Posted 20 hours ago

Double Cross: Book 4 (Noughts And Crosses)

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This is an original, intelligent, perceptive and though-provoking series of books – and whilst squarely aimed at the Young Adult market, it clearly transcends the restrictive boundaries of that genre. Sixteen years have passed since Sephy Hadley first met Callum McGregor. For Callie Rose, growing up mixed race in a world where bitter prejudice divides Noughts and Crosses has meant she’s an outsider wherever she turns. These facts are the only things that are mine and real. So I don’t mind so much that I’m leaving it all behind. There’s nothing here worth holding onto. If this had been a stand alone novel I'd have given it four stars. I'm taking away a star because it's an unnecessary part of the series. Full review in the next few days. Sephy is a Cross: she lives a life of privilege and power. But she's lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.

Enter Jude McGregor. Jude teaches Callie about her real family history, and the more she learns the more he persuades her where her loyalties really lie.This book follows a character who is completely irrelevant in the rest of the books and his story was very uninteresting and didn't leave me with anything. They've been friends since they were children, and they both know that's as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies - love is out of the question. At the heart of this pacy novel is a young man struggling to flourish and do the right thing rather than simply survive in a world where "the harder life got . . . the more profit there was to be made". Tobey's deepening involvement with the two warring gangs and his attempts to play them off against each other cause him to bloody his hands. He watches himself becoming what he despises with a chilling awareness that is as exciting as it is poignant.

Most of it is written through the eyes of Tobey and although we do get to hear Callie Rose at the very beginning and then at the end, it is brief. Sadly, we never hear from Sephy, which was a great disappointment. She was the original character and it would have been nice to find out how her life was turning out and if she was happy. I liked Tobey's character, but I didn't care about him as much as I had Sephy and Callum. There is also no alternating voices with each chapter, which I thought was a shame as the format had worked so well in the previous books. Well, this is a hard one to review. Partly because I feel that this book is good and partly because I feel that being part of the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series ruins it. I mean ruins because it didn’t have to be, this book could have stood up by itself and been counted. It didn’t need to be tagged on to a series, it’s so relevant to the youth of today and it hits hard. Putting it in an alternative reality is like taking something that’s meant to cause damage and wrapping it in bubble wrap. It needed to feel like it happens in our society for the simple reason that IT DOES. The premise is good, I mean once I’d got into the story I adored what was happening. It wasn’t a slow burner and once Tobey was drawn into the gangs I was hooked! The writing is perfect, it paints the scenes so well without adding words that don’t need to be there. I genuinely liked the story. One of Malorie’s best ideas! (That I’ve read anyway!) The ‘Noughts & Crosses’ series provides us with an explicit flip and twist on both the history and current political and cultural demographic of British society – where racial politics is turned on its head and power structures are completely reversed. The plot wasn't bad, there are so many different sociological aspects that could be examined in the context of this series, but it was quite disjointed compared to the clear lineal structure between the first three novels. Rebecca – I think she’s quite a random character to want to mention but she was actually one of the most likeable in the book in my opinion. She was the only character that didn’t feel like she had a dark secret or hidden intentions and I liked that. She didn’t deserve to be in the situation she was in. I wanted more for her. Why did you do that Malorie?This review assumes that you have read all the previous books in the series, and thus will contain spoilers with regard to those stories.

Callum is a nought: he's considered to be less than nothing - a blanker, there to serve Crosses - but he dreams of a better life. Tobey wants a better life - for him and for Callie Rose. He wants nothing to do with the violent gangs that rule the world he lives in. But when he's offered the chance to earn some extra money, how much could it hurt to just this once say 'yes'? Callie Rose knows all about the danger of saying 'yes'. She knows about terrible mistakes, and violence and revenge, and the fierce divide between Noughts and Crosses. Then - in spite of a world that is fiercely against them - these star-crossed lovers choose each other. On the whole I'm glad I read it, and it wasn't a bad experience, more of a passive one as I relived previous times.Tobey – Tobey is Callie-Rose’s childhood friend. He’s also our MC. This is the first time we’ve had his POV and at first I thought that he was more than a bit of a jerk. As much as he wants us to think that his actions are purely driven by events that happen to those around him, it’s a very selfish reason that means events snowball out of control in the first place. However I like that he tried to rectify his mistakes and that on the inside he was alright. Did I like him? I’m not entirely sure, I’m edging towards no to be honest. He did too little too late for me. He was incredibly realistic though, just the sort of person you can see getting caught up in the events of ‘Double Cross’. When I heard about this book coming out I went crazy. I looked everywhere for spoilers (something I am telling you NEVER DO), and all I found out was that it was going to involve drugs and gangs. I waited months for it to come out, and read it in two days (which involved my English teacher threatening to convincate it because I stayed up to midnight reading XD). And it didn't disappoint. It was as fantastic as all the rest.

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