Book Reviews of Upstate

Upstate
Upstate
Author: Kalisha Buckhanon
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ISBN-13: 9780312332693
ISBN-10: 0312332696
Publication Date: 1/10/2006
Pages: 256
Edition: Reprint
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4

4 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Upstate on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This wonderful book (on CD) caught me completely off guard and was an unforgettable listening experience. The book is written as a series of letters between a young man in prison and a young woman embarking on her own personal and difficult life's journey. The story was made much richer and more real by being able to hear the voices of the two main characters.
reviewed Upstate on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is dynamic in that it maintains it's innocence even within such harsh circumstances. The story is heartbreaking even when it's hopeless. And hopefull even as it breaks your heart. I really suggest sharing this book in your next book club meeting.
reviewed Upstate on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Upstate on + 213 more book reviews
One of the best books i have read in a long time. Just loved it!
reviewed Upstate on + 6 more book reviews
I could not put this book down. If you have teens this a good book for you.
reviewed Upstate on
A great read for a young adult or someone just getting into reading...it is written completely like a letter correspondence
reviewed Upstate on + 7145 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Upstate on + 9 more book reviews
Story told entirely in letters exchanged by two young people, one in prison for killing his father. A bit predictable but still engaging.
reviewed Upstate on + 7 more book reviews
Well written. Characters are true to themselves. Hard to put down.
reviewed Upstate on + 3 more book reviews
"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 1990s 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 an 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 only have 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.
reviewed Upstate on + 8 more book reviews
The entire book is written through letters from Antonio to his girlfriend. Over a decade they share correspondence when Antonio lands in jail, accused of a shocking crime. It's a powerful coming-of-age novel that I loved!