Hello, Niveus High. It’s me. Who am I? That’s not important. All you need to know is…I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. – Aces
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Genre: YA mystery, contemporary, thriller, LGBTQIA+
[TW: racism, homophobia, bullying, and suicidal ideation]
for complete list of trigger warnings go here
Synopsis (from publisher):
An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalised racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.
Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.
Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.
Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…
Gossip Girl meets Get Out?? Please sign me up ✋
This book had everything I have ever wanted in a book. Elite prep school with a dirty past? Dark academia setting? Queer Black kids trying to find whoever is leaking their secrets? Ace of Spades has got it all, literally.
At first I thought the plot would be something very basic. I presumed Aces would be an old friend turned into a rival, or just a bored teacher who was vile enough to leak the secrets of students. Well- that’s not exactly what happened.
Ace of Spades had a fast-paced plot and kept me engaged throughout the novel. I was literally biting my nails because I could not shut this book. I got shivers down my spine because of the plot twists towards the end of the book, but it was worth it.
The characters. Let’s talk about the characters. Chiamaka & Devon as a detective duo. Just think about it, please that would be amazing. I loved both their characters so much!! Devon just wanted to go to Juilliard and came from the less rich neighbourhoods in town. Chiamaka on the other hand, had a more luxurious lifestyle but that did not mean she didn’t have to work just as much as Devon.
When an anonymous texter starts targeting the only black kids in school Devon and Chiamaka have to find them before all their secrets are split, and their futures destroyed. I had many suspects throughout the book and I was correct till a certain point but I did not expect that ending Ms. Faridah sprang on me 🥲✋
In conclusion I recommend this book to EVERYONE even if you don’t read/like thrillers because I don’t read YA mysteries and thrillers, but this masterpiece will be my one and only exception.
Thank you for reading this review and I hoped you liked it!!
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Sending incoherent screams about how I want to bring down a prep school with my amazing parter in our detective duo,