04 Dec / We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez [in Booklist]
Jenny Torres Sanchez’s latest doesn’t let up – beatings, rape, murder, and still more violence looms. Marisa Blake may be a relative newbie narrator, but her thoroughly bilingual ability ensures a fluent, heart-thumping listen following three teens on the run from their gang-controlled Guatemalan village through Mexico to the U.S. border.
Fifteen-year-old Pulga and 13-year-old Chico – made brothers two years ago by choice and tragedy – are in the back of Don Felicio’s store when they hear the brutal slaughter of the kind old man. They know Rey is involved, the same Rey who raped and now demands to marry Pulga’s 17-year-old cousin Pequeña, who’s just been forced to have Rey’s baby.
Abandoning everything familiar – and everyone beloved – the trio’s only hope of survival is to risk the most treacherous journey toward an uncertain future. As Pulga and Pequeña alternate chapters, Blake doesn’t quite keep up with distinguishing her characters. While she is consistently energetic and exacting, a dual narration would certainly have resulted in a more robust production.
Readers: Young Adult