Synopsis from Amazon:
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. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Crosses schools…Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts unable to accept the injustices any longer, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…
This is one of the best books I have read all year. Blackman writes about race and the trials faced in an unequal society. She writes magnificently. The story follows Sephy, a black girl whose father holds a lot of power, and Callum, a white boy, 18 months older, whose family have no rights. The reader watches them grow up in this unfair, prejudice society where race is everything and the whites form a militant group, a terrorist group, in hopes to gain some equality. This is an incredibly tough subject to write about, and Blackman does it so well. In some ways it is a horror story, in others a sad tale. Noughts and Crosses has made me stop and think about why people turn to violence, how blessed we are that for the most part we live in a civilised, equal society and ultimately, what I would do in either of their positions.
I loved both characters, Sephy and Callum. I found myself willing them on, hoping for the best, despairing for them, grieving for them. I felt so many emotions during the book, and the ending, well I could cry.
I don’t think I have a criticism. Yes sometimes the storyline was a touch predictable, but did that spoil the story? No. Will I be reading the rest of the series? Yes. This is an amazing book, and it is has touched me in many ways.