Cover Image: Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades

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Member Reviews

This book was so phenomenal and I can't wait for more from Faridah Abike-Iyimide! The plot was amazing and the characters were great, too. Full review to come soon!
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Wow. I'm extremely impressed with this debut. Twisty and intense, this book doesn't just tackle white privilege and racism, it holds it down and forces you to confront it. Though there were some predictable aspects, I think this was a fantastic read and I'm excited to read more from this author.
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Niveus Private Academy develops the leaders of the future until someone decides to reveal two students of color's secrets and ultimately destroy them. Ace of Spades is everything you want from a thriller plot that has depth. From the first page, the reader is drawn into the plot and characters. Devon and Chiamaka are polar opposites with similar goals. To be better and achieve greatness after high school. Their struggle with fitting in and breaking stereotypes is honest and raw. Readers will automatically form a bond with them. The plot is fast, engaging, and suspenseful. At every turn, I was surprised by the development and ultimately at the end I was left floored.  This is a must-read!
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Wow! What a strong story!

I have to say when I went into this, I wasn’t expecting the intensity that this reached. I was legitimately fuming at character choices and the things being said, but it all made sense at the end.

I’m not sure what sub genre this would fall under, but this and When No One is Watching bring up some great social points while also being thrilling novels.

Pick this book up if you haven’t! I give it 4.5 stars!
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I think Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé has made it unto my "auto-buy" list of authors. SUUUCH a good book!! I never knew who to trust, did not forsee the scope of the story and just how screwed up the world truly was... it has so many connections to the real world in what may look like a orchestrated too big dramatic way, but at the same time... holy damn, it is so great. I don't have words.
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All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. —Aces

School setting, thrills and suspense, powerful writing and immersive world building....fantastically well rounded characters - this book has it all!
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Ace of Spades is a page-turning mystery that centers two Black MCs in a high-pressure academic setting. While a few of the characters seem more symbolic representation than real people, most are well well-drawn and compelling, and the twists of the plot are page-turning and gripping. Ace of Spades is a strong critique of white institutions wrapped in a fast-paced novel, and it's a necessary story.
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Thank you to NeGalley, Macmillan Audio, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Jeanette Illidge (narrator), and Tapiwa Mugweni (narrator) for the opportunity to listen to Ace of Spades in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to thank the publisher in correspondence with Yallwest for offering me a digital ARC of this novel as well.

I used the NetGalley Shelf app to listen to this book. While I also have an e-galley, listening to the audiobook was much more entertaining (and time manageable, as I have many books on my plate). Both narrators did a fantastic job portraying the characters. They were spot-on with their voice acting and it was just a really great listen.

This book is told in alternating first-person perspectives: Devon and Chiamaka, two seniors who just became prefects at Niveus Private Academy. Senior year is supposed to be fun, thrilling, and everything that leads up to the excitement of graduation and college. When a mysterious person going by the name of Aces begins socially sharing scandalous posts of the two new prefects, senior year becomes a bit more complicated.

There is great LGBTQ and Black representation in this book. In fact, race plays a major role in the plot of this novel. Ace of Spades highlights and breaks some of the stereotypes that people often have towards Blacks. Both of the main characters are extremely intelligent and have kept up excellent grades with the promise of goin to a top tier university. When the negative posts begin to roll out through the school, that puts their chances at said top schools in jeopardy. Some people do this kind of thing on purpose. While the novel is brilliantly written and excellently executed, it takes a number of issues regarding race and sexual orientation in society today and slaps the reader right in the face with reality.

There is also a nice thrilling aspect to this novel. Who is Aces? Why are they doing what they are doing? What is their motive? I'm generally not a huge fan of thrillers as such, but the mystery was so intriguing, and I was dying to know what kind of person would want to affect someone's life in such a negative way. The mystery is fun and engaging to think about as a reader. this is a well-thought out and brilliant novel!

Stunning, brilliant, and highly recommend this book!
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Honest review in exchange for a free copy of this book-
Ace of Spades takes place at a prestigious private school dominated by white students and staff. There are two black students, Chi and Devon, who find themselves in positions of status at the start of the book, but then become targets being sabotaged and outted by a mysterious entity over text message blasts. The book revolves around Chi and Devon teaming up to stop the tormenting from "Aces." This book contains themes of coming of age, racial discrimination, LGBTQ+, and private school drama. It really started out strong in the first few chapters, but the middle dragged and the ending didn't satisfy. I would stand this next to "When No One is Watching" by Alyssa Cole in theme, but for YA audiences. This was ok for me, but could have been shortened and still made its point.
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Well, this was amazing. 

I was absolutely sold on the tagline of “Gossip Girl meets Get Out” and didn’t need to know more than that, so I went in blind and was not let down. 

I really liked Chiamaka and and Devon. They’re both really good people who have maybe made mistakes, like any teenager. I enjoyed the dual POV (especially when they were together) and how on the outside Chiamaka and Devon are different, but are actually quite similar. 

Plot wise, I’m not going to give anything away. I did have a theory that kept evolving while I was reading and it was partly correct. The entire story kept me guessing and went in a direction I didn’t expect. I especially loved the future-takes and the very last chapter was perfection. 

Overall, this was a captivating, heartbreaking, and important read. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this author’s future works. 

