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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Youth Classic that just misses the mark
My wife is a teacher and is going through this book with her pupils. Call me snobbish, but despite her protestations that I really should read it, I was reluctant - I'm not a teenager, for one, and feared I'd find it tedious and craftless.

How wrong I was. Blackman's novel is superbly paced and stylistically clever. The dual first-person-narrative structure...
Published on 2 July 2007 by Mr. T. COLEMAN

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The pages were a bit loose but they're all there
Published 19 days ago by Elizabeth


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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Youth Classic that just misses the mark, 2 July 2007
By 
Mr. T. COLEMAN "Jesus freak movie geek" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Part1 of Noughts & Crosses Trilogy) (Paperback)
My wife is a teacher and is going through this book with her pupils. Call me snobbish, but despite her protestations that I really should read it, I was reluctant - I'm not a teenager, for one, and feared I'd find it tedious and craftless.

How wrong I was. Blackman's novel is superbly paced and stylistically clever. The dual first-person-narrative structure really works and showcases Blackman's excellent ability to write convincing voices that are diametrically opposed (13 yr old Sephy from the ruling class with her affluent but sheltered naivety, and 15yr old Callum - a young man brimming with anger and disaffection).

It's the contrast between these two protagonists that makes this novel so compelling. Blackman really fleshes out the basic morality tale of "Racism is bad / Equality is good", avoiding simplistic answers. There is no neat closure here. Heroes commit atrocities and villains make broken gestures of kindness. Ironically, there is no black and white. Such richness was thrilling, especially when you consider this is written for the teenage market.

More than this the plot unfolds with the timing of a thriller, and even though one can see developments and twists approaching from a mile away, Blackman writes it so well that I found myself hardly caring. The events that transpire might be predictable, but the complex and brave characterisation make the ride compelling.

On the down side, there are some clichés that trip the story up at times. It's not enough to cripple the narrative, but it does slow it down and I, for one, found myself annoyed at such small but noticeable setbacks. These clichés can be brushed over and you can still thoroughly enjoy the text, but for me it stopped the book becoming a bonafide classic.

In short, this is a great book, and the creative flair far out weighs the few stylistic hiccups. Blackman writes with such courage, conviction, and insight, I found myself challenged about my own innate world view. For what it matters, I'm a white middle class man, and this book caused me afresh to look at my own attitude to what I really believe about racism and equality. In this, the book is a roaring success, and if it causes more of us to honestly appraise our own hearts in regards to race, the better.
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150 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!, 23 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I'd read a lot of Malorie's other books and really liked them. But this book is like nothing I've ever read before. It's so class, I don't know what to say about it. It's a bit like Romeo and Juliet but tons and tonss better. I felt like I wasn't just watching Callum and Sephy but I was them. I could understand exactly why they behaved the way they did. And I actually started thinking of them as real people. I'm still thinking about them. They both made me laugh and - I admit it - they both made me cry. I'm glad no one knows who I am. It's a bit embarressing for a 15 year old boy to admit that a book made him cry but as long as my friends don't find out, that's okay. I loved this book. I'm going to read it again now. It made me think more about racism and prejudice where I live, in my school and even at home. I wish everyone could read it. It's so good, it deserves to get 5 and a half stars out of 5.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than entertainment, 1 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)
This book is about racism and prejudice of all kinds - it's both entertaining and educational. The writer shows the viewpoint from both sides of the 'fence' and shows why prejudice is a two-way thing that ultimately hurts both sides. Blackman encourages the reader to look at their own attitudes by pointing out things that might never have occurred before (eg - I never thought how plasters are only made in a pinky-white person kind of colour before!) I think that any intelligent person (child or adult) who reads this book will put it down having learnt something about themselves, society and the importance of equality. This is a good book and I can't wait to read the sequel.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, exciting, moving, stunning and thought-provoking, 13 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Hardcover)
I read Noughts & Crosses in one go, although I didn't mean to. It grabbed me from the second chapter and wouldn't let go. It took me all day and well into the night to read it as I'm not a very fast reader, but it was worth it. This book made me laugh out loud in certain bits, made me tear two of the pages in my haste to turn the pages in certain bits and the end of the book made me cry. No book has ever done that before. The whole story was brilliant! There isn't a single bit that I thought was boring or had to skip over. And when I closed the book, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's the best book I've ever read in my life. I don't think five stars are enough. It should have 10! It should have 100! Read it now. You'll love it!
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will turn your view of the world upside down, 13 Dec 2003
By 
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)
"Noughts and crosses" is being marketed as a children's book but don't let that keep you from reading it - I'm in my mid-20'es and absolutely loved it. The story is thought-provoking to say the least and the characters stop being characters after about 15-20 pages and become real people who you will care for and root for till the very end.
It's equal parts suspense and love story and both will have you at the edge of your seat, turning page after page and needing to "just read one more chapter" until you are well into the wee hours of the morning.
Don't keep anything breakable nearby though as the unfairness of it all will have you wanting to hurl something heavy through the air quite a lot; instead, a box of tissues will come in handy as the ending is both incredibly sad and incredibly beautiful. All in all the book, its theme, its questions, and its people will stay with you for days after you've finished it and it is a book which you shouldn't cheat yourself of. This is the first book I've read by Marjorie Blackman but it definitely won't be the last.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most amazing thinf ive ever read, 10 July 2006
By 
G. M. Eveleigh "--rhi--" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Naughts & Crosses (Hardcover)
Noughts and Crosses...

