A World of Words

Reviewing children's books

The second type of dystopia

on April 14, 2013

Noughts and Crosses, by Malorie Blackman

ISBN: 0-552-54632-1, £2.32 from Play

noughts and crosses

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 then the bomb explodes…

A friend recommended this book to me back when I was at university. The noughts are the white-skinned underclass, only 50 years out of slavery to the Crosses, the dark-skinned people that have the majority of the prospects and jobs. Sephy is the daughter of the Prime Minister, whereas Callum is a nought whose mother once worked for Sephy’s. The book alternates between the first-person perspectives of both characters, and together they tell their story, starting from when Sephy’s 13 and ending when she’s 18.

I realised today that there are two types of dystopia. The first is like The Hunger GamesIt’s an interesting idea, but still removed enough from our everyday lives that the message it sends is fairly subtle. Noughts and Crosses is the second type: the dystopia is near enough to life today to make one feel distinctly uncomfortable. And that’s what it did; the politics of Noughts and Crosses slapped me in the face. There are still enough issues with race and equality today for this book to be extremely relevant, which I can imagine is why Malorie Blackman wrote it.

The character development was brilliantly done, and I was able to empathise with the perspectives of both main characters. Their flaws were exposed as well as their strengths, so they were really believable. Reading it as an adult, I think I figured out pretty early on that the story was only going to go downhill for Sephy and Callum, despite what they might dream and I might hope. In that respect, I did find myself a little depressed in that all I could do is see how badly things went wrong – there was only a tiny glimmer of hope, which I’m not used to. I wonder how I’d have interpreted this story as a teenager?

Despite being saddened by the book, I still really enjoyed it. The message is clear but didn’t stop to preach – everything was put in context. The plot was fast and Callum and Sephy’s relationship was handled deftly, according to their situation. It was a gritty book I’d thoroughly recommend.

Advertisements

One response to “The second type of dystopia

  1. emmarae89 says:

    I loved this book, and the two that follow it, when I first read them as a teenager, and I still think they’re just as amazing now. I think all kids should read them, it really drives certain issues home. This made the World Book Night book list this year and I’m so glad to see it’s still popular!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Emmy's Mummy

and Harry's too!

She Cooks, She Eats

Simple but delicious recipes from a girl that loves to eat

My Little Book Blog

Book reviews and all things books by Lizzy Baldwin

Book Gossips

We are four cousins hailing from Australia. Love of books runs in our family and we have decided to share our exhilirating gossip sessions with you. Here you can find book reviews from multiple genres, bringing you the best of buzz worthy popular fiction.

Reviewing children's books

Fast day feasts

What to eat on the 5:2 fast diet

Once Upon a Bookcase

Reviewing children's books

Dark Readers

Reviewing children's books

The Cait Files

Reviewing children's books

Rape and PTSD

PTSD from Gang Rape - My Journey

Age is just a page number

Now featuring books for adults!

The Barefoot Gigi

Barefoot Books and Gifts for Children

Red Ted Art's Blog

Bringing Colour & Art to Children's Hearts

Becky's Book Reviews

Reviewing children's books

journalistworks.wordpress.com/

The training centre for tomorrow’s talent

www.thechildrensbookcase.com

Reviewing children's books

Children's Literature Book Club

Reviewing children's books

Armadillo Blog

Reviewing children's books

tall tales & short stories

Reviewing children's books

Blog Book Tours

Reviewing children's books

Reviewing children's books

Chicken Spaghetti

Reviewing children's books

The Horn Book

Reviewing children's books

bookengine

Reviewing children's books

Bookreporter.com Reviews

Reviewing children's books

Teen Librarian

libraries, teens, books, reviews news...

Book Reviews – BookBabblers

Reviewing children's books

Reviewing children's books

Scribble City Central

Reviewing children's books

Wondrous Reads

Reviewing children's books

Books 4 Teens

YA reviews, news & interviews for the young & the young at heart

The Acorn and Thimble

Reviewing children's books

The Mountains of Instead

Reviewing children's books

The Bookette

Reviewing children's books

Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

Reviewing children's books

The History Girls

Reviewing children's books

Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Reviewing and talking about children's literature, graphic novels & bookish things. Shiny.

Writing from the Tub

Reviewing children's books

TreasuryIslands

A critical-whimsical romp through children's literature

Nayu's Reading Corner

Reviewing children's books

the book corner

Reviewing children's books

'The Little Wooden Horse'

Reviewing children's books

Picture Book Shelf

Reviewing children's books

5minutespeace's Blog

A comprehensive blog reviewing children's books with an emphasis on fun and nostalgia.

%d bloggers like this: