- Author: Malorie Blackman
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (2006)
- Language: English
I think the sign of a good book is one where characters and observations mentioned within it stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses is still one of my all-time favorite books and it was recommended to me by a member of staff in Waterstone’s and I am forever grateful.
Noughts and Crosses is a series of five books but the first is my favorite.
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In this alternate society, the population is divided into two: the white Noughts are second-class citizens, and the black Crosses are highly-revered and perceived as the superior race. The central characters are 15-year-old Callum who is a Nought, and his best friend, Sephy, who as well as being a Cross, is also the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country.
The duo has been friends since early childhood and the story focuses on their blossoming relationship, which is frowned upon by society, and explores the discrimination they encounter at every twist and turn.
Blackman has cleverly reversed the traditional racial stereotypes by presenting the white population as the oppressed race, which shows racial prejudice from a different perspective. It honestly really opened my eyes to what racism is. One thing that has stuck with me is plasters. In the book, the color of a plaster had been set to match the skin tone of black people. Until I read this book, I’d honestly never given a second thought about the default color of plasters – peach to match white skin tones. Blackman gives so much detail that reflects racism in our own society by turning everything on its head and honestly it’s eye-opening.
Another example which sticks out in my mind is when Callum describes the textbooks at school being negligent of famous white inventors and scientists – sound familiar?
The book covers the themes of romance, racism, violence and social class brilliantly and is an outstanding and thought-provoking exploration of the futility of prejudice.
I first read this book as a young teenager but I’ve re-read this and the rest of the series as an adult and still enjoyed turning every page. The story hooks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat. You want to know about the terrorist plot which is unfolding and whether Callum and Sephy’s romance can withstand all of the turmoil and what their fate will be.
I would absolutely give this book five stars and recommend that everyone reads it. It’s one you will not forget.
Rating: 5/ 5
Rachael is a lifestyle blogger and lives in the North East of England with her husband. She’s a born and bred proud Geordie. She writes about a little bit of everything from makeup and beauty, food reviews, how to tips and more. She is an NCTJ trained journalist who has spent the last three years working her way up the communications and PR ladder. She’s training for her first half marathon and working through 30 things to do before she’s 30 bucket list.
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