ARC Review: Ace of Spades

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. – Aces

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…

Title: Ace of Spades
Author: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Age Range: Young Adult
Trigger Warnings: Racism, Homophobia, Bullying and Suicide ideation
Rating: ★★★★★

Ace of Spades is described as Get Out meets Gossip Girl and that was enough to reel me in! It only took me a couple chapters to fall in love with Devon and Chiamaka. This story was so well paced and the commentary on today’s society was perfectly woven in. It was modern while tackling heavy issues that go back decades and centuries. Can I just say how perfect technology and social media was handled without being cringey or unrealistic? Because it was amazing. I was never taken out of my reading experience thinking about how “nobody uses social media like that”.

I also loved the queer representation in this. Both of the characters have natural relationships with the opposite sex and while it is mostly accepted, you do get a bit of homophobia. The characters are both outed in a way because even though they weren’t hiding it, they didn’t come out on their own terms. Aces would posts blasts about their “hookups”. Just wanted to mention in case outing is a trigger for anyone.

The racism was the main focus of this book and it illustrates anyone can be hiding their racism. The main characters are black and spend days and years with their peers only to find out those around them had a deep hatred all along. It was so horrible but I am sure this is reality for a lot of people. I was of course rooting for Devon and Chiamaka the whole time. I loved how they came together from different social circles to take down their racist academy.

This is a ya thriller novel but any age would enjoy this ride. It was just done so well and I am going to be thinking about it for a long time.

Thank you to Usborne Publishing and Netgalley for the arc! This title was released in the UK on June 10, 2021.

Find Ace of Spades: Goodreads | Storygraph
Buy Ace of Spades: (UK) Waterstones | Bookshop.org Amazon UK // (INTL) Book Depository

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is a writer from South London who has dreamt of writing books about black kids saving (or destroying) the world all her life. She is an avid tea drinker, and a collector of strange mugs. Faridah currently studies English Literature at a university in the Scottish Highlands.

Her debut novel ACE OF SPADES will be published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan in the US (1st June 2021) and by Usborne in the UK (10th June 2021).

Twitter // Instagram


we are all stardust and stories…

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