Claire's Reviews > Noughts & Crosses

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
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F_50x66
's review
Dec 09, 09

bookshelves: library
Read in December, 2009, read count: 1

Again, from the library. I expected this at first to be just another angsty teen read, Romeo and Juliet style. And while it is a romance, it's also a really well-written, pacey book which has a lot of race issues. The Crosses are black and are the ones with most of the power (all the top jobs/positions), the Noughts are white and do all the menial work, and until fairly recently were all slaves to the Crosses. Persephone is a Cross, while Callum (her best friend) is a Nought, and it talks about lots of issues of them being friends/lovers, and how they don't feel they can be together because they are different races and it's unheard of. When he is finally allowed to go back to school (all the Naughts leave school at 14, while Crosses can go on to university-level), he is bullied by pupils and teachers, and when she tries to act friendly with him like normal she is also victimised and suspended for sitting at their table at lunchtime.

It's really well-written and gripping, and also heartbreaking at the same time. It also talks about whether violence or peaceful protests are the way forward when making a stand against a regime you don't like. And each chapter is written from a different POV (out of the pair), which is again a real insight and I loved how differently they thought about everything, just because of their different upbringings/backgrounds. While it is a bit adult in places (it does have a lot of violence and some sex scenes) I think it deals with race issues really really well and should definitely be one for young people to read.
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Reading Progress

12/09/2009 "54"

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