Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I know that I’m late to reading this, but I’m so glad I did because it was amazing. For those of you who haven’t read it, this book is about 2 people, Sephy and Callum living in a world that’s defined by your race. “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”*. This is a love story, yet they can’t be together unless the society they are in changes.

This is a really interesting book, and the focus on racism and the way people are treated because of the colour of their skin, is a still very relevant commentary on the world that we live in now. Despite it being published in 2001, it still feels current, sadly, we haven’t moved on since then and racism is still prevalent. The relationship between Sephy and Callum is really interesting, and at first I didn’t really like Callum, but as the book progresses, you understand why he is the way he is. As their relationship develops you begin to understand why it is so difficult and toxic at times. It was also intriguing to see how their circumstances and other peoples opinions affected how they interacted with each other, which again makes them seem more real, and not just characters from a book.

I really liked the addition of the Liberation Militia, a terrorist group of Noughts fighting for equality, they do some awful things throughout the novel and it made the book much more dramatic and emotional. The book is actually based on real life, and Malorie Blackman’s own childhood experiences. Another thing that I loved about this book was that the events took place over 3 or 4 years, in the first half of the book, Callum and Sephy are teenagers and are in school. In the second half of the book, Callum and Sephy are young adults and have matured, and spent some time apart from each other. It’s fascinating to see how they have changed after 3 or 4 years, and how their relationship changes when they reunite. I don’t want to say any more in case I spoil anything for you.

I only really liked 2 characters in this book, surprise surprise, it’s Callum and Sephy, but I think that was the point of the book, it’s main focus is those 2 characters. Of course racism is a very important part of it, but at the end of the day, this is a love story, the classic Romeo and Juliet love story. I loved this book, I’ve never read anything like it before and will definitely be reading the other 4 books. I think everyone should give this book a go, even if it’s not really your sort of thing, the message of the book is so important and the writing is exceptional. BBC has just come out with a TV series based on the book, which I have yet to see, but I thought now would be a good time to do a review on the book. Thank you for reading, I hope you’re all staying safe, see you next week with another review.

*goodreads –

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