Before I dive into this blog, I just want to say that this my first ever book review so sit back, grab yourselves a cuppa and please forgive me if it’s not perfect but here we go.
After the recent release of the Noughts + Crosses series hitting our televisions screens on BBC One, I was finally given a push to invest in the first book of the five-part series by Malorie Blackman. Personally, I tend to read the literary version prior to a television or film adaptation as it intrigues me to see what has been developed, hence what I’ve chosen to do here.
I’m currently half way through the third book of the series after let’s just say a few days and I think it would be fair to say that I’m completely in awe of the young adult series. The first of the five books, Noughts & Crosses focuses on two young people who are forced to make a stand in an alternate society, tackling a world full of racism, prejudice and mounting violence. The book encapsulates the journey between childhood friends, Sephy Hadley, a Cross and Callum McGregor, a Nought. You are probably thinking, well does that actually mean? A Cross is perceived in the book as a member of the dark-skinned, superior race whilst a Nought is known for being a “colourless” second-class citizen.
Blackman reverses traditional stereotypes and presents the White population as being the inferior race, displaying racial prejudice from a completely different perspective, which I think is literary genius. Sephy, the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country and Callum, who is well, just Callum are faced with the daily battle of retaining a friendship in a world full of dangerous obstacles along the way.
The reader quickly gets sucked into the relationship between the two main protagonists discovering how their friendship slowly starts to develop into something a little more. However, this isn’t a normal blooming romance between star crossed lovers, it’s a relationship built upon fear, violence, betrayal, mental illness and terrorism. The context of the plot reveals the harsh reality of what humans are capable of doing to each other from following beliefs and ideals.
This captivating and thrilling story line is definitely a recommended read for teenagers. However, due to the mature and relatable story line, this book is highly appreciated by adults also, like me. I initially thought I was too old to read this book as a 23-year-old; however, I was so wrong. This has been the first series since being a teenager that has gripped me from the beginning.
If you’re looking for something to read during isolation, then I would suggest adding this book to your Waterstones basket or even better download on your Kindle to have access straight. I hope you’ve enjoyed my first book review and it’s persuaded you to try out this extraordinary book.
Buy your very own copy here.
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