Nardsbaby Reader's Reviews > Upstate

Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
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Jan 07, 09

Read in February, 2005

Elevating the status

"Sometimes in this life some things are bigger and more important than your one life could ever be."

As I looked through pages of books I don't have on Amazon it was this beautiful cover of a white butterfly on red with the word Upstate in lowercase purple letters that kept me continuously coming back to this book. The simplicity spoke to my heart.

Okay so I opened this book on 2/24/05 as soon as I picked it up from Borders, and I was surprised at how it was written, but hey we know me, I love a challenge.

It's Harlem, New York 1990. Antonio and Natasha are "in love" You know how it is when your heart beats so hard the very first time and you can't imagine ever being apart from that person. Well imagine that this book is written in the form of letters between these two love birds, Antonio and Natasha whose lives are being altered drastically.

Over the course of nine years you experience the couple as they are trying to survive. Survive loneliness, death, love, and fear. (I dream about you every night every day...I'm so in love with you!) On the brink of escaping the possibility of a longer sentence Antonio accepts a plea for a dime for a crime that we are uncertain at times he committed. Although Antonio is in jail you go through the motions as he and Natasha hold on to their memories as they write one another daily leaning on the other. Natasha has imprisoned herself from living in order to be a stand by her guy chick.

I mean really ten years isn't that long when you're only 16, is it?

Well when weeks seem like years the light finally shines and now it's time that our young couple face facts... Although it maybe love the truth of the matter is that the separation is too hard!

Life gets tight for Antonio. He struggles to deal with all of the hard times. You have to remember Antonio is after all still a child! Being locked on the inside in some aspects has been helpful, but it's also been a hard road. It's only now that Antonio is aware of all that he's taken for granted.

As Natasha grows you see how she sets her sights on a higher education. This self proclaimed "Harlem Chick for life" travels from Paris, to Chicago (my kind of town) allowing herself a prosperous future.

Although it's a major heart ache at times, it can be argued that it was in many ways a benefit. Time after time.

Kalisha this was a very creative gem.
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