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Monday, 11 March 2013

***Review*** Noughts and Crosses (Noughts and Crosses #1) by Malorie Blackman

On the Back of the Book

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

Sephy is a Cross -- a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought -- a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum -- a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.

This edition also includes 'An Eye for an Eye' which is a short novella written for 2003 World Book Day.

Pre Read Thoughts

I’m choosing this because:

This is another book that has been waiting ever so patiently to be read. This is like the 10th physical book that I’ve taken from Spencer... He’s crying... and growing my eBook collection. He’s a wily one that TBR pile! Anyway, when my blogger buddy Amy Bookworm said that she was gonna have a Malorie Blackman month I leapt on that bandwagon like “YES I HAVE MALORIE ON MY TBR!!! LET ME JOIN IN!!!!” so here I am. Reading Noughts and Crosses. Go me!

Judging a book by its cover:

The cover is simple, it’s effective, it’s striking. I have to say that the simpleness definitely draws me in. It’s one of those covers that doesn’t need a ton of stuff going on to be a genuinely good book cover. It tells you so much about the story just by existing as it is. I really can’t describe how much I love this book cover

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

I think I paid the RRP for this which is £6.99 but as always I’ve visited my favourite place to buy books (Amazon) and can tell you that you can get the paperback for £4.61 and the Kindle edition for £4.38. Bargain!!! Do it folks!!! Buy the book... you know you want to.

Post Read Thoughts

This was an incredible, thought provoking, stunningly written extravaganza of emotion! From the moment I opened the book I was gripped. I devoured all 445(ish) pages in 2 days and if it wasn’t for my incredible self control I’d have finished it yesterday! The actual premise of the story is simple and effective, what if black people treated white people the way we treated them. (Actually some people do still judge on race, luckily those are the minority nowadays. They should be so ashamed of themselves though.) The writing is so easy to read (and easy to get addicted to) making the book seem so much shorter than it is. I have to say this is quite possibly the best dystopian that I’ve come across.

Sephy – Sephy is the daughter of a prominent Cross politician and a character that I liked. I have to say I really appreciated how she tried to stand up for the Noughts and what she believed in though it got misconstrued by everyone. I liked her strength and her courage and when she struggled I genuinely sympathised with her.

Callum – Callum is a Nought and Sephy’s friend. They met because Callum’s mum worked for Sephy’s. (This is not a spoiler. We learn this on page 1.) He’s a good guy that has to deal with the circumstances of the attitudes of those around him. Throughout the book we see the effects of his world affect him and change who he is and what he stands for. Even with that I couldn’t help but like him.

Jude – He isn’t the most prominent character in the story but I think that he’s one of the most important characters (if not the most important.). His actions in the story are what catapult Callum’s life into what it became. It was his actions that reflect what happens to Sephy. Yet it feels like he’s untouched by the chaos he creates. This makes it hard to like him as I hold him accountable for ruining so much.

Overall this is an incredible read. It absorbed me completely and I have to say I adored it. The ending had me near tears and for a book to do that it means there’s some pretty heart wrenching stuff going on. The writing I could not get enough of! I absolutely adored it! The story itself was so real and made me actually empathise in ways that the dystopian genre has never inspired in me before.  The plot managed to handle so much in one instalment and then the ending! I can’t wait to see if ‘Knife Edge’ manages to live up to the expectations that ‘Noughts and Crosses’ has left me with.

My Rating

You remember ‘Tethers’ last week where I didn’t know where to rate it. Well I’m having those issues again. I want to give it 5 but something is stopping me and I don’t know what it is but 4 seems really stingy of me, so I guess that leaves me no option but to go for:
 4.5 stars – I really loved this don’t get me wrong. But there’s that unnamed thing holding me back. I definitely recommend this though. If you’re into dystopian books then you really, really, REALLY need to get a copy of this. It’s mind-blowingly good.

A Final Note

Okay, so my copy of ‘Noughts and Crosses’ has the 2003 World Book Day short story ‘An Eye for an Eye’ in the back. So I’m actually going to give it its very own review because I’m nice like that. 

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