Author: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Print Length: 432 pages
Read Date(s): August 10, 2021 – August 12, 2021
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.
Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.
As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?
With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.
My Mini Review
This was a very interesting read for me, and it has taken me quite a bit of time to reflect in order to understand exactly how I feel about the book. I went into it thinking this was definitely going to be a five star read because I had heard great things about it and the Gossip Girl vibes were evident from the beginning. The writing, pacing, and character work were on point. The first half of the book was exactly what I expected, a well-written thriller set in an elite high school with several interesting mysteries, and I enjoyed getting to know more about both of the main characters as the story unfolded. After the big reveals in the second half, I enjoyed the thriller aspect of the book much less, and the answers to the mysteries of the first half felt unrealistic, somewhat lazy, and less satisfying than I wanted them to be. That being said, the social commentary of the story was executed well. It effectively illustrated the harmful impacts of very real implicit bias found in most institutions by using examples of extreme overt prejudice. So, I have been conflicted about my overall feelings about the book because the extreme things about the story that make the social commentary so genius are also what ruined the thriller aspect of the story for me. Therefore, I’ve decided to rate this book 4 out of 5 stars because there were so many things I loved, including the writing, characters, and social commentary, while simultaneously rolling my eyes at how the thriller story-lines played out.