Hey, book lovers.
If you couldn’t already tell, this post is a review of a book called Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, the first book in a series of four about the violent feud between racism and society. This is one of my all-time favourite books, I’ve now read it around five times, which isn’t normal for me because I tend to stick to one book, read it and then move quickly on to the next one. But this is an amazing book, it is a beautiful, beautiful book (yeah, I felt the need to say that twice), about racism, a topic that is, unfortunately, a very common issue in the modern world.
I personally believe that the premise of this story is one of pure genius. Malorie Blackman represents the topic of racism in this book well; she turns the reality of white over black people (in some cases, of course, many people despise the idea of racism, like myself), on its head, altering it so that white people are seen as the lower and people with dark skin are the ones who would be ideally richer and tend to be prejudiced against the white Noughts. This is a challenging topic, but I think she handled it very well.
The story begins with childhood best friends Callum McGregor and Persephone (Sephy) Hadley, daughter of the leader of their world. Callum’s mother, Meggie McGregor works for Sephy’s mother, Jasmine Hadley, but after a brutal twist, Meggie loses her job and the two children are torn apart, but they still see each other in secret, growing a friendship that becomes, well, love. They are living in a challenging world, one that despises the idea of black and white people being together, being friends, being lovers. But they are determined to not let this get between them and to stay together forever. The book has a heartbreaking twist, in which Callum’s family have to learn the meaning of friendship, family love and staying together in this brutal world, with Callum’s troubled sister, Lynette, and the older brother that chooses evil over everything their family considers to be fair. Meanwhile, Sephy’s family forbids Callum from seeing Sephy, and the two have to fight to stay together, seeing each other in secret on the beach near her family’s home.
This book is brilliantly written. The world Malorie Blackman has created is unique, yet reflects what is sadly real about the world we are living in today. Callum and Sephy are gripping characters; they had me intrigued from the first page because of their binding friendship and the idea of childhood love which can often be relatable to us. We all want to have our first love, don’t we?
The dialogue is realistic and humorous and added a smile to my face as I read. It is often tragic, but it is a story that will pull you in and keep you reading. I definitely, honestly, certainly read this book. Go out and buy it. You will not regret it.