Noughts & Crosses Series | Book Review

16 April 2016


Hello!

I promised y'all a book review in this post and this is exactly what you're gonna get! So for this week, I have sat and read 4 books. Two of those books also featured a short story. I repeat again, it's been a week. A week. This has been the most I've read in a long time, I was staying up until nearly 4am at some points because I was so gripped to it!


Anyway, let me provide a little flashback.

I'm in 3rd/4th year of high school, so I'm 14/15. I'm sitting in English class while people are giving their talks about the books they've chosen for their personal study. Then Chiara comes up and starts talking about Noughts & Crosses. For some reason, that memory has stayed with me - and 7/8 years later I've read the book.

Theme

The biggest overall running theme for all the books are on racism, relationships and family. The whole plot line follows the idea of 'what if white-skinned people (Noughts) were never seen as "the dominant" in society. What if that was black-skinned people (Crosses)? And what if white-skinned people were dealing with the ancestry of slavery?'

With family, it's about dysfunctional family dynamics, and in turn how the relationships between the characters can, and have, been impacted on by it.

Books

There are four books in this series:
1. Noughts & Crosses
2. Knife Edge
3. Check Mate
4. Double Cross

Although, there are two short stories as well, "Callum" is available in Noughts and Crosses, and "An Eye For An Eye" is in Knife Edge. These stories provide an alternate look on the story and a background to the story consecutively.

I'm aiming to review all the books here and keep them as spoiler free as I possible can, however, you can come back to this post and read the book reviews one by one as and when you've finished one, I'll start each review with the name and a picture of the book.

Noughts & Crosses



This is the first book in the series. It follows the characters of Callum McGregor (a Nought) and Sephy Hadley (a Cross). The plot follows their friendship, and their attempts of trying to keep their meetings secret because of the fact their families no longer get along - alongside their difference in social classes. We also begin to get our first glimpses into 'terrorism' group "The Liberation Militia". This book broke my heart, okay, but in the best way possible!

I do admit that it took me a while to actually get started reading it, because I initially found the layout of the 'chapters' to be odd. (They're set up as a chapter for each characters POV. So one 'chapter' could be like 3 lines long.) However, once the story really gets started, you're absolutely hooked and don't care about that any more. I promise.


rating: 5/5

Knife Edge


This is the second book in the series. It follows the characters of Sephy and her relationship with Meggie and her daughter. The plot of this story is Sephy's struggle with parenting and mental health, where she wants only the best for her daughter in a world that discriminates against her. We're introduced more to Jude McGregor, who is out to kill Sephy and esentially all Crosses. The book's themes are on relationships, terrorism, mental health, racism.

rating: 3/5

Check Mate


This book primarily follows Callie Rose and her relationship with Sephy, as well as Jude McGregor. The book begins with Callie Rose aged 16 and is the 'present' of the story, but the main bulk of the story takes place in flashbacks to Callie growing up. It follows the themes of Racism, Terrorism, Relationships, Mental Health and grooming as Jude tries to get Callie to join the Liberation Militia and to attack Sephy where it will hurt her the most. There is a lot of hurt in this book as well, though I found it didn't hurt nearly as much as the first book hurt me.

rating: 4/5

Double Cross


Okay first of all... THIS BOOK BROKE MY HEART. THIS BOOK BROKE MY HEART WAY MORE THAN BOOK ONE DID, you will love it.

This book mostly follows Tobey as he tries to avoid getting involved in violence and gangs... That is until the incident. And from that point on, it's his revenge plan. It's incredibly violent and I spent a lot of my time going 'holy shit no please no oh my god'. It has to be said that violence and gang culture have to be the biggest themes of this story. But again, this is just so heartbreaking and you may actually cry after it. Good luck!

rating: 6 million tears/5

Overview

Okay, I mean it's obvious I really enjoyed these books, and when I was talking to Sarah about whether she'd read it yet, she said that she'd like to because "they're modern classics pretty much. Supposed to be amazing." And if my bae says that about these books you'd best believe it, okay? Okay. (Another, heartbreaking phrase let's be honest, but thats' just my fault in our stars) I really am not funny omg.)

Okay so this was my first attempt at a book review, I hope you enjoyed it. Please go and read them! Seriously! Go to your local book store right now! Or to your library! #SaveTheLibraries!!!

Until next time, be excellent to each other.