Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Posted October 5, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades

by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends on June 1, 2021
Genre: LGBTQIAP+, Thriller
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Representation: BIPOC, Bisexual, Black, Gay, LGBTQIAP+
Content Warnings: Bullying, Car Accident, Child Death, Death, Death of Parent, Emotional Abuse, Fire, Gaslighting, Hate Crime, Murder, Racial Slurs, Racism, Toxic Friendship, Violence

Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

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...


This novel is terrifying. Easily one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. Doubly so because I’m mortified that it could be true.

Ace of Spades follows two Black students – Devon and Chiamaka – through their senior year at Niveus Private Academy. Both are good students, both work hard to be where they are in life. Both are about to have terrible, horrible, unforgiveable things happen to them.

To talk too much about why I loved this book (as a read, I just feel like I need to separate that from “as a reality” because yikes) would be to give away all the plot twists and horrifying revelations. This is one of the things that make reviews for thrillers so frustratingly difficult to write! Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé has done an amazing job of setting up characters that are layered and deceitful, characters you care about, characters that you really, really love to hate. Our protagonists are also very different and also absolutely amazing. Their resilience astounds me and has grown my respect for the resilience of all Black people and the resiliency they need to exhibit daily.

This was a book that, despite how invested I was, I had to listen to in pieces. I was listening to Ace of Spades on the road one day and I had to turn it off because what was happening in the book was making me feel physically sick. It’s that emotionally investing. I can’t recommend enough that folks should pick this one up, but also know that there’s some pretty nauseating behavior in its pages.

Àbíké-Íyímídé’s debut sets high expectations. The writing is solid and gutting, the character development is out of this world, and there’s such a wide variety of twists that by the end of everything you’ll probably have lost all hope for the protagonists (at least, I did). I await her next book with eager anticipation.

If the hype about Ace of Spades hasn’t drawn you in yet… take this review as a sign that it’s time to pick it up and give it a read. It’s easily appealing to anyone from young adults to any age adult despite its private high school setting. Ace of Spades examines the very real evil that exists in the hearts of so many people in our world and the strength of those who succeed despite it. It’s an excellent book and it will hurt you in all the ways it should.

Setting

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Characters

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pacing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Personal Enjoyment

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Narrator

Rating: 5 out of 5.

No Bad Apples Here!

According to my research, this author has not written any problematic books, does not have a problematic history wherein they have (through intention or ignorance) insulted or hurt marginalized communities, and does not use their platform to speak out in hate against others, nor have they performed any known damaging or illegal acts. For now, I’m very pleased to encourage you to support this author and their works!

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