, their relationships with one another, and the violence and dangers they face daily in their own country. They make the decision to flee their home town in search of a better life. While these characters are fictional, they are based on real events and people that are experiencing this every single day.  We Are Not From Here takes us into the heartbreaking and treacherous journey that not only shares why someone would be pushed to leave their country of origin but also the harrowing journey of the trek north following La Bestia, frequently referred to as "the death train." This book is haunting and at the same time shares the humanity of their journey. It gives us a glimpse of what immigrants experience, and the many risks they encounter while trying to make their way into the United States. The characters, both the main protagonists and the characters we meet just for a moment along the way are unforgettable and add so much to this nuanced and multifaceted storyline. While classified as a "YA" novel it is unforgettable, and every young adult and adult should read this book.  Thank you to LibroFM for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. You can read this review and other book reviews at genthebookworm.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    3.5 stars *thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book for review WE ARE NOT FROM HERE is a powerful, hard-hitting story of the journey to freedom from danger and terror. This was the first book I’ve read of its kind, and it was incredibly thought provoking and truthful. Our three main characters go through so much emotionally, mentally, and physically from start to finish of this novel, and it was translated so well on the page. Of course I cannot speak for the accuracy of any even 3.5 stars *thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book for review WE ARE NOT FROM HERE is a powerful, hard-hitting story of the journey to freedom from danger and terror. This was the first book I’ve read of its kind, and it was incredibly thought provoking and truthful. Our three main characters go through so much emotionally, mentally, and physically from start to finish of this novel, and it was translated so well on the page. Of course I cannot speak for the accuracy of any event in the book, but I can say that it was tragic and so meaningful to read. I do wish we knew more about the characters’ pasts. The book begins as things begin to escalate in their lives, and from there on we are in the present, which made the characters a little two-dimensional, though their relationships were built really well. I also think there was some sort of magical-realism (though I hesitate to call it that because it isn’t quite magical) element that could have been elaborated on a bit more and that confused me. I would highly recommend this book; it is truly eye-opening and impactful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Thank you Penguin Teen, Libro.fm and Dreamscape Media for the free early audio and netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I listened to the ALC the other day and really enjoyed this beautiful, heartbreaking journey that three teens take, from the only home they’ve ever known in Guatemala, to the US border. I’ve seen and heard about all kinds of ways that immigrants try to cross the border undetected. But when I think of people trying to get into the US, I just t Thank you Penguin Teen, Libro.fm and Dreamscape Media for the free early audio and netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I listened to the ALC the other day and really enjoyed this beautiful, heartbreaking journey that three teens take, from the only home they’ve ever known in Guatemala, to the US border. I’ve seen and heard about all kinds of ways that immigrants try to cross the border undetected. But when I think of people trying to get into the US, I just think about them being in Mexico, on the border. I never thought about how they got to the border. This book really opened my eyes to the journey that some attempt from countries even further south. I never would have imagined people hitching rides on trains! My main complaint about the audio version was that the same narrator read both Pulga and Pequeña’s sections. I would have liked a male narrator to read Pulga’s chapters to make it easier to keep track of who’s thoughts I was listening to. This story had just enough tragedy that it made it seem very realistic. I imagine it’s the kind of journey that takes place every day and sometimes the outcome is more fortunate and sometimes it’s much more disastrous. Overall a very informative and emotional read perfect for adults and young adults alike. Use READINGBTW to get your first three credits for the price of one when you join @librofm and support the independent bookstore of your choice!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book was powerful and heart breaking. I have never read a book like this and it was way past time for me. This is a must read! There was great imagery and descriptions of what the teens went through as they tried to travel to a safer future. There is no holding back any details about the tragic events that these characters traveled through. Although it is a work of fiction, it gave me a better understanding of the hardships that children, teens, and adults go through to make sure they survi This book was powerful and heart breaking. I have never read a book like this and it was way past time for me. This is a must read! There was great imagery and descriptions of what the teens went through as they tried to travel to a safer future. There is no holding back any details about the tragic events that these characters traveled through. Although it is a work of fiction, it gave me a better understanding of the hardships that children, teens, and adults go through to make sure they survive for another day. I listened to this as an audiobook and it was amazing. It brought the story even more to life as it included the Spanish words spoken between the characters.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    4.5 stars. Haunting and heartbreaking, We Are Not From Here is a tough but essential read. It is a story of immigration and survival, weaving together the stories of three teens, unrelated but bonded like siblings, as they flee dangerous situations in Guatemala. Their journey north is extremely tough to read. It is violent and harrowing, but beautifully written, and I especially love the magical realism woven into Pequeña’s chapters. I think those teens living in American who cannot begin to fat 4.5 stars. Haunting and heartbreaking, We Are Not From Here is a tough but essential read. It is a story of immigration and survival, weaving together the stories of three teens, unrelated but bonded like siblings, as they flee dangerous situations in Guatemala. Their journey north is extremely tough to read. It is violent and harrowing, but beautifully written, and I especially love the magical realism woven into Pequeña’s chapters. I think those teens living in American who cannot begin to fathom this situation could really deepen their understanding of immigration through this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    You guys. This. Book. Is. Incredible. I listened to the audio book and I cannot even describe how amazing this book was. I loved the narrator, too, which is always a plus when it comes to audio books. Prepare yourself: you will need lots of tissues for this one. I found myself quite teary-eyed throughout the book. Just so much raw emotion. The things these teenagers went through and the things they witnessed not heir way to the United States was devastating, eye-opening, and incredibly heartbreakin You guys. This. Book. Is. Incredible. I listened to the audio book and I cannot even describe how amazing this book was. I loved the narrator, too, which is always a plus when it comes to audio books. Prepare yourself: you will need lots of tissues for this one. I found myself quite teary-eyed throughout the book. Just so much raw emotion. The things these teenagers went through and the things they witnessed not heir way to the United States was devastating, eye-opening, and incredibly heartbreaking. But it's also a story of love and friendship, and the things we will sacrifice for those we love. I would recommend this to anyone. Absolutely 100% five starts. Thank you LibroFM and Dreamscape Media for providing an ALC for me to listen to and review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    johely (bookrokosmos)

    I need!! Bookstagram ❥ Twitter ❥ Booktube I need!! Bookstagram ❥ Twitter ❥ Booktube

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Review coming soon.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book will stay with me for a very, very long time.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zinnia Bayardo

    It’s been a couple hours since reading the last words of this story and I’m still processing it all. I feel the need to have the right words to really express my thoughts and feelings about what I just read. This should be in every classroom and shared with every student and teacher, and everyone outside of school as well. I know this is a work of fiction but I also know there are many stories like this and other stories yet to be told that are very much real and sadly nothing fictional about th It’s been a couple hours since reading the last words of this story and I’m still processing it all. I feel the need to have the right words to really express my thoughts and feelings about what I just read. This should be in every classroom and shared with every student and teacher, and everyone outside of school as well. I know this is a work of fiction but I also know there are many stories like this and other stories yet to be told that are very much real and sadly nothing fictional about them. So many, many men, women, and children make the heartbreaking decision to leave their country, their loves, their home, their hopes and dreams to travel across miles and miles of land by foot and on a dangerous beast of a train knowing full well the risks their lives will be in every second along the way. And yet, they do it. Why? Because what they need to leave and flee from is far worse than what is ahead of them. Because they too have dreams and wish to pursue happiness. Because they too are human. The humanity of their journey, the humanity of their plight, the humanity of their fear and dreams are what grips me. How can it not? How can we just shrug and say, “oh well, not my problem.” I hear you, Pulga. I hear your scream and that of all those just wanting a chance at the best and beautiful life that we all want. I will share this book with everyone I know young and old. Pulga, Chico, and Pequena will stay with me forever and I will make sure others know their story as well. From the book, not even half way through their journey… “We did it. We are not those in the distance who have stopped running and have to wait for the next train. We are not those back in our neighborhoods, waking up to another day and another and another and whatever threat has climbed in through our windows, whispered our horrible fate into our ears. We are each luchadores. We are fighters. We are those who dared to try against impossible odds. We determine our own feet. The train speeds up even more and the hot when is whipping at our faces. The sun beats down on us, so bright it hardly seems real. We settle in, weaving our fingers into the small holes in the grades on top of the train, and holding on, so tight. And even though we’re afraid, even though the fear is right there we need the surface, it’s a different kind of fear. It’s fear with hope. And hope matters, as we ride in an unknown future. Danger behind us. Danger ahead of us. Danger all around us.” #5starread #favoriteread2020

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    Thank you to Libro.FM and the publisher for providing me with a DLC in exchange for an honest review!

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