Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

In a world of racism, black Cross and white naughts just don't mix. Crosses are upper-class citizens, while naughts are just as their name suggests: nothings. Under these circumstances, Cross Sephy and naught Callum shouldn't be friends...and they definitely shouldn't love each other.

Callum and Sephy are forced to meet in secret. But when Callum's family becomes involved in a naught liberation movement, their differences cannot be ignored any longer...

Blackman's alternate reality is alarmingly similar to the real world. Crosses hold the powerful government positions. They control the justice system and the school system. When Callum goes to school as part of an integration attempt--1960s, anyone?--he notices that all the historical figures are Crosses. In addition, there are movements for equality. Some are nonviolent, but the Liberation Militia isn't afraid to bomb a shopping mall to get the message across.

At times, I found the writing style awkward--I felt like contractions were used at the oddest times, and character dialogue could seem a bit forced. However, it did not detract from the powerful plot line. There is also a huge twist at the end, which kept me on edge until the last page.

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