Book Review: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

My Rating: ★★★★★

Songs: Young, Dumb & Broke by Khalid, Never be the Same by Camila Cabello

These songs are personal to me, they remind me of this book (they may be songs that were popular during the time that I read this, with lyrics that relate to this book or it might just be random)

Synopsis: 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. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger.

Review: There is no doubt about it, this book changed my life. I found this book in my library and when I saw it I thought ‘Oh I’ve heard about this book before, should I read it?’. I hadn’t read a book for around 2 years before I read this and this book is what converted me into a bibliophile. Malorie Blackman’s words captured my heart and shattered it. This book was so moving and so emotional that I was literally distraught for about 2 weeks after I read it. Shockingly I didn’t cry, which to this day I still don’t know why I didn’t.

Sephy is black therefore a cross, crosses are the rulers and dictators. Callum is white so he is a nought, noughts are second-class citizens who must abide by the cross rules. The divide is very clear; no intermingling. Sephy and Callum fall in love and try to fight against the system filled with prejudice, discrimination and oppression.

Sephy is unlike most crosses, she sees the segregation and doesn’t agree with it at all. She tries to promote the rights of noughts and help them succeed in life as most crosses get all the good and well-paid jobs whilst noughts get low paying jobs. Noughts aren’t allowed to go to cross schools; usually, noughts don’t get to go to high school at all. Callum and a few other select noughts were chosen to go to a cross school (due to a scholarship) which seemed like a step further for the noughts in the battle against the system. Sephy encourages Callum to try and gain nought rights legally rather than the becoming a member of the Liberation Militia which is brutal and basically a terrorist group however several noughts join (including Callum’s brother). Callum also believed that he could fight against the political system for equality. The school starts expelling the noughts one by one without justification. This destroys Callum’s dream and ultimately his life.

This book was so powerful, so captivating and completely unforgettable. The characters and personalities were incredible. The world building and scene settings were absolutely amazing. This book is a must read. The way Malorie Blackman writes is incredible, after reading this I read the rest of the series as well as some of her other books. I am eagerly awaiting the new book ‘Crossfire’ as well as the TV series on BBC. The plot twists in this book are what makes it special, if you think this book is predictable, you are WRONG!! Because I thought this book was going to be like every other book (predictable with the same plot twist at the same moments in the plot with you questioning how can this still be labelled as a plot twist) but oh my days was I wrong.

This book will exhaust your mind for days on weeks on months to years on end (possible decades but I’m not old enough to know that). This book really is impossible to forget, I recommend this book to any teen (or adult, no ageism here).

If you want to be part of the twitter Noughts and Crosses fandom I highly suggest following these two – @sharedom18 https://twitter.com/sharedom18 and @bestofnoxo https://twitter.com/bestofnoxo

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