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We Were Here

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Melanie Foust for TeensReadToo.com

    After what he's done, Miguel is sentenced to a year in a group home, as well as an assignment to write in a journal in order to allow the counselors to have a look into his mind. Miguel sees being sent away from his home as a good thing. His mother can't even look at him anymore.

    After a short time in juvi, he's sent to a group home, and there he meets Mong, a teen who no one messes with. After a few weeks, Rondell, a guy who was Miguel's roommate during juvi, moves in. Rondell can't read, but he won't admit it.

    Time passes, then Mong invites Miguel to break out and head to Mexico for a new life. Rondell asks to come along. They break out together. An Asian, half-Mexican, and African-American teen head out to Mexico, and the journey will change Miguel forever.

    Although WE WERE HERE takes a while to get into, the story is important and powerful. All three teens must deal with the inner demons that haunt them, and they do so in drastically different ways. Miguel's viewpoint is gritty and real. He doesn't gloss over unpleasant details. Once you're drawn into this novel, though, its characters and their actions are memorable ones that won't be quickly forgotten.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    We Were Here

    We Were Here is a really deppreising book. Not that it's bad but the topics in this book can be touchey for a lot of peaple. For example just so you are pepared they talk about siucide and discuss topics like homlessness, and shooting peaple. This book made me cry. It was astonishing. It takes plave in a modern day teen's jurnail beacuse when the main charictar (Megiul) was sent to juvi the judge asked him to keep a jurnal so the conseler could see what he was thinking at the group hime he resides. When he goes to juvi in the very beiging he meets who seems to be stupid in the beiging. (You'll see!) Which becomes kinda like meguil's 'Brother from another mother', Rondell.(not in the beiging, you'll see yet agian!) . Soon he leveas and goes to the group home and leveas Rondell as well and meets Mong, A crazy teen who watches rap videos alone on the TV all day. Then councifentally, Rondell shows up at the 'lighthouse' (the group home Meguil and Mong are in.) Together they diside to sneak out in the middle of night to make there way to mexico. A MUST READ

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  • Posted December 8, 2013

            ¿We Were Here¿ by Matt de la Pena was a very good book.

            “We Were Here” by Matt de la Pena was a very good book. It is the second one that I have read written by him, the first was “Ball Don’t Lie”. This book is my favorite out of the two. In this book, the main character Miguel is a very idolizing teen. He faces troubles and hardships that a lot of teens go through today. He was not the kid who marveled in the riches and had designer clothes, he was the kid who had it tough and did not always think about the consequences of his actions. As I read most of the book a saying would come into my mind, “They’re not a bad person, they have just made bad choices.” That really relates to this book because he had made a bad choice and it ended in a lot of trouble, hurting him and his family.

             Miguel had been caught stealing a bike and the judge gave him a sentence, to pay for the crime he had committed. He was sent to a group home where other boys had been for their own reasons and sentences. Having this happen, had changed him. “Man, I started to feel really bad about myself and where I was in life or something.” (de la Pena, pg. 43) Miguel knew that if he kept making these choices, it would never get better. He realized how many things he had taken for granted, like the way his mother would listen to music with him at night. Not only did he feel bad about taking things for granted, but he felt bad knowing that he had broken his mother’s heart and feels that guilt every day. He always has the feeling in him that no one wants him anymore, no one cares. As he was there, the biggest decision of his life came along. Leaving for Mexico.

             I liked this book because it is very realistic and easy for many teens to relate to, even some adults. The main character goes through having to make hard choices and decisions for himself, all with living with the consequence of one mistake. He started off not caring about what happened to him, but then realized what he was actually doing to himself and others. Aside from the emotional relations, there are many teens who are living similar lives as Miguel today. Matt de la Pena is a great author who makes modern teen stories that can actually be related to and happen all the time. Not the usual, nerdy girl gets the popular guy material, and I thank him for that. I would recommend this book to teens between the ages of 14-17 because there is some mature language but it would be easier for children between these ages to understand the theme of the book. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Very real

    I thought this was a great book. Left me in tears. I was not disappointed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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