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Noughts & Crosses

(Noughts and Crosses #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  55,797 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews
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.

The two have been friends since early childhood. But that's as far as it can go. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and mounting terrorist violence, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum - a romance that
ebook, 391 pages
Published December 26th 2008 by RHCP Digital (first published January 15th 2001)
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TheBirdNerd Step1: Open the book
Step2: Move your eyes across the words.
Step3: Enjoy!

Step1: Open the book
Step2: Move your eyes across the words.
Step3: Enjoy!

Holly This is an AMAZING book..loved it so much it is seriously impossible!!!!! My teacher once recommended it to a girl who didn't read much at school and …moreThis is an AMAZING book..loved it so much it is seriously impossible!!!!! My teacher once recommended it to a girl who didn't read much at school and apparently she loved it too. It is so beautiful I actually cried...and I never cry at books/movies....(less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  55,797 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews

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I've tried to write this review a few times, with articulate choice of words, a structure, intelligent observations and supporting facts to back me up. But I found voicing my feelings about this book difficult. So I gave up. And now I'm just gonna wing it.

First thing's first - Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses absolutely broke me in all ways a reader can be broken. I was walking around trying to enjoy my time in the ever spectacular show that is Times Square but found my mind retreating bac
Kajal Nehra
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
"Dear God, please let him have heard me. Please.
If you're up there.

Holy fucking hell! What !?? What was this book? Noughts and Crosses is a hands-down 5+ starer. If I’m allowed I wouldn’t give it a half-a-star less than a 100.

Can anyone please answer this question: How do you even go about reviewing this book? How do you even -
God, how are you even in a condition to speak after reading this? My bed is a snotty mess right now and I can’t seem to be able to able to stop bawli
Petra no complaining criticising comparing today
Update. This is a tv series now. I hated this book, but from an ideological and personal perspective, rather than an entertainment one which is how I suppose most people read it. I'm wondering whether to watch the tv series and take it lightly or if I will be as upset as I was reading the book?
Reading this, I read about a quarter of it I suppose, I thought say it was written by someone white from the opposite point of view, that is whites are on top and pushing their agenda, and they
Emily May
This may have been the first YA "dystopia" I ever read. The genre has gone through many changes since then but this book continues to stick in my mind as one which cemented my love for it. It's an old tale of forbidden romance but avoids being cheesy. It's a tale of heartache and tragedy but steers clear of melodrama. One thing is certain: Sephy and Callum's story will stay with me for a long time. ...more
Reading Corner
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This book is just wow,definitely A+.I was hooked from the start by the gripping story and complex relationship between Callum and Sephy,I didn't want to put the book down because it was soooo good.I completely fell in love with the idea of Callum and Sephy together despite all the set backs and difficulties they had to face.

The whole story is fantastic as there's never a dull moment and you really feel for the characters because the writing is amazing.The end just killed me and left me heart bro
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I've finally made myself finish this book. I had real high expectations, seeing all the 5 star reviews and 'wow's!'. What a let down. I've never been any good at writing book reviews so excuse me if this doesn't come across how I want it too. One word i would use to describe this book..... Flat. It had no depth and it just felt rushed and really, it was quite boring. The characters were really two-dimensional and it was near impossible for me to care about what happened to them, i couldn't ev ...more
Charlotte May
Watching the TV series didn’t feel like the books I loved as a 16 year old.

Planning to go back to a reread very soon as I didn’t have Goodreads then and I’d like to review them all.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO BODY EVER
Shelves: book-club-book
I wish there was a negative star. There are so many good books about civil rights and race relations, I don't know what the author was doing trying to rip everyone else off for. I thought the writing and the plots were poorly written and superifical. I am not sure how I forced my self to keep reading this pathetic book.

Read the invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Read a Prayer before Dieing by Gaines

Read a comic book before you waste you time on this book.

The only thing I can say about it being publis
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
*3-4 stars, what's the difference?? I just started bawling as I added the quotes, so clearly I'm unreliable*

 photo BwS93OT_zpsuqcgwrge.gif

I held out my hands and she put hers in mine, looking at me ruefully. Love was like an avalanche, with Sephy and I hand-in-hand racing like hell to get out of its way-only instead of running away from it, we kept running straight toward it.

