Noughts and Crosses- Malorie Blackman The book Noughts and Crosses is a sitting on the fence sort of book for me. The writing of it hooked you in and made you think but I absolutely hated what happened in the end. The plot was good but as I said I didn’t like some things that occurred during the novel, like the fact Callum dying made me want to scream and rip my hair out (I did restrain myself by the way). But the fact that I did want to do that was because you grew attached to the characters, as if they were real people. Even if they’re not, they could be in the future, you never know… ) I hated/ loved that about the book. My favourite characters would have to be the guys of Callum’s family, especially Callum. Partly because of his complete ‘it is how it is’ attitude and his loyalty. Even though most people probably hated Jude, I quite liked him. He had a tough attitude, but really he was quite vulnerable, especially at the end when he’s pretty much lost all his family because of the Crosses.
I also held quite a fair bit of respect (for a book character anyway) for Ryan, Callum’s dad. His courage for taking the consequences of Jude’s slight slip up, originally resulting in him going to the gallows to hang. Even though he ended up not hanging he walked up to the gallows expecting death. And not backing down from it; accepting death so his family could live. I didn’t like Sephy particularly; in fact I hated her to be honest.
I didn’t like the choices that she made; choosing the baby over Callum. I most certainly disliked her parents, most of all her father. But I started to tolerate her mother near the end when you find out she paid for the lawyer to help Ryan. My favourite scene would have to be…. I actually don’t have a favourite scene, lol… The setting of the book was based sometime in the future; it hasn’t happened and is a possibility, who knows, it could happen (shudder). I think the book was targeted at teens.
I also think that Malorie Blackman swapped the places of the people in charge so people would feel or imagine what it would be like if we were in their place, seeing as one of the main themes was racism. A few other themes were sacrifice, love and friendship and another main one,-death. Sacrifice and death made a big part of this book, constantly having to choose between love, family, religion and your race. It was a massive balancing act for the two main characters, Sephy and
Callum, who you got to study in depth of how they thought and what choices they always had to make as they were constantly switching between characters’ point of views; that’s how the book was written, in points of view. I think this book inspires a whole pile of ‘what if? ’ questions; it’s not too hard to imagine how much our lives would be different, and not by a little. I think she’s really trying to make us look deeper into the racism that surrounds this book. Even though it is made up, the more you think about it, the possibility of it happening is actually quite possible, scarily enough. Arianna Hogan