**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**
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This book was so good! Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo go to an elite school where strange stuff is happening and they need to figure it out before it is to late. 
Ace of Spades hooked you from the very beginning and as the story went on it just got crazier and you never knew where the story was going to end up. This book was hard to put down. A must read.
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Ace of Spades is THE hit YA novel of 2021. The novel is a fast-paced thriller perfect for fans of Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars. There are plenty of twists and turns, secrets and lies, drama and mystery, and diversity to top it off. Devon and Chiamaka are each on track for valedictorian when someone who goes by Aces begins revealing their secrets to the entire school. The writing is addictive and the plot is unpredictable. Highly recommended!
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I received an eARC of this title through NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

This book does a good job of pulling the reader in. The way the book discusses themes of racial inequality and LGBTQ+ issues within a community is poignant and realistic. The two main characters, Chiamaka and Devon, feel like two individuals who have their own personalities and dreams. I thing I really liked is how the author gave Chiamaka a character trait that honestly made me not like her but respect her. She was constantly focused on being the best and that does not change throughout the whole book, which I liked. With Devon, he was super laid back and a good fold of Chiamaka's intensity. 

The story itself is well done, however, I found it to be predictable. I found myself figuring out the ending before the big reveal I think that is the only reason I would give this book 4 stars instead of 5. There were some plot lines that did not have any closure, however, in real life you do not always get closure so I can respect that choice for this book. 

Other than that, the writing is beautiful, the characters intriguing, and the subject matter weaved in to make this book a highly recommend for me.
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ACE OF SPADES was a YA Thriller that packed a real punch. You don't want to believe that things like this--the purposeful hazing and discrimination of Black students that has taken place for years like this, but the horrible reality is is that white supremacy is alive and well, kept alive by systems and people who are complicit in it. It is an ugly reality, but it's true, and I know that the author didn't write this book for my enjoyment. ACE OF SPADES is a blistering excoriation of white supremacy and how systems reinforce inherent bias and racism in education, media and society as a whole. It's a story that makes your stomach turn but is so vitally important. It's a story that challenges and forces white readers like me to evaluate how complicit we are in perpetuating racist ideas in the name of "tradition." Our main characters, Chiamaka and Devon, are both really well developed and complex and have secrets and struggles of their own. I will say that the book kind of started off a little slow in the beginning, but the latter half really picked up steam and was totally immersive. I loved how the author balances intrigue and dark academia with social commentary that makes the reader really think. I want to see more Black Voices in dark academia novels. It's a very impressive  debut, and I commend the author on this wonderful accomplishment. ACE OF SPADES is a story of Black kids burning down the very systems that are meant to keep them down, and was a book I deeply savored and is one I highly recommend for people who enjoy books and shows like PLL and Gossip Girl.
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4.5 stars

Smart, searing, fast-paced, and unexpected, this book took my breath away. I was hooked from the get go. Dark, and suspenseful, I enjoyed every moment of this wild ride. I can't wait for more from this author!
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Oh my gosh is to a complete binge worthy read.  If you loved YA in the past or if it's ur current genre you need to read this book. This book is amazing and it's a must read for everyone.
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An incredibly compelling, page-turning story that I constantly found myself not wanting to put down just because I HAD to figure out what happened next! I was super into the dark-academia vibes this book gave off. I also loved the social commentary woven throughout. Everything from race and privilege to being a teen and the pressures of expectations and peers. 

I will say, the ending was slightly anticlimactic. The reveal and build up was well done but it ended quite suddenly and could have been worked out a bit more.
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I knew absolutely nothing about this book before I started reading it, and I am so glad for that. At first, it just seemed like a regular book about rich prep school kids and the difficulties of being the one poor kid thrown into the mix. But then things took a very dark turn. Another review I saw described this as "Gossip Girl meets Get Out," and I think that's probably the best way to pitch the story without giving too much away. It's a fast-paced, YA thriller that I immediately need to add to my classroom library.
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This was really good! I rarely read thrillers but I loved this dark academia setting. This books covers so many important topics like racism, internalized racism, homophobia, generational trauma, classism, and more. This is a very dark story so please use caution if these topics are triggers for you. Things just kept getting worse and worse for these two characters that it felt a little bleak and exhausting at times, but I imagine that’s the point. The author keeps things engaging with her excellent pacing, twists, and character development. 

I wish the Devon and Chiamaka would have opened up to each other and become friends early on especially as they are clearly the main victims. But then again their backgrounds are so different. Also sometimes internalized racism can prevent you from reaching out to someone of your own race because you desperately want to stay under people’s radar and not stand out. This book really hit hard on how microaggressions, blatant racist remarks, and stereotypes can really affect the way children (and adults) see themselves and their “worth.” 

We eventually see these two reach a point where they do form a strong support system for each other and others, and that was really beautiful. I wish there had been some lighter moments in the story but we get a fantastic ending and epilogue that really made me want to throw my fist in the air in triumph. 

Seriously, this books had  so many twists and turns. I had no idea who was Aces and was on the edge of my seat. The author also did a fantastic job of tackling a lot of heavy topics without it making feel like a trauma checklist. There’s an intersectionality to all the themes. Overall, I highly recommend for thriller and non-thriller readers!
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This book was so amazing, it's hard to know where to begin! 

The story starts out like a typical YA, with the popular girl and non-popular boy each starting out their senior year at the private school they go to. Although they are both the only black students in the school, they have nothing else in common. From there, things quickly change when an anonymous texter named "Aces" starts spreading gossip and secrets and turning their lives upside down.

There wasn't a dull moment in this book. As each secret gets revealed, the stakes get higher and higher and things fall apart more and more for Chiamaka and Devon. The story goes beyond a normal thriller and discusses so many important things like bullying, racism, homophobia, and classism. 

I know this is a popular Bookstagram read and I'd just like to add to the hype and say you need to read this book!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion!
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