So...hmmm...yeah. This book is an asshole. Seriously. What the ever loving fuck, I mean, REALLY??? Fucking REALLY?!?!? I wouldn't take much stoc
Emily B
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was much younger and only had vague memories of it. I reread the series last year and really enjoyed them!
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After Blackman was announced as one of the writers on the new series of Doctor Who, I really wanted to read one of her novels so that I could get a feel for her work.
As her episode is going to focus on Rosa Parker’s and the constant theme of this book was race and segregation, I ended up getting even more of a gasp on what her episode might be like than I originally expected.
This book was just so incredible!

Set in an alternate universe where dark skinned people known as crosses are the superior
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was curious to read this having enjoyed the first episode of the TV adaptation although I realise now that it’s based on the book along with a second realisation that I’m too long in the tooth to fully appreciate YA novels! This thought provoking read turns history on its head by having Crosses (ruddy daggers in nought slang) who are African in origin the dominant ruling force over Noughts who are European in origin. Noughts (Blankers being the term of abuse) are seen as nothing and were origi ...more
May 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Noughts and Crosses is an ambitious book that reveals the total pointlessness of racism by depicting a world where people with black skin are privileged, while people with white skin are oppressed. Unfortunately, the author has absolutely zero faith in her readers' intelligence. She repeatedly hammers out her intended message in the most explicit, heavy-handed ways possible instead of trusting that readers will figure things out for themselves. The result is a book with a clever premise, an impo ...more
Edited to add: I LOVED the TV show associated with this book. The show answers all of the questions I had about the book.
I could not love the show more.

Original Review:
This was a miss for me.
The idea is good just poorly executed world building.
If white people (Noughts) were enslaved by blacks (Crosses), why does this happen? Where does this happen? Why are they called Noughts & Crosses, what is the name derivative of?
What African Nation did this? Why do most of the characters have English names
Jan 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
Given the choice between rereading Naughts and Crosses again and having someone slowly puncture my right eye with a rusty icepick, I would gladly take the rusty icepick. Some may think I am exaggerating, but that is only because they have not read this tripe. World-building at its worst, that's Naughts and Crosses. I could not engage in the narrative, I despised the narrators because they bored me, and the narrative voice would have been more effective as a third-person omniscient. Character dev ...more
I feel an enormous amount of pressure writing this review, but probably not for the reason that you might think. "Noughts and Crosses" tackles very difficult subjects in a multidimensional, emotional way. It features a relationship that has deeper implications than one may figure it on the surface.

To preface the whole of this review, my viewpoints and perspective going into and coming from this book will not speak for any and all who may peruse it - let alone other people of color who may pick
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon by: Maria Elmvang
Sephy and Callum are the best of friends. They grew up together and despite the animosity between their families now, they continue to see each other in secret. But as they grow older and the world encroaches on their friendship, they can deny no longer the big glaring barrier between them: Sephy is a Cross, Callum is a nought. Society, the world, their families, will never accept them.

Sephy is the daughter of Kamal Hadley, a successful and important politician who's manoeuvring his way to the t
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE. PLEASE.

This book destroyed me, heart and soul.

Please understand, this book is absolutely incredible.

And I'm not including those crying gifs simply for effect. I was legitimately sobbing by the end of this book. I was literally crawling on the floor collapsing. It was probably the most intense reaction to a book I've ever had. My boyfriend was both concerned and irritated.

I tried to explain but he hates reading so I couldn't even begin and he's just sitting there like:

This is one of my favorite books of
Jenn Harris (Reader of Things)
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy Civil Rights-esqe books.
Recommended to Jenn by: Uhmmm...cannot remember. Goodreads? We'll go with that.

“Just remember, Callum when you’re floating up and up in your bubble, that bubbles have a habit of bursting. The higher you climb, the further you have to fall..."

***2 stars*** This is my fourth time writing this review. Let's hope it gets done this time***

It's time for...


Jenn's Pro/Con List!


