Review | Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

When I was in Paris I finally finished some books again. And one of them was Ace of Spades. This was a highly anticipated release for me and I had it on my shelves for a while now. Like I said, I finished the book and now I want to tell you all about it.

Review | Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

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 game...

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Published by Usborne on 10/06/2021
Pages: 470


I love this cover! Usually I’m not a fan of people on covers but this time it’s beautifully done. I love that we got two Black people on the cover. The rest of the cover also looks great. I like the typology and the colors that are used. The cover is pretty dark but that fits the story really well.

“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. Like all great tyrants do. -Aces”


We follow the dual perspectives of Devon and Chiamaka two Black teenagers at Niveus Private Academy. As you might know, I love books set at private schools. Especially mystery/thrillers. The setting was perfect for this story, I don’t think it would’ve worked anywhere else. Pretty early in the story an anonymous texter comes for both Devon and Chiamaka and exposes some of their darkest secrets.

“I stop myself from apologizing-because what would I even be sorry for? Existing too loud?”

While the story isn’t super fast-paced, a lot does happen and I wanted to keep on reading and reading and reading. I just couldn’t put this book down. Devon and Chiamaka both have secrets and I wanted to know more (because I’m a very curious person) but I also wanted to know who was behind the texts badly.

I was shocked about the reveal, but I’ll say I hadn’t watched Get Out and it has been compared to that movie. So it might be less shocking if you know that movie. I loved how we got the reveal. Devon and Chiamaka really went all in and researched everything. Not all twists were shocking though, I did see some of the coming a mile away. Nevertheless they were well written.

“But I know dreams are dangerous; they give me too much false hope.”

Devon was my favorite character, I loved reading about him and getting to know him better. He did his best to protect his family, his friends and his heart. But in the end that didn’t all work out. His story definitely got me crying every now and then. I also really liked his personality and was rooting for him and Andre from the beginning haha.

Chiamaka is less likeable but I loved that she knew what she wanted and went for it unapologetically. I also felt quite sorry for her, she didn’t seem to have many actual friends and that just seems like a lonely existence. Her and Devon teaming up was hilarious though, they are so different and basically couldn’t agree on anything.

“Even though I know I shouldn’t care, it annoys me that when girls know what they want and how they’re going to get it, they’re seen as cocky. But guys who know what they want? They’re confident or strong.”

I don’t want to say too much about the story as I believe it’s best to go in without knowing too much. But I will say I loved this. It was such a good commentary on institutionalised racism and very well written. I didn’t completely love the epilogue as I wanted someone else for Devon but that was okay haha. Also, there was one part of the ending I didn’t love. But overall this was so so good! Highly recommend. 5 star read for me for sure.

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