Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide, reviewed by Abi

When I finished reading Ace of Spades, I was overcome with a very unfamiliar feeling: I wanted to go back to the very first page and read it cover to cover again. Set in an elite private school and told in alternating perspectives, we follow two Black teens: Chiamaka, a Italian-Nigerian-American teen who is Head Girl, popular, and isn’t afraid to get what she wants to stay in power; and Devon, a Black American teen and talented musician who just wants to keep his head down, focus on his music, and protect his secret. When an anonymous texter named Aces begins bringing Chiamaka and Devon’s secrets to light, Chiamaka and Devon reluctantly team up together to take the anonymous texter down.

The story is excellently paced, the mystery dark and delicious and addictive. Faridah plays with our emotions, dropping hints here and there, expertly instilling a growing sense of dread and horror that I really enjoyed. Yet, when I think about Ace of Spades, its brilliance isn’t just because it is mind-blowing and terrifying. Rather, the genius in the mystery is its thoughtfulness and that is speaks to real experiences that will resonate with readers – and I wish I could elaborate on this, because if this book wasn’t spoiler-free, this review would be twice as long with my thoughts on how I thought the reveal was brilliant. I highly recommend this book to everyone, it’s an amazing read and will leave you shocked.

I have two sisters, both are younger than me (I’m the oldest child). I’ve lived in Brighton and Hove my whole life. I live with both of my parents and siblings. I have 6 cats which can be very stressful at times. I’m currently in Year 10 but I only have a few months till Year 11. When I’m older I want to become an English teacher, I want to inspire young people to follow their dreams.

About the book

“One of 2021’s biggest books.” gal-dem

“This summer’s hottest YA debut.” Entertainment Weekly

An instant New York Times bestseller, ACE OF SPADES is Gossip Girl meets Get Out, with a shocking twist. Buried secrets come to light when two students are targeted by an anonymous bully with an explosive agenda.

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 revealing the darkest secrets of two students.

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…

Unputdownable and utterly compulsive, this high-octane thriller takes a powerful look at institutionalized racism. As seen in Vogue, The Guardian, Marie Claire, The New York Times, Elle, Buzzfeed, Cosmo and Entertainment Weekly, and on BBC Front Row, perfect for fans of Karen McManus, Holly Jackson and Angie Thomas.

“ACE OF SPADES is the thought-provoking thriller we ALL need.” Nic Stone, #1 NYT bestselling author

“A heart-racing and twisty thriller.” Alice Oseman

“Strong Gossip Girl vibes and a whole lot of mystery.” Buzzfeed

“Thunderous and terrifying. There’s no way you’re putting this down until you get to the last page.” Maureen Johnson, NYT bestselling author