1. The dual POV. Sometimes when a character makes a stupid decision, you wonder "What the hell was he/she/it thinking?" Well, because this book was told from both Sephy and Callum's fir
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in a dystopian 21st century near future British society – the ‘Noughts & Crosses’ award winning series of novels (initially a trilogy, subsequently extended to a quadrilogy) opens following a period of alternative history, a post slavery period where the white population (Noughts) have been enslaved by the ruling black elite. Now post emancipation, it is the non-black population who are distinctly disadvantaged and impoverished in this alternative future society which is ruled and controlled ...more
Beatrice Masaluñga
A society where citizens are divided based on their skin tones. Noughts are the white citizens, most of them are laboring class and they are controlled by Crosses, who are the black citizens. Crosses ruled everything. Our main characters, Callum McGregor, a Nought and Persephone "Sephy" Hadley, a Cross were best friends since they were young and later on became lovers. There are so many things happened in their lives. Still their love story is forbidden. One rule on their society: Noughts & Cros ...more
Alright, it's been about 24 hours, I'm less emotional, lets review this.

I'm going to start my review with like a fuck-ton of warnings.
Warning 1: I don't honestly feel very comfortable reviewing this, so it's not going to be very in depth.
Warning 2: These are my thoughts based on what I know and who I am, if I am ignorant in any way in this review, please use this as a good time to educate me, not yell at me.
Warning 3: I loved this book a little too much to be fully unbiased.

So, this book fel
Carolyn  Storer
Wow, this book is outstanding. I couldn't put it down! As someone who is in her thirties, I wondered whether this book would be too young and the writing immature, but this wasn't the case at all. This is an intelligently and sensitively written story about two friends, Callum, a white-skinned nought and Sephy a dark-skinned Cross and their relationship as they grow up. How society and the prejudices around them moulds them into people they don't really want to be. It's a story filled with trage ...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Believe the hype! It is THAT good. And bring a damn Kleenex box when you do decide to read it!
Rachel Pirie
This is fiction for teenagers so it lacks real depth and could be at times described as a little contrived, but it's easy to read and provides an interesting insight into a world where race relations are the total reverse of the current reality. That said, I'm not sure what message this book was trying to convey, is the message that predjudice will always prevail, or that we should walk in our neighbours shoes before passing judgement. I hope it's the latter but I was left a little unclear, hope ...more
Joey Woolfardis
Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC's Big Read Poll of 2003.

This is a very important book for what it is telling you and I think it's very important that the audience this book is written for are children and teenagers. Unfortunately, this means that I dislike it because of that, since there is no theme or amount of excellent writing that will make me enjoy a story that is narrated by annoying, self-centred "AH ME" teenagers.

The plot itself-the story arc that
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, favourites, own
Holy crap this was amazing!

I don't know how to categorise this book it's sort of a contemporary set in a world where history is alternate to our world's history but still pretty much the same. The only alternate aspect is that instead of light-skinned people always being in power and enslaving dark-skinned people, dark-skinned people (crosses) are in power and had in the past enslaved light-skinned people (noughts).

So this book is basically a mix of contemporary and dystopian and those are my
3.5 stars.

So for the first hundred pages or so of this book, I was really frustrated by the lack of world building. Right up until the point where I was like "Oh shit, every damned book set in a world dominated by white people doesn't need world building to explain why white people are in charge of anything..."

Yeah. Check your privilege, white girl.

Anyway. There was eventually a small amount of world building, just enough to give a basic history of the planet. The world is great, the character
Rosanna Threakall
I love this book, it's been a while since I re-read it but my God does it pack a punch.

Had me crying on the train!

Definitely a must-read not just for the romance, action, tension and characters but because it will make you think.

I plan to marathon the trilogy now as I have never read the other two books.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I re-read this as it's this month's choice for my work book club and I have to admit I really enjoyed the re-read as it's been quite a long time since I read a contemporary, and a very long time since I picked this one up, even though it's one of my favourites. This story is gripping, emotional, shocking, sad, and tragic. There are many moments of happiness between Callum and Sephy, but there are also so many moments that their society makes them go through things that no child should have to fa ...more
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An award-winning children's author, Malorie Blackman was honoured with an OBE in 2008. Her work has been adapted for TV and stage.

More information available at:
British Council: Contemporary Authors
British Council: Encompass Culture
Channel 4 Learning: Book Box

Other books in the series

Noughts and Crosses (7 books)
  • Knife Edge (Noughts & Crosses, #2)
  • Checkmate (Noughts & Crosses, #3)
  • Double Cross (Noughts & Crosses, #4)
  • Crossfire (Noughts & Crosses, #5)
  • Noughts & Crosses Graphic Novel
  • Endgame

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