Noughts and Crosses Review

I picked this up from my work a few weeks ago, as I have been thinking about it for a while. I first tried to read this book when I was in primary school and found it too difficult to read so put it down. However it has recently come back on my radar, and I thought that I would give it another go.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman


Callum is a nought – a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country…

In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together?
They are determined to try.

And the the bomb explodes… 


I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and think that I was right to put it down when I did, as if I had continued, I don’t think I would have read it again and that would have been a huge loss. This book deals with race in a way that is both subtle and very obvious at the same time. By flipping the racial roles that we see in modern western society, it allowed me as a white person to see things that I had never thought about before, as well as showing me what it feels like to be on the receiving end of decades of systemic racism.

The news lies all the time. They tell us what they think we would want to hear.

I also found that the ways that this book talks about dealing with racism is interesting and shows that the problem is hard to resolve as it has so many faces and effects so many people in so many different ways. I liked the fact that it shows ideas from both sides and evaluates their effectiveness through the consequences of the character’s actions.

People are people. We’ll always find a way to mess up, doesn’t matter who’s in charge.

The characters themselves I think are presented in a way that highlights their floors more than I think we would see in normal society, which can make them slightly annoying, but I think it works well with the themes of this book, which I think is the most important thing in this book.

What was it about the differences in others that scared some people so much?

The plot of this book was easy to understand and allows for a deeper exploration of racism, as it starts with the systematic things that are less likely to be noticed by white people before moving onto the big news headline type things that everyone notices. I also think it was interesting how the secrets in this book are easy to guess, but there is still much power in the fact that characters refuse to state things explicitly to others.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and give this book 5 stars.

5 stars

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