Book review//Checkmate Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman is a winner.

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Author: Malorie Blackman
Published: August 8th 2006 by Corgi Childrens
Number of pages: Paperback, 479 pages

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

(4.5 stars)

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

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. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

I think I love this book too much

This book past my 4cblagxcgpectations – I had to 😉 – and I am so overjoyed that I found it because its  just so great…

Noughts are the white citizens, most of them are labouring 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

Sephy is  a cross who just doesn’t understand why life is the way it is. Why people act different around the noughts and treat them as less than equal even though slavery ended years ago. She is often called young and delusional because she wants something different. Persophone ( sephy ) isn’t perfect and she is definitely still learning she makes mistakes and acknowledges them and we really watch her grow and mature in this book.

Callum is a nought and Sephy’s childhood bestfriend – and lover 😉 😉 – and you can definitely tell the difference between the two characters. Callum is years above his age and has grown weary. He is a bit of a pessimist and although he is tired of the way things are he has accepted it. And yes he is one of the people that often call Hadley “Young” ( even though there is about 1-2 years between them ). Callum starts off with a bit of hope , hope for change but it slowly fades away as time passes.

The story starts from the first page … Malorie jumps right in and just runs with it. Each page is something new and there wasn’t a dull moment. Every character has their own story and it’s all told through the eyes of Hadley and Callum. Because their lives were so contrasting it was very interesting. We saw both sides of the story .

Malorie blackman has created this alternate universe and she did it so well. Nothing was left untold .. we knew the history, the religion and the political side of it all. We got to decide for ourselves what was right or wrong ( nothing was black and white ). We really entered the mind of the people and understood why they did things ( even if we didn’t like it ).

There are a lot of important messages in this book. It’s not ” just another dystopian romance YA book ” it’s much more. The book deals with topics like discrimination and racism. I was tossed from one side to another and the change between the characters from the start of the book was so drastic but it was subtle too. Callum then isn’t not the same as  Callum now.

DrumrollThe romance. The romance wasn’t the center of the book which is why it’s not the center of this review. Callum and Sephy were together but weren’t. They said things that couples would say and they did admit they loved each other but it wasn’t all puppies and rainbows. It was real. I could actually tell they loved each other. Things that weren’t meant to be aww moments were still so cute and emotional. We did get a few 😉 scenes but they had lives outside their bubble. My diagnosis is a case of forbidden love.

The book is written beautifully. The start is a bit child like  because Sephy is only fourteen ( at the end she is 18 ) at the start ( Callum is 15 and at the end he is 19 ) but as they grow older it does get better. So just keep going it’s worth it.

I love the writing style it was so different from what I usually read. I still don’t understand how she put 7 years of their lives in 479 pages but she did and she did it so well.Let me just say it was 7 traumatic years. Filled with passion, pain and a whole lot of other heart wrenching crap.

The ending will leave you raw but it made this book better because it’s real. If it ended with everything okay and all smiles it wouldn’t have been real. It would have been silly, a joke. That doesn’t mean I didn’t hate the ending though.It left me huddled in a corner in tears.

I just love this book so much and it took me a few tries before I  could write this review and do it justice. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something real.

I found writing this review so hard.For a while I just stared at the computer screen not knowing what to type.Because how do you describe greatness.I couldn’t even gather my thoughts. Honestly breathing was hard but I did it.

Deuces,

B

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