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 Cross schools… Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…
©2001 Malorie Blackman (P)2004 Random House Audio Go
The story was overall good, I'm a fan of dystopian/alternative history ya books, so this seemed like a great fit. I listened to it in one day not wanting to stop. I loved Callum and his narration . I also enjoyed the character of Sephy but I found myself annoyed by how fast her narrative was, I thought at one point that I had the speed turned up. My only real confusion with the story regards Sephy's reaction at one intense point of the story, any logical person would expect her to be angry and need a lot of convincing to forgive, but instead she is easily overcome by lust. This would have fit fine earlier in the novel or with more build up, but seemed super awkward timing to me.
I chose this book because one of my students was reading the book and needed some help understanding it since English isn't her first language. I am so pleased that I did! It was a terrific book that kept me engrossed all the way through it. I could relate to it on many levels. I was a teenager during the American Civil Rights Movement. I could remember the Black Panther Movement. I was reminded of the IRA in Ireland. Now living in Australia I could see a relationship with the struggles of the Koorie population.
I am recommending this book to be put on our Year 10 reading list! I can see lots of discussions with the students.
My one annoyance is that the rest of the series is only available in abridged versions. The first book ended in such a way that I wanted to get right into the next book. Looks like I will have to buy the printed or e-book versions.
No, once was nice, but also enough.
It confronts you with your views and makes you think about the stereotypes you have.
It was nice that there were 2 narrators for the 2 main characters. However, the girl was a bit overdramatic every now and then (Syan Blake) and the boy was a bit difficult to understand here and there (Paul Chequer).
The ending: unexpected!
Listen to the sample first before you buy. If you like the narrators, this is definitely a story worth listening to.
This worked fantastically well as in-car listening to, from and during our holiday in Cornwall last year. It is accessible both to adults and to teenagers, and we often sat in the car at the end of a journey to finish a chapter. The story is based on an interesting twist on our traditional notions of racism, but this is in no way labored, but rather provides the backdrop for the human stories we encounter.
The scenario is compelling, the drama powerful, and the echoes of Romeo and Juliet beautifully ironic, but the language marks this title out definitively as a YA novel: not one to pick if you're on the trail of lyricism, or an arresting turn of phrase. The reading is generally effective, but Paul Chequer brings to Callum's narration a sneering tone that I hadn't expected and didn't enjoy.
All the more special as it was read by my late cousin Sian whom I loved very dearly including her two previous sons rest in perfect peace xxx
"Not what I was expecting."
I thought it was going to be predictable but it wasn't. Suitable for older teenagers and adults only. No swearing but adult themes.
It was great fantastic
I loved it a great story, great narration ( It was perfect I like it when the different characters have different voices which is the case for this book.)
For me it was a perfect book.
It is great for teenager or older children, because I loved it, adored it and I'm 14 and my sister too she is 12
Hope my review helps you with your choice.
I had 100% satisfaction with my purchase and hope you do too
Jodie 14years old
"A very thought provoking book"
Loved it and couldn't wait to be able to find time to listen to more
"Excellent Example of Apartheid"
the Apartheid of south Africa is one of the most shameful parts of our history. to have the roles reversed is one thing but the book also gives us a more day to day setting. a beautiful story and heart wrenching. very well constructed and paced.
"Powerful, brilliant, touching"
A superbly constructed insight into some of the worst aspects of human nature. Touching, poignant and hard-hitting all at the same time. Highly recommended for teens and adults. The sort of book that should help change the world.
"Loved it !"
One of my favourite books of all time , it was read beautifully throughout .
I love this book so much, the voice actors were amazingly convincing and I'd just like to say R.I.P Sian Samantha Blake 👼🏾❤️
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