Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

“It sounds wild, I know, but racism is a spectrum and they all participