Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday Recommends #16

So it's Friday again, and that means another exciting Friday Recommends!
This is an exciting book blog hop that book bloggers can take part in once a week to share with their followers, the books that they most recommend reading!

I apologise for the lack of Friday Recommends over the Christmas period - unfortunately things have not been going smoothly for me over this time. I am doing my best to get back on track now though! :)

The rules for Friday Recommends are:
  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too! Help spread the word! The code will be at the bottom of the post under the linky.
  • Pick a book that you've read, and have enjoyed enough to recommend to other readers. It can be a book you've read recently, or a book you read years ago - it's up to you - but make sure you tell us why you love the book (like a mini review). You make the post as long or as short as you like.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of this post after posting your blog post.
  • Put a link back to pen to paper ( somewhere in your post.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Goodreads synopsis:
Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.

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. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum -- a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong.

The first time I read this novel, I think I was about 12 years old, and I still remember how much I loved it the first time around. I recently re-read this for my Children's fiction module at University, and my love for it has definitely been rekindled.

The novel is classed as Teen/YA, but I honestly think that any adult can get enjoyment out of it as well. As I said, I was 12 the first time I read it, but I think I actually enjoyed reading it more at nearly 21. It's classed as dystopian fiction, which is a genre that I've come to really enjoy over the past few months - but it is unlike any of the other dystopias I've read. The world it's set in is definitely recognisable as close to our own western world, but turned on its head. This is how it makes its statements about racial equality. It poses the questions, "What if it was the other way around? What if white people were the ones fighting for equality?", and the answer that I have drawn from this is that it would have been pretty much the same. This, I think, is the statement it makes: We are equal because we all react in exactly the same ways.
I'm not going to go too deeply into this though - I'd want you guys to pick up the book, read it, and then think about it for yourselves. My own discussions on this are for the university classrooms.

The novel isn't just about the issues of racial equality though - there is also the 'Romeo and Juliet' style romance. I know from reading Malorie Blackman's website that this was not intentional, but it is something that definitely exists within the novel. Sephy and Callum's romance is one that was never destined to be easy - with prejudice and politics getting in the way, life was never going to be simple, and as much as we want it to, they are never going to have the life that they had envisioned together. Again, I don't want to say too much about this, but if you read the novel, I'm certain you'll see what I mean!

I'm hoping to be able to find the time to re-read the second in this series, Knife Edge, soon, which I also read when I was younger (although I think I may have been about 14 by the time this one was released). I remember a fair amount about Knife Edge - enough to be able to assure you that the series carries on well after Noughts & Crosses concludes. Hopefully I will be able to read the entire series before the end of 2012.
I hope you decide to give this one a go - it's definitely worth it!

What do you recommend this week? Join in with Friday Recommends and let us know!
Add your link below in the linky!


Shah Wharton said...

My post was scheduled for ages so I can't join. ;( But this book sounds like an interesting take on an age old issue. X

Chocolate Chunky Munkie said...

I keep meaning to get a copy of this book. It does sound interesting xx

Pen to Paper said...

Jen, I really do recommend getting a copy! If I'd have known you were interested, you could have had my copy!
I'm going to be naughty now and say Book People it! They have the whole series in a box set!!


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