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Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
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2631843,310 (3.75)2



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It was good, but I didn't really like it until the end. I love his last letter to her. :] ( )
  Melumebelle | Aug 8, 2013 |
Someone told me before reading it that it was typical...and they were right. Everything I expected to happen, happened. I just wanted to be surprised just once. ( )
1 vote kjdavis87 | Apr 18, 2010 |
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

UPSTATE is a powerful, moving story told in the form of letters written by Antonio and Natasha, two Harlem teens who are seventeen and sixteen years old, respectively, when the story starts. The first letter is from Antonio to his girlfriend Natasha, written from jail, asking if she believes what everyone else does: that Antonio murdered his father.

No matter what Natasha believes or what the truth is about what happened on that night, Antonio is convicted of the crime and goes to a prison in upstate New York (hence the title), sentenced to ten years. Ten years of just struggling to survive, clinging to his letters from Natasha, his lifeline even if they can't, realistically, be together forever, no matter what they believe as optimistic teenagers when Antonio first goes to jail. Natasha, on the other had, isn't having an easy time of growing up and becoming a real adult. She's facing tough choices, probably almost as desperate for the next letter as Antonio.

This is an emotional story, a love story, but a real one, not a happily-ever-after, "no problems whatsoever" story like a Disney movie. The characters in UPSTATE are just as real as the story, and Antonio's and Natasha's authentic voices are a great addition to this novel.

Usually, I am not a big fan of novels written in letter form (or e-mail or instant message form, as is sometimes now the case), but Kalisha Buckhanon's novel is certainly an exception to that. It is very well-written, with believable characters that make this story what it is: fantastic. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Heartbreaking story of young love torn apart by a murder. It's very well-written and pulls the reader in to the character's world. ( )
  ahooper04 | Apr 1, 2009 |
Two Harlem teens (Antonio & Natasha) confess their love for one another, but have to correspond through letters due to Antonio's arrest.
I enjoyed meeting these two teens and thought their story was told very realistically. The dialog between them was filled with a lot of raw emotion, but bad language as well. Despite the language, I was interested in both characters - they were so well-developed and distinct. Being that they were from Harlem, there were many urban aspects to the novel. I found it to be very compelling. (3.75/5)

Originally posted on: "Thoughts of Joy..." ( )
  ThoughtsofJoyLibrary | Mar 13, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312332696, Paperback)

"Baby, the first thing I need to know from you is do you believe I killed my father?"

So begins Upstate, a powerful story told through letters between seventeen-year-old Antonio and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Natasha, set in the 1990's in New York. Antonio and Natasha's world is turned upside down, and their young love is put to the test, when Antonio finds himself in jail, accused of a shocking crime. Antonio fights to stay alive on the inside, while on the outside, Natasha faces choices that will change her life. Over the course of a decade, they share a desperate correspondence. Often, they have only each other to turn to as life takes them down separate paths and leaves them wondering if they will ever find their way back together.

Startling, real, and filled with raw emotion, Upstate is an unforgettable coming-of-age story with a message of undeniable hope. Brilliant and profoundly felt, it is destined to speak to a new generation of readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story of a young couple in love and their struggle to maintain a relationship while the young man is incarcerated for a horrendous crime. In their letters beginning in 1990, Natasha and Antonio look back at their courtship against the landscape of their beloved Harlem.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Kalisha Buckhanon is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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