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Publisher's Summary

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
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Customer Reviews

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By N on 12-28-16

Kept me listening

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.

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By Dona on 05-21-14

Terrific YA Book

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.

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Customer Reviews

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By M.D. on 04-14-13

Very engaging

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Laura on 03-13-13

Essential YA

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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