Thief by Malorie Blackman

This is one of Malorie Blackman’s shorter books. I’d only read her Noughts and Crossesseries and I thought they were fantastic- so I tried this one. It wasn’t bad. It was nowhere near Noughts and Crosses, though. The beginning, I warn you, was boring and clichéd- I was about ready to throw the book onto the floor and scream at the sky. That does change, though, and you soon find yourself in the middle of an incredible plot.

What if you could change the past to save the future?

You’re the new girl in school. You’re just trying to fit in – and it’s not working.

Then someone accuses you of theft, and you think things can’t get any worse. Until you get caught in a freak storm.

The next thing you know, you’re in the future. Being shot at for being out after curfew. You don’t even recognize your hometown. And you’re heading for a confrontation from your worst nightmare.”

The blurb is certainly very draw-you-in, because it’s so utterly confusing. The book isn’t- it’s readable and reasonably paced. It’s gripping. It’s the story of Lydia Henson, who just moved with her family from bustling London to a small town. This is the clichéd bit- she’s struggling to fit in at school. There’s a group of “popular girls” at her new school, including her “new best friend” Fran, and she wants to join them- but the leader, also the “school bully”, says to join them Lydia has to steal the school sports cup and keep it in her locker overnight. Lydia backs out- but the cup is found in her locker the next day and she is accused of stealing it. This starts a whole load of trouble for her family, and her brother is the only kid she knows who is sticking up for her. Lydia is particularly upset by Fran’s reluctance to step in and defend her- and it gets so bad that their car is attacked, they get hate mail, etc.- not great for a new school.

And now the interesting part begins! In a freak storm, Lydia is somehow hurled into the future- she meets all sorts of people and sees that in the future, she has turned into a bitter, spiteful old hag and her brother has become the well known, much hated “Tyrant”.

I think this one is aimed at younger readers- I’d say, 9-12? It’s very readable, very gripping, and I read it just a few days ago- which is quite a bit above that age! – And I have to say, I enjoyed it. It’s a lot better than many “teen” novels I’ve read, and I genuinely grew to care about some of the characters, which I think shows how beautifully relatable the book is. One to read!

 

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DOUBLE CROSS by Malorie Blackman

THE FINAL BOOK in the… well, I’m sure everybody’s sick of my raving about this series, so… I’ll just say amazing. Let’s start that again:

THE FINAL BOOK in the amazing Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman!!Double Cross by Malorie Blackman

In the last book, Checkmate, it ends with Sephy and Callie Rose finally talking to each other again, after Jasmine resorts to locking them both in a cellar together.

Everyone thinks the bomb that killed Jasmine was the work of a Nought terrorist, but Callie knows the truth. She is also afraid that Jude is still alive and planning revenge, though later you learn that Jude did actually die in the hotel room.

Her best friend, and later boyfriend, Tobey, is a nought boy at an exclusive school. Tobey hopes to stay out of trouble, go to university and get a good job. But the area where Tobey lives is carved up by two rivaling gangs: one headed by ruthless Nought Alex McAuley, and the other headed by the Dowds, a ruthless Cross family. Tobey wants to stay out of this, but then his friend Dan offers him the chance to make some money by making a few ‘deliveries,’ for McAuley. Tobey agrees, eventually… so this book is more about the gang wars than about Sephy, and Jude, and stuff. And of course, Tobey has to choose between Callie Rose and Rebecca Dowd. So I didn’t find this book as great, but that’s just because I got so immersed in Sephy’s world that now, Callie and Tobey’s world seems different… if that makes any sense.

Do I need to carry on telling people to read these?? Fine then… Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Have you got the message?? Good.

READ.

Age 12/13 is when I read it… and I think that’s a pretty good age.

Age… umm… well… 12/13, I guess.

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CHECKMATE by Malorie Blackman

CHECKMATE by Malorie Blackman

And… it’s the third in the awesome, amazing, epic, brilliant, I- could- go- on- forever Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman… and it’s STILL amazing; if someone asked me which one was the worst out of these three, I actually wouldn’t be able to give you an answer… I’d go over the books, like, 10 times and I wouldn’t be able to find a best/ worst in them… and I’m babbling, now…

So the last book left off where Callie Rose stopped breathing when Sephy held her too tight. And, thankfully, Malorie Blackman didn’t kill off Rose. Actually, the book starts in Callie’s POV. It tells you what Callie thinks, and basically, she thinks Sephy wishes her dead so Callum could live. And that’s a hard thing to believe… oh, my mom wishes I were dead if it meant my dead dad could live. Oh, what a brilliant upbringing Callie Rose had.

In this book, I grew to really dislike Meggie… because she seems far too possessive of Rose, which you learn when you read the part where Meggie threatens to go to court and win custody of Rose when Sephy wants to move out… amongst other things. She becomes, I think, my least favorite character… to the point where I think Jude is better.

Either I’m really weird, or Meggie really is acting horrible.

In the book there are two main plot bits… Sephy vs Callie Rose, and Jude vs Jasmine. You learn that Callie is part of the Liberation Militia, and she becomes quite close to, ‘Uncle Jude’. However, she also grows to hate Sephy. And… well… it’s all connected. Can’t spoil it more than I already have…

Read. Read. Read. How many more times do I need to say it before people get the idea about this series?? Here, I’ll say it a few more times. Read. Read. Read. And if you’ve already read them, read them again!!

I think you get the point now.

Age… 12/13.

 

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KNIFE EDGE by Malorie Blackman

So…the second of the amazing Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman.

Usually, I find the second book in a series to be the weakest one, generally… for example, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter series… duh.) and Crossed (Matched trilogy.) are just a few I can name off the top of my head.

But Knife Edge is just as brilliant as Noughts and Crosses, and it had me totally hooked… this series has been causing me to have some very late nights, much to the annoyance of my mum…

Knife Edge carries on the story from Noughts and Crosses. Sephy now has her daughter, Callie Rose Hadley; she is living with Meggie, Callum’s mum; Callum is dead; and Jude, his brother, is out to get revenge on Sephy.

Sephy receives a letter written by Callum before he died, full of harsh words about how Callum never loved Sephy and he can’t believe she was stupid enough to actually fall for him. Meggie refuses to believe the letter, but Sephy becomes depressed.

At the hospital, Sephy meets Jaxon. Later, she learns he is a hot- tempered member of a band, The Midges. He offers Sephy a singing part but the Noughts are prejudiced against her because she is a Cross. During this time, Sephy begins to neglect Callie Rose.

Meanwhile, Jude befriends Cara Imega, a Cross woman, for access to her money. Jude soon falls for her, though he keeps denying his feelings. Eventually, out of anger and confusion at how he could like a Cross, he kills Cara.

For this, he is wanted by the police. When he is caught, he faces a virtually certain death sentence. When she goes to visit him in jail, Jude tells Meggie that he didn’t kill Cara. Sephy doesn’t believe him, but Meggie insists that Jude is her son and he wouldn’t lie to her.

Sephy struggles with seeing Meggie lose the last member of her family… I mean, that’s understandable. Sephy provides Jude with an alibi under the condition that he will leave Callie Rose alone, and he agrees, though he doesn’t mean it…

One night, Sephy is holding Callie Rose too tight and Callie stops breathing… and that’s where the book ends.

It’s amazing, and ends on a major cliffhanger; I can’t imagine having to wait to read the next book, wondering whether Callie lives or dies. Lucky me, I had both books with me… thankfully.

Age would, again, be 12/13… well, that’s when I read the books…

DO NOT read this if you want something lighthearted… it’s pretty dark, still… it’s that heavy, depressing kind of book that you can’t help being obsessed with.

 

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NOUGHTS AND CROSSES by Malorie Blackman

So… this is the first of the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman. They are fantastic, and I definitely recommend them.

So, they are about a racist world. But here, the darker skinned “Crosses” rule over the pale skinned “Noughts”- basically, the opposite.

NOUGHTS and CROSSESPersephone ‘Sephy’ Hadley, daughter of Kamal Hadley the wealthy politician, is a Cross. Her best friend, Callum McGregor, is a Nought. Their friendship is frowned on by society, and so they remain friends in secret, Much to Sephy’s joy, Callum is one of the first Noughts admitted to Sephy’s exclusive school, Heathcroft High. Callum is also in Sephy’s class, but most of her classmates don’t accept that Sephy wants to be friends with a Nought. Meanwhile, Callum’s father Ryan and brother Jude join the Liberation Militia, a terrorist group said to be aimed at promoting equality.

Callum’s elder sister also dies in a car accident, but Callum knows it was suicide. Later, Jude and Ryan are also accused of a lethal bombing of  shopping centre committed by the L.M.- Callum is expelled from school and Ryan faces death. However, Jasmine, remembering how she used to be close to the McGregor family, hires a lawyer to defend Ryan and he escapes death. However he must spend a lifetime in jail and is killed by an electric fence while trying to escape.

Sephy decides she wants a new start and decides to go to the boarding school Chivers. She leaves Callum a letter asking him to run away from her, and if he doesn’t reply she will be going the Chivers boarding school. However, Callum has decided to join the L.M. against his mother’s will, and doesn’t get the note until just before Sephy leaves. He sprints to try and find her, but he is too late; Sephy is gone.

Years later, when Sephy returns, she gets a note from Callum telling her to meet him. She complies after some thought, but Callum is now part of the L.M. and that note wasn’t sent with good intentions…

This book is great. It’s kinda dark, but it’s still amazing. And I loved it… it’s awesome. Read, read, read, read!!

Age… umm… well… 12/13, I guess.

 

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