So remember when I mentioned in my last post I was reading two books, Upstate and The Duff? So I finished them the very next day.
Both were amazing.
Upstate by Kalisha Buckanon
4 stars, out of 5
I rarely give books a 4 star rating so trust me, this book is something special.
Upstate is the story of Natasha and Antonio.
They're both 17 and in love, but then something horrible happens, and Antonio is sent to Jail.
The book is written in the forms of letters. Antonio and Natasha's letters to one another, and it is beautiful.
At first, from the second page actually, I thought the book was too crude for my liking, you'll see why, but nonethelss, I still read on, because even though sometimes the language used was appalling to my not-so-delicate ears, it wasnt meant in a bad way really. It was just who the charecters were.
Plus the book had me gripped, and once I started it, I didnt want to stop.
I really liked how open Antonio was about his feelings. He spilled his heart out in those letters, and getting in his mind like that,a boys mind, was refreashing for a change. Its not always you get to hear the guys side, and that too, a black guy, in jail, for something he might or might not have done.
You could actually feel the love Antonio radiated for Natasha and his family.
His frustration and emotions were wonderfully echoed in his letters and I had not trouble or confusion in reading a book written in this way.
Natasha was a strong, at the begining slightly shaky, but in the end very sturdy young woman. I liked her for doing what she did, being strong and pushing foward, not many would have the courage to wrestle with what they saw around them, despair and a huge mess. But she dreamed, and was rewarded for it.
One of the awesome things about Upstate was that you could see, in a very real and VERY natural way how both the characters developed and became adults.
The transition from teen to adult- it was flawlessly executed. I didnt even realize their tone had changed, it was so perfectly and gradually done, and the story never got boring, even though it the major twist came at the very end.
The ending about the whole love thing, was def not what I wanted it to be. I didnt like it, but I didnt dislike it, I guess I could understand why the author, wrote it like she did. It went with the book, it was honest- no sugar coating, and very REAL LIFE, if you know what I mean.
But it made me cry.
The book made me cry.
Books rarely make me cry!
So its safe to say, Upstate is a keeper.
You should read this book because even though its mainly supposed to be a love story- its not your run of the mill Young Adult romance novel set in a high school where everything is sexual tension, a twist or two and then happiness.
No way-, this book is very real, and very raw.
This book is ABOUT the charecters, its very personal-its about their struggle in a world full of hardness and its about finding that silver lining on that coal black cloud.
Its about hope.
And about the strength of true love.
I love this book, give it a chance.
I'm sure you'll love it too.
If you dont?
WELL SUX 4 U SUKA.