Books, Random, Review

Blogmas Day 23: Noughts & Crosses – Malorie Blackman**

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Callum is a nought- a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country… In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. And as violence turns to peace and love, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? The are determined to try.

And then the bomb explodes…

I cannot tell you how many times this book has been recommended to me. Every time someone talked about The Hunger Games they said, “Well if you liked that, you have to read Noughts & Crosses”. My short term memory is terrible, but THAT I did remember because when I saw the book at a car boot sale in August, I decided to buy it.

And even though so many people recommended it, I did not like it. Or maybe I should say, I loved 5% (the ending), hated 15% and am neutral on the remaining 80%. It didn’t manage to pull me in. I was annoyed by both main characters and felt like unimportant scenes were too long and interesting things were touched upon quickly and then forgotten.

I sound really negative, don’t I? I’m sorry but I try to be honest when I’m reviewing books because otherwise, what’s the use..

First there are the main characters, Callum and Sephy. In this world the tables are turned and white people were once the slaves to black people. Callum is white, a nought and Sephy is black, a cross. The cultural differences and references to for example Martin Luther King were well thought out, although I feel like sometimes it was a bit too obvious and could have been written more subtle or worked deeper into the story instead of just mentioning names.
Why didn’t I like the main characters? Sephy is a child that tries her hardest to look grown-up. They keep on mentioning that she’s fourteen (I can remember that much, you don’t have to tell me ten times) and the way that she tries to prove herself to everyone is annoying. Then she starts drinking alcohol because her mother does. Wow, really grown up thing to do.. more like stupid, just another way that shows you just how much of a kid she actually is because she can’t even think about what she’s doing. Yes, she ends up an alcoholic and it’s a problem and it’s difficult to realise and own up to the problem yourself. But to me it felt more like “I’m a rich, whiny kid that doesn’t even know what ‘responsibility’ means”.

As for Callum. He tries to make the best of his situation. His family is falling apart and there’s nothing he can do but go to school and try to build a future for himself. No, it’s not easy and yeah, it sucks that everyone is racist towards him but afterwards when all the bad stuff happened, he ruins his own life. In the first half of the book, he’s always complaining about how terrible everything is and then he goes SPOILER *killing people* END OF SPOILER so what it that all about?

Lastly there’s the excessive use of “Yeah, right.” On the fourth one I was ready to put the book down and read something else. I know that it’s young adult literature but that’s no excuse. It’s annoying.

So I guess you can say that I was mostly just annoyed by the main characters, who felt like whiney, little kids and they are supposed to be the “good guys”. If I can’t like them..well..

The only thing I really liked (next to the cultural references and the idea of the story, which I like too of course or I wouldn’t have picked it up) was the ending. No, I didn’t just like it because it meant that it was over, I’m not that horrible. I like the fact that I really believed in a happy ending. That means that no matter how annoying they were, I still hoped that they could live happily ever after. Imagine my surprise.

Now I’m not planning on reading the other three books because people said that the first is much better than the other three and I didn’t even like this one.. but I’m just wondering, do those books have other main characters? Of do they tell you the stories of what happened during the three? five? (I can’t remember) years that aren’t talked about in this book?

Anyway.. If you liked it, then good for you! This is what keeps it interesting I think, different people with different opinions. Now I can at least have a discussion with people who did like it.

Once again, sorry for being so negative..

In other news, I cleaned up my bookshelf 🙂 I’ll put a picture on Instagram.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, we’re going to my husbands parents for dinner.

I think tomorrow’s post might be my outfit and make-up, just to do something completely different.

And then on Christmas (the last day of my daily blogging), I’ll wrap up Blogmas and the Christmas Booktube-a-thon challenges.

See you then.

Love

Ellen

3 thoughts on “Blogmas Day 23: Noughts & Crosses – Malorie Blackman**”

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