Jessica's Reviews > Black & White

Black & White by Malorie Blackman
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's review
Feb 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: from-paperbackswap, books-i-own, read-in-2012
Read from March 02 to 04, 2012

This book! Oh man, this book.

Okay, I'll admit, I had a really hard time remembering which race was which. In my head, I kept picturing Callum as the black boy and Sephy as the white girl. I had to keep reminding myself that noughts are white, and Crosses are black. Then I would feel like a terrible person, realizing that yeah, I'm making assumptions about race based on prejudices. It was pretty eye-opening, because going into the book I didn't think I'd have that much trouble.

The book itself is not what I expected, either. I expected more of a Romeo & Juliet kind of love story. While that element is certainly there, it's not what I would describe as the main plot of the story. It's really about these two characters on opposite sides of a huge racial divide, growing up and learning about the world. As they learn, so does the reader.

It's a really interesting world to explore, because it feels so backwards. It's an alternate universe version of our world (not set in the future of this world like I assumed for some reason) where the dark-skinned people of Africa colonized the world instead of the light-skinned people of Europe. It feels backwards, but really it's eerily similar to our world in the attitudes of the people that live in it. It manages to make a lot of very good and important points, without ever getting preachy, and while keeping the story engaging and unpredictable.

I'm looking forward to the next book, for sure. Oh, and by the way, the book DOES have a satisfying ending. I'm so glad that this one wasn't ended on a cliffhanger for the sake of getting me to want to read the next one. I hate that. If your story and your world and your characters are interesting, I'll read the next book, and you don't need gimmicks to draw me back. So hooray for a real ending to a first book!

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