Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1)

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Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 01, 2005
ISBN
1416900160
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Callum is a naught, a second-class citizen in a society run by the ruling Crosses. Sephy is a Cross, and daughter of the man slated to become prime minister. In their world, white naughts and black Crosses simply don't mix -- and they certainly don't fall in love. But that's exactly what they've done. When they were younger, they played together. Now Callum and Sephy meet in secret and make excuses. But excuses no longer cut it when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing planned by the Liberation Militia, with which Callum's family is linked. Callum's father is the prime suspect...and Sephy's father will stop at nothing to see him hanged. The blood hunt that ensues will threaten not only Callum and Sephy's love for each other, but their very lives. In this shocking thriller, UK sensation Malorie Blackman turns the world inside out. What's white is black, what's black is white, and only one thing is clear: Assumptions can be deadly.

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4.2
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Great read!
(Updated: February 03, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I loved this book. The relationship between Sephy and Callum was so believable and sexy. I went out and grabbed the other books in the series right after finishing this one. It's a must read.
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This is a tale of war between two races and a forbidden love.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Starstriker


In "Noughts and Crosses"  the dark-skinned crosses rule the pale skinned noughts.
But Sephy is a cross, and the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the Country, while Callum is a nought, and lives in a poor house with his brother and parents.

Can Sephy and Callum overlook their differences and find a way to be together?

I really enjoyed this book, because it was very additive and it took all my strength to put it down. Malorie Blackman is a great author, and she wrote Noughts and Crosses brilliantly!
If you like thrillers and a little romance, then this is the book for you!


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Ok
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by co-chan


There are much better books on racism than Noughts and Crosses. The characters feel flat and you don't feel close to them. Their problems seem so unimportant. I have the impression that Black just took a story and changed the ethnicities around. This is not a very engaging read, though there is much worse. If you must read this, get it at the library.
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Lovely!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Mary

Callum is a nought. Sephy is a cross. Two people from two different worlds brought together, first by their parents' friendship and then by their own friendship/love.

Malorie Blackman makes an interesting reversal of roles in this novel. The black racial group are the crosses, the rich while the noughts or the whites are poor people who are prejudiced against. It explores the use of violence in such a situation. And the love of two people who cannot, in the eyes of the world, fall in love or even be friends. This is a touching novel written by a master storyteller.
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What If...?
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Jocelyn

In Malorie Blackman's Naughts And Crosses (Noughts and Crosses in the UK, and part of a trilogy--though only the first book has been published in the US, unfortunately.), she creates a very believable alternate world that is almost like our own--but the main difference is a major one. Everything you think you know about race relations and predjudice holds true, but is switched. The ruling class to which Sephy Hadley's family belongs are the black Crosses, named for their supposed closeness to God, and the white Naughts, like Callum and his family, are second-class citizens. In this world, it's unacceptable for a naught and a Cross to be real friends, and unthinkable for them to fall in love. Callum and Sephy are breaking all the rules of the society they live in.

The two have known each other from a very young age, when Callum's mother worked in the Hadley household. Even after she loses her job, though, Sephy and Callum remain secretly close. They meet in secrety, forced to tell lies and make up excuses, but they never stop seeing each other, no matter how difficult it is. Soon, though, they'll see each other every day--but that's not as good as it sounds. A new law has been passed, and a limited number of naughts will now be allowed to attend Cross schools. Callum has been accepted into Sephy's school, and Sephy's excited to see her best friend more often. Callum, however, knows that letting their friendship be public could prove very dangerous for both of them. Things continue to get worse when Sephy and her mother are nearly caught in a terrorist bombing. Sephy's life is saved when Callum pulls her out of the building just in time, but nobody's fooled--that's no coincidence. Suspicion falls on Callum's family.

Callum's father is the prime suspect in planting the bomb, supposedly on the orders of a radical naught terrorist group, the Liberation Militia, or L.M. They're devoted to their goals of rights for naughts, and they'll go to any length to achieve them. This parallel world even has a parallel of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Alex Luther is an activist whose goal is to achieve equality peacefully. Callum's mother is a supporter of his, but Callum's father and brother don't believe that Alex Luther's way of doing things will actually get anything done. The events that unfold after the bombing threaten not only Sephy and Callum's relationship, but their very lives and the lives of those around them.

Naughts And Crosses is a fantastic story, and one that will keep your mind occupied long past the final pages. The world created in Malorie Blackman's novel is one that is much like our own, and inspires a lot of "what if?" questions. What if that was our world? It's not so far off to imagine. How would our lives be different? They almost certainly would be. You wouldn't be where you are now. You wouldn't be who you are now; everything would be remarkbly different, but still so much the same.

Malorie Blackman's writing does plenty to draw you in and keep your attention with the story, not bothering with the excessive and often boring detail used by some authors. It's definitely a page-turner! Sephy and Callum are very well-developed main characters, and the secondary characters are quite believable as well. The story is told in alternating chapters narrated by Sephy and Callum, which really adds a lot to it. Sephy and Callum really are remarkable people, showing the strength that love can have, the bridges it can cross, and the determination to see past what's on the outside. That last quality is one that is, sadly, not as common in our world (or Sephy's and Callum's) as it should be. Sephy and Callum also show how willing children are to love, regardless of the predjudices of their world, before their minds are poisoned by their elders. Sephy and Callum became friends at a young age and, remarkably, they stayed that way (and became more), despite the predjudices of their society. Naughts and Crosses is a remarkable book, one that you won't want to put down once you've started reading.
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Captivating
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Chaz

This book has got to be one of the best i've ever read. I was hooked straight from the off anbd i couldn't put it down without knoking what would happen next.

I would highly recommend this book to young adults. I'm going to continue the series so you can hear more of my views on the following books.

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one of the best reads out there!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by lulu

This book is one of the most thought provoking books i've ever read and yet, for all that it never becomes moralising or cliched. It's a look at racism and society that will turn most peoples idea of the world on its head. The book follows the story of two teenagers: Callum, a nought, a member of the lowest class of society, and Sephy, a cross and in terms of society the complete opposite of Callum. The two of them are best friends through all of the horror that unfolds throughout the book and their story will not fail to affect the reader in some way. For me, the best thing about the book was the way it tackles an issue few people feel comfortable dicussing even with their closest friends and by using two very different perspectives it really makes you feel totally involved in the world of noughts and crosses and all that entails.
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An AMAZING Book
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by chardiddlyarlie

This book is possibly my favourite ever. An alternative England is divided between the Noughts and the Crosses. Callum is a looked-down-upon nought, and, as readers slowly realize, he's white. His best friend, Sephy, a black Cross, comes from a privileged family for whom Callum's mother works. A misunderstanding leads to her firing, but Callum and Sephy maintain deep affection for one another. After Callum gets into Sephy's previously all-black high school, the world begins to close in on them. The idea is not unfamiliar but Blackman personalizes it and it makes for a thrilling, heartbreaking story. The tale unfolds in 117 short chapters, alternately narrated by Sephy and Callum, and readers will watch with something akin to horror as the teenagers try to sustain what has become love through serpentine wrong turns and events beyond their control: Sephy's do-gooder efforts, the suicide of Callum's sister, and Callum's family's turn to violence. Both fate and family conspire to keep the teens apart as the story winds to its inexorable conclusion. Gripping and deeply layered, this book will make readers question everything: race relations, government, friendship. But it is Callum and Sephy's love, tinged with a Wuthering Heights -like relentlessness, that wins in the end.
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