I have recently finished the book, Ace if Spades, by English author Farida Abike-Iyimide. This dark academia/Thriller book is actually her novel debut. It’s legit a cross between Gossip Girl and the movie Get Out. This book has always been on my radar for like a few months now and when one of the book clubs that I’m in said that this was our pick for September, I was so excited. Now, I read the book after I read an awful book (check out my review of it) and so I was really hopeful that this book would be just the thing I needed to avoid a reading slump. The book follows two teens, Devon and Chiamaka, who become school prefects. Crazy things start to happen to them, the only black kids at their private school.
Now this book did have trigger warnings, which I really appreciated. The triggers are: racism, bullying, homophobia, and suicide. I wanted to get that out of the way so that you’re aware of a couple of the things I wanted to talk about. What did I think of this book? Read on to find out.
An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized 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 gam
I loved it. It gave me what I feel “The Other Black Girl” was missing. Chi (aka Chiamaka) was slightly annoying. Like she was so naive and trusting of people after they’ve shown her time and time again they can’t be trusted you can’t trust just anybody. Okay so in the book, stuff like crazy stuff started happening to them like right after they were made prefects at their school. And when I say right after I mean like right after. Within the first few chapters, s**t started hitting the fan! Like Abike-Iyimide wasted no time getting to the drama. Secrets were spilling out and they were being accused of things they didn’t do.
Throughout the book though, it bothered me how Chiamaka was so trusting of people. I’m going to blame it on the fact that she was young and just truly naive but like if secrets that I told a few people started coming out, I’m sorry but everybody suspect. No m’am! She did give me Blair Wardrof (for all my GG fans out there) vibes for sure with the way she carried herself and was super stylish.
She was basically a bad b***h and she had to be! With that type of persona and being the only black girl at her school, a lot of people hated her. I sympathized with her because well, she had a huge crush on her best friend and was like hopelessly in love with him. She was mixed but people didn’t understand why she was so dark and she was super rich! She was being accused of murder, theft, and of being a whore.
Devon on the other hand got into the school on a scholarship. He was not from the nice area, in fact he lived in a two bedroom apartment with his single mother and two younger brothers. He’s a talented musician with dreams of going to Julliard. He’s gay but he hasn’t come out to his mom yet. So his attack was on exposing him and because he lived in the hood, they wanted to make him seem like a drug addict. Devon was honestly my favorite. He was just so lovable to me and like street smart.
Devon was smart and leave it to black Twitter to come and save the day! If you’re not sure what black twitter is, it’s basically an informal group of people (black twitter users) who really call out issues that they see going on in their community or in the media. They draw lots of attention to issues and a lot of times it’s either handled or causes such a stir that the rest of the country will know about it. It’s a blessing and a curse to be honest but when you need sh*t done, point it out to black twitter and you will have thousands upon thousands of support.
This book was awesome the only reason it took me so long to read it was because I would get anxious reading it lol. So instead of it being a bad book ( like this one), it made me reflect on just how hard it is that we (black people) have it. We have to go above and beyond and make sure we’re super perfect because sadly there are people of other races who don’t want to see us win. They want to see our downfall and get any excuse they can find to dehumanize us. Because Devon was from the hood, they made it seem like he a was drug addict and trouble maker. For Chiamaka, they wanted her to appear to be a thief and someone who slept around. Someone who didn’t deserve to be there. Both of those students worked very hard to get to where they were but that was over looked. People thought they got in because of something like affirmative action. I know the feeling because I had classmates who thought I got into and got to go for free, which if they saw the amount of my student loans they’d be floored. I may dive deep more on this on a future blog so be on the lookout for that!
I give this book a 5/5 stars!
What thriller did you enjoy? Have you read this book also? If so, what did you think of it? What book should I check out next?