Nottingham University has it’s very own book club, and this month they talked about 3 wide ranging popular fictional novels. Here are their thoughts, do you agree?
Nouhts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Noughts and Crosses is set in a racial dystopia which follows the relationship and lives of Sephy, a cross, and Callum, a nought. One of the central points about the book is that Caucasians are the noughts, so deemed inferior, whereas those of African ethnicity are the crosses, so deemed superior. The book is written from both of the main characters points of view leading to different perspectives of the same event. Whilst the writing style is accessible for children the content is thought provoking. Often simple ideas are used, such as how plasters were not available in the skin colour of the noughts, but these still send a powerful message about how deep rooted racism is in society. It also draws parallels with current arguments in our society about the same problems with products such as make up.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief follows a young girl, Liesel, growing up in Nazi Germany. It is unusual in its style as it is narrated by Death who gives interesting, and frequently melodramatic, insights from a third person perspective. There is a real focus on the child characters and their behaviour is often immature; this focus is then juxtaposed with the maturity they need to cope. This is seen in the profane language as well as the dangerous and frightening situations they encounter. There is also a contrast between the violence of the deaths and the calm gentle persona of Death himself; Death is seen not as the enemy but the saviour. Death often gave spoilers away during the course of the narration but readers were kept hooked regardless!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slow, and then all at once.”
The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel, a teenager with terminal lung cancer, who falls in love with a young man called Augustus. It’s a book heavily laced with humour and wit skillfully breaking up the emotional passages. Despite being predictably emotional the plot itself has an unexpected twist as we follow the story of their love. The writing style is easy to read and compared favourably to other John Green books. In the book readers are confronted with the reality and gravity of these illnesses and the degree to which it envelopes both Hazels own life and that of her family and friends