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We Are Not From Here

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,964 ratings  ·  486 reviews
A ripped-from-the-headlines novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña have no false illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Though their families--both biological and found--create a warm community for them, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all t
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by Philomel Books
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,964 ratings  ·  486 reviews

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Jenny Torres
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Wrote it from my heart, hope it reaches yours.
I feel like I've been saying this for a lot of books, BUT 2020 is really coming through this year with the books. I was completely and totally heartbroken by this book, but I can't emphasize how important it is

I was provided an ARC of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

Trigger Warnings: rape, sexual assault, death (on page), dismemberment (on page), violence against children, gang violence, racism

We Are Not From Here is one of those books that takes directly from real life experience
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hey-ya, 2020, diverse-recs

Why this book may not be for you: This is a YA contemporary about a very difficult subject. The plot is simple, and with that I don't mean to say that any of the character's motivations are simple or that any of this journey is simple, but rather that we follow a very stripped down story in a linear fashion. Our three main characters need to run, and they do. The beginning felt a bit on the slow side to me, relying overmuch on repetition to establish our characters, their circumstances and their
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
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If I say this book is about life being unfair, it's downplaying it – and makes me sound like a complete ignorant. We Are Not From Here addresses a very heavy topic that I was not aware of up until now since I live on the other side of the world and watching news for me is depressing, witnessing the severity of today's crises (but I guess that’s just an excuse for my not striving to be aware enough). This book tells us about the cruel reality for some Guatemalans having a difficult and restless l ...more
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kaytee Cobb
For anyone who said "oh em gee, American d*rt is so good. I can't believe it! I wish we had books like this by own voices authors, but oh well!" THIS is that book. It is, far and away, so much better than (Am.) dirt. These characters, the journey, it's just phenomenal. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: refugees
Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña live in Guatemala. Pulga and Chico are not related by blood, but Chico was adopted by Pulga's mother, when Chico's mother is gunned down in the local market. Pulga and Chico witness the murder of an elderly shopkeeper, who has always been kind, and then are forced into working for the killer, collecting protection money or drug profits. Meanwhile, their friend, Pequeña, has an unwanted baby, having been raped by a local thug, who insists they come away with him. So the ...more
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 ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We Are Not from Here
Jenny Torres Sanchez

What a phenomenal read about three teens' harrowing journey from Guatemala through Mexico to the US. Based on real life events, the writing was visceral, realistic and gut wrenching. I was completely immersed into the story of these teens' lives as they escape danger as you find yourself rooting for their survival and plight. I highly recommend this book. an absolute 5 star read for me.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-s-books
when i finished this i couldn't write a review because i was crying and so sad, so i went to sleep but im awake now and i thought i could write a review to make others read that amazing book too but i just can't, all i can say is that book is about real lives, you will feel the sentimentos, you gonna cry, you gonna have fear, you gonna think why so many have privileges and others dont, you gonna finish it crying but thats why it's amazing! ...more
book bruin
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Audiobook Review
Overall 5 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 4.5 stars

This was such a heart wrenching and captivating story of survival. We Are Not From Here centers around 3 teens trying to escape to the United States from Guatemala. Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña run from their homes and family, fueled by fear and the hope for a better life. There are triumphs as well as gut wrenching sorrow along the way for these 3 children. The narration by Marisa Blake was amazing. She captured the emotions so well
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
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Tomes And Textiles
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it

“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
Jessica Clark
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a tear breaker!!! I thought I would be able to quickly read this but I had to put it down after a few scenes that really touched me.

This book right here is phenomenal. The story between Pulga, Pequéna and Chico is a story I will never forget, because I know it is similar to thousands of our fellow brothers and sisters crossing the border.

Pulga, Pequéna and Chico are teenagers living in Guatemala trying to escape a dangerous fate if they stay is Puerto Barrios. We follow their journey
Laura Gardner
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing

This quote got me so hard: “We understand danger. We grew up with danger. This danger feels different. This danger feels more crushing. Maybe because it’s so close to where hope lives.”
Shaye Miller
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
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. 🙂 ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will haunt you at night and break your heart. I could not stop thinking about the kids in the story, the horrific journey that so many people have taken in the hopes of a better a life. The idea that what they are running from is so much worse than what they have to see, endure and the risk of not making it, so they are forced to just try. I listened to this book, and I am glad I did. I think it is more heartbreaking to hear the narrator's voice express the terror, but it forced me to ...more
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
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It tells the story of three teens' journeys from Guatemala traveling through Mexico to the US. These teens, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña travel on top of a train system that is known as La Bestia, the beast. The author tells the story of migrant children escaping from the danger of their towns and countries. These children are willing to endure this dangerous and arduous journey for a better life.

This book reminds me of the book American Dirt. I would recommend this book
Amy Brown
This book tore my heart out. If you aren't sure why people are crossing the border, read this book. The story of these teens fleeing from Guatemala is hard to read-but an honest story and one that needs to be told. And one that Americans especially need to read. ...more
May 18, 2020 added it
Haunting and phenomenal.
Kari Yergin
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, audio
I’m not sure how it ended up that I read two books in a row on the horrors of immigration. This is one that, if it had been a movie, I don’t know that I could have finished. So many moments of “turn your head away” but can we really when stories like this are truly happening??

“We understand danger. We grew up with danger. But this danger feels different. This danger feels more crushing. Maybe it’s because it’s so close to where hope lives. But the problem is, if we think about all that can go wr
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn't realize this was a teen book until I put the last disc in the cd player. Once I was aware of that I loved it even more. This book was heart wrenching and brought a very difficult reality into the light. ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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: ...more
“Because the world doesn't care how much pain you are in, or what terrible thing has happened to you. It continues. Morning comes, whether you want it to or not.”

We Are Not From Here is a book about three young kids from Guatemala. Pulga, Pequena , and Chico have no choice but to leave their village they've known their entire lives. They leave their families behind in the hopes that they will be okay. If they stay they die. This particular story is about their trials and tribulations and their q
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