We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez | Philomel Books {Book Review}

YA Book

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez


Book Summary:

A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

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 striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Publication Date:

May 19th, 2020


Young Adult Fiction / Emigration & Immigration

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

My Review:

Jenny Torres Sanchez

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. 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. In addition, whenever possible, I will be including the LibroFM bookstore link alongside any other referral links. This allows you to purchase the book from your choice of independent bookstores.


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