Book Review: The Noughts and Crosses series

The series Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman is thought- provoking as it covers topics racism, politics and prejudice. The idea of coloured people being inferior to whites is flipped. Coloured people (Cross) are of a higher class than colourless people (Noughts). The author Malorie Blackman has brilliant writing and I absolutely love her works! There are four books in total: Noughts and Crosses, Knife Edge, Checkmate and Double Cross. Malorie Blackman captures complex and confusing emotions as it is in real life with her powerful writing and messages.Noughts and Crosses is one of my favourites out of the four as you see the encounters, Calum (Nought) and Sephy (Cross) have to go through as they struggle with their identity. One of the main reasons why I like this book, is that it switches between Calum and Sephy each chapter. As I flip through pages, I feel heart warmed by their relationship but then I can suddenly feel a rage bubbling up inside me when fairness is given to those who don’t deserve it. Malorie Blackman captures complex and confusing emotions as it is in real life with her powerful writing and messages.
Knife Edge has amazing writing yet I didn’t seem to like it as much as the first novel. The main characters are very different from the first book and I suppose that’s rightly so from the aftermath of Noughts and Crosses. I won’t give spoilers! It was hard to read a lead where they have such awful thoughts, to the point where I felt tired of him blaming his mistakes on others. Other characters in the book seem lost and might need a reality check. Overall, the writing in this book is great but that is dragged down when quite a few of the characters annoy you.
Checkmate joins the list in one of my favourites out of the four. This book had so much tension and I couldn’t even take my eyes of the page! Chapters are narrated by different characters like the previous two books which I loved because it keeps the plot line more intriguing. In this book, the sign of racism isn’t as blatant as the others, which makes the book more relatable and relevant. Racism is still here even if is not more noticeable than in the past. I liked the lead character as she always seemed to question things and wondered where her place was in the world. Yes, at times I could get slightly frustrated by the actions she would take, but that was only because as a reader I knew more than the character! Sephy’s attitude has only gotten better a little bit from Knife Edge, sometimes I thought younger characters were more mature than her. Double Cross seemed a little irrelevant and I thought the series should have ended at Checkmate. I think it would’ve been better as a standalone book. This book focuses on a character who was only introduced in Checkmate and his relationship with another character from Checkmate. The plot was okay, I felt that it didn’t focus on fighting for equality which is one of the reasons I picked the book up from the shelf in the first place. There was only one narrative in this book and the most of the original characters did not appear. Personally, I think this book shouldn’t be in the Noughts and Crosses series as it follows from a character that didn’t hold any importance. This could also be a reason why some scenes which should be shocking did not impact me as a reader because I felt that I did not care for the narrative as much as the original characters.

Overall, I still think this series is fantastic, despite some negative comments I had made. I would definitely recommend this series. What do you think of this series if you have read it? Or if you haven’t, have I convinced you to? I’m very curious, let me know!

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