well there is so much to say about this book. i started reading it because my friend recomended it but by the first few chapters i was hypnotised and over a few days there wasn't much i could think about but this book. Half of the time i was reading the book, the other half i was tihnking about it. it's a book that grips your imagination and with such a vivid reality of racism you get caought up in the plot you almost become the characters. i was dissapointed with the ending because i like the classic fairy tale ending but the following books in the trilogy made up for the ending. Knifes Endge and Checkmate both extremely amazing books but Noughts and Crosses was definately my favourite probably because of the romance mixed in with the storyline.

if i had to read a book again it would defineatley be noughts and crosses.

i recommend anybody with a passion should read this book!

read it, read it, read it!

it is about a society that is lead by the black people or the crosses who feel they are superior to the white skinned noughts. Sephy is a black girl and her father is very important in the biast society. Callum is a white skinned nought. The two childhood friends start to realise that in a world split in two their friendship is frowned upon. They fight predjudice and develop their relationship but can they win when they have the world against them? What sacrafices and desires will they loose?
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a children's book, 8 Aug 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)
I can't believe this book is being marketed as a book for young adults. This is definitely a book for adults to read and thoroughly enjoy. I must admit, I wouldn't have read this book if it wasn't one of the BBC Big Read top 100 books of all time, but I'm determined to read all 100 and this was the seventy-third one on my list. And of the ones I've read so far this is definitely my favourite. It has action, suspense, romance, an excellent, enthralling story and characters to really care about. I'm in my 30s and I thought it was amazingly well written and like nothing I've ever read before. Well done to Malorie Blackman. This may have been the first book of yours that I've read, but it certainly won't be the last. I can't wait for the sequel. If it's a half as good as Noughts and Crosses, it'll be a winner.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written and pacy, 28 Feb 2004
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)
This book is amazing. A lot of people say that about a lot of books, but this one really is. It follows Sephy, a black cross, and Callum, a white nought in their struggle to fight against the inequality and narrow minded people that surround them. Written from both the main characters' points of view, this book will draw you in and not fully let you go until long after you have finished it, and even then, it will make you look at the world around you through fresh eyes. The heart-wrenching ending will leave you both in tears and wanting more, which the sequel 'knife edge' provides. Though at points you will want to scream through sheer frustration about what is happening, this is only because Malorie Blackman has made her chracters so utterly believable-you can't help but get involved in their lives. This really is, to use a cliche, a 'must read'.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE!!!!, 18 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Naughts & Crosses (Paperback)
Noughts and crosses. It literally took my breath away. I think its one of the best books ive ever read! Malorie manages to keep you transfixed all the way though, till the very end.
She has turned the world on its head and talks about a very painful subject - racism, within the very things that keep us alive; Love, Hate, family, friendship and trust.
Its about a black girl called Sephy and a white boy called Callum and there friendship in a world thats divided by the colour of your skin, and how their feelings for eachother grow as they grow older and grow up.
Its a must read Book.
Go on, give it a shot!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1, 23 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Noughts and Crosses (Paperback)
Noughts and crosses can only be described as the most intoxicating unputdownable heart-rending book ever. A book that has you absorbed until the last full stop yet lingers in the mind for a long time afterwards. It has to be said, it easily classifies as my favourite book. EVER.
To set the scene for you, this book is set in a world where black and white is right and wrong. Malorie Blackman skilfully avoids mentioning time and place which focuses on the novel being set in a bubble of racial injustice. This provocative book makes us think about race in a totally different way through the two main characters as they struggle to keep their friendship alive. Callum is a nought –a second class citizen- in a world dominated by crosses. Sephy is a cross and daughter to one of the most powerful men in the country. The introduction of these two characters causes us to dive straight into their deep fondness for each other, we feel intertwined with their every thought and feeling due to the chapters alternating between both character’s diaries. The stereotypical ideas most people are brought up with about racism, led me to assume that Callum would be black, however Malorie Blackman has used the clever device of turning these preconceived ideas upside down to make sure that her point is well and truly made. As the lives of these two characters progress, they realise that they want more than friendship from each other but as harsh reality takes it’s toll we are left bitter and wishing for a world not divided by colour or class. As we arrive to the end of this riveting book, the momentous ending whacks an unforgettable punch and we can’t help but be left breathless.
This book would inspire passion onto even the most heartless person. It’s laugh out loud funny and cry your heart out sad. The dramatic and moving plot line achieves what any good book should; leave you wanting more. It’s filled to the brim with love and hate, wrong and right, injustice and hope. Malorie Blackman has created a masterpiece from which you feel reluctant to leave. An incredible novel that should be read by all!
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Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Part1 of Noughts & Crosses Trilogy)
Noughts & Crosses: Book 1 (Part1 of Noughts & Crosses Trilogy) by Malorie Blackman (Paperback - 8 Aug 2006)
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