Matt likes to joke that I hated his last book, Mexican WhiteBoy, which isn't true. I didn't hate it. It just felt younger to me and I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked his first book, Ball Don't Lie. And I really really liked BDL because it had so much heart. There were a few technical craft things here and there, but I could overlook all those issues because Sticky was such a wonderful character that lived for me. Anyway, so Matt always joked that he was going to win me back with We Were Here, which is ridiculous since, well, it's not like he ever lost me.
Anyway, I thought We Were Here was awesome. Technically, it was well-crafted, well-plotted out. It had movement and was making some clear choices, and I liked that. I loved Rondell (with two L's) who was hilarious but lovable. I liked the journal format. The fact that we didn't find out what happened to Miguel til the end (although I sorta figured it out). And Mong was SUPER interesting. He was such a creepy sad guy, and I actually really wish we had stayed with him for a little longer. He was so intriguing, I wanted to dig even deeper and follow him a little more. But alas.
As always, Matt has such a great ear for language. It's edgy and urban yet lyrical and poetic at the same time, so that the prose never feels "young" even though the book is a YA book. It's still sophisticated.
One of my favorite parts is right here:
And I just realized something. Mong left some shit out when he said only trivial things don't matter. It's so much more than that, yo. Nothing matters. Not when you break it all down like I been doing in my head all tonight. Trust me. Nothing. Not me. Not you. Not the guy in the liquor store with the bat. Not the Bible. Not the pretty girls. Not being the watcher-over of this park. Not The Catcher in the Rye. Not this damn book I'm writing.
It's all meaningless.
--[pg.284, We Were Here]
Good job, Matt! Yay!