By Amia D.

Editor’s Note: Readers are advised that this book includes mentions of racism, attempted suicide, murder, homophobia, bullying, and classism.

Let me first start off by saying that this book is a perfect blend of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.

From the get-go of this story, you get the sense that something darker is going on. First off, you have a private academy filled with only 2 students of color. That in itself should give you some idea about the plot. Told from the perspective of the main characters Chiamaka and Devon, you are instantly transported into the falseness that is Niveus Academy. 

At an elite private school that promises greatness, Chiamaka is determined to make this her year at Niveus while Devon just wants to survive. As the “It” girl, Chiamaka knows she is on the verge of getting everything she ever wanted, but with skeletons in her closet and a growing uneasiness, Chiamaka finds herself in a position she never could have imagined. Devon, the only other African American student in the school besides Chiamaka, also has secrets he’d like to be left alone, but when an unknown enemy called “Aces” decides to attack both of them it sets off a chain reaction that neither are prepared for.

When I first picked up this book I thought it would be a light thriller. And boy was I wrong. At times this book almost makes you want to throw up because of the stark notes of hatred and racism that are present throughout the novel. Author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé takes you on a twisted journey as Chiamaka and Devon try to ignore the threats and rumors that surround them before deciding to take matters into their own hands.

Àbíké-Íyímídé does a wonderful job of creating an intriguing if slightly eerie plotline that keeps you engaged and interested. While I was able to guess many of the twists and turns, there were some that shook me enough that I could never label the book as boring. 

For me, the ending felt slightly rushed which is why I would give this book 4 stars in comparison to the many 5 stars I have seen it receive. But if you like mystery, suspense, and the allure of private schools, this book is for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get your copy of Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé from BookPeople!