We Are Not From Here

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

2020 Release – May

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 delver them to a better life – if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperations 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.

I’m not going to lie, this book wasn’t easy to read. It’s not the cosy happy book to snuggle up with on a rainy day, but it is really important and necessary. As someone who really had no concept of what it is like for immigrants making their way to America, this book really delves into the hardship and struggle they face. It seems almost incomprehensible that people would choose to make such a dangerous journey but I suppose that shows my privilege: I can’t imagine my home being so bad I have no choice but to leave it. I thought the characters Pequena and Pulga were very well written, their emotions just emanated from the page and hit you hard. However I get that Chico is meant to be this big lovable bear of a character but I just could not bring myself to feel for him, even if that makes me cold hearted. I think this is a pretty important read for anyone who has mixed feelings about illegal immigrants. People aren’t coming to steal your jobs or take over your country; the alternative is just really grim. And I don’t think anyone can honestly say that they wouldn’t do the same thing.

Rating: 8/10