July 3, 2014

Black & White by Malorie Blackman | Review

Black & White by Malorie Blackman | ReviewBlack & White on January 9, 2007
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon

True enemies. False hope,
Sephy is part of the ruling class. Callum is considered a second-class citizen. They have been friends all their lives, since before there were barriers and boundaries. Now, things are different -- they have to meet in secret, as hate and violence seethe dangerously close to the surface of their society's fragile order.
Once, Sephy and Callum thought they had to proect their love; now, they must defend their very lives....

So I bought this book a few months ago at a huge book sale and I had been wanting to read it ever since I sat it on my shelf. I finally decided that I needed a break from all my Netgalley books and that I should treat myself to a read that I really wanted to read! I’m so glad that I did, because this book was absolutely extraordinary.

Basically, in this world, darker skinned people are the ruling class and white citizens are the second class. Only first class people get to go to schools and get an education, while second class citizens can only get schooling up until they are 14. So when Callum gets the chance to go back to school after being out of school for 2 years (he’s now 16), Sephy helps him study in order to get him into school. Of course, he’s accepted and gets to go along with 3 other second class citizens. He gets bullied a lot at school and picked on and gets awkward stares from others because he’s second class and other people look to him as something lower than themselves.

Sephy is part of the upper class while her best friend Callum is not. They had been friends ever since Callum’s mother started babysitting and helping around Sephy’s house as a job many years ago. Sephy’s mom and Callum’s mom were absolutely best friends until one day Sephy’s mother fired Callum’s mother. Ever since then, Callum and Sephy have had to secretly meet in private at their spot on the beach, telling lies to their parents about where they are going every time they meet up.

Basically, they definitely have crushes on each other. They may not see it just yet, though the reader can see that there is definitely something going on between them. They were even each other’s first kiss! They know that they should not be together, but they also know that they would do anything for each other, so it may just be worth it, at least to them.

The hard part about this is that Callum’s sister has history of being with someone of a different class and things didn’t end well. Plus, Sephy’s father is really against the second class. He wants nothing to do with them, and since he’s really important in their state, he has a lot of say in how things go and how things are run. He’s even upset when 4 lower class citizens pass the test and are accepted by the school! He was hoping all along that nobody would get in at all!

Despite their two year age difference, Sephy and Callum get along really well. I loved their friendship and the way that they told each other absolutely everything, no matter what the cost. I also really liked how this book took place over a long period of time. It starts out when Sephy is 14 and Callum is 16, and then it skips ahead a bit to when Sephy is about 17 and Callum is 19. I liked how there were also radical groups that did everything in their power to go against the government and their class system, because everyone is absolutely the same in every way, and nobody should be put down. Everyone is capable of being smart enough to go out and achieve their goals, so people shouldn’t be so against others. It’s just cruel, so I loved the radical groups.

This book left on such a cliffhanger, so I’ll definitely be picking up the next book. I’m just not so sure I like that the characters are so much older in the next book!

Notable quotes:

Some things will never change. That’s just the way it is. But don’t you believe them.

People are people. We’ll always find a way to mess up, doesn’t matter who’s in charge.

The higher you climb, the further you have to fall.

Recommended for fans of:
The Selection by Kiera Cass
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  1. I haven't really heard of this book until now but it sound like a book that's right up my alley. I also like books that has a longer timeline so we can see the characters grow up and mature throughout the book. Great review, Krystianna!

  2. YA Novelties says:

    Enjoyed your review!

    I haven't heard of this book either. The reverse racism in this book does not seem to be anything new, but quotes just sound beautiful. The radical groups sound really inspiring, despite the sort of social stigma that most radical groups receive. Hopefully in this series, the radical groups are able to effect change without destroying the society entirely.

    -Angie @ YA Novelties

  3. Anonymous says:

    this has been on my TBR forever!!! I want to read it

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