Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

"And here's the thing: it's not even that your life changes because of what you *did*, I don't think...Nah, man, it's not even that. People change because they discover that this supposed line between being a good person and being a bad person doesn't actually exist. They realize that shit's straight make-believe." - Miguel 

When Miguel gets sent to Juvi, he no longer cares about what happens to himself; after what he did, he doesn't even believe he deserves the luxury of life. Therefore, he decides to go through the motions of doing his time by writing in his court-ordered journal, and attending mandated counseling sessions with an ex-hippie-surfer, Jaden. 

Then, one night, a fellow inmate, Mong, suggests that they run away to Mexico to get a fresh start. Miguel agrees to run, not because he wants to be free, but because he wants to escape his past. What he doesn't realize, however, is that he can't run from himself. 

Matt de la Pena weaves a story of tragedy, friendship, and self-discovery using a group of unlikely characters; characters that society, for all intents and purposes, has written off. As they go on this journey, the reader learns that good lies within all of us, and sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. De la Pena does a great job of using humor and suspense to keep his reader on her toes - not to mention a few twists that leave her in utter shock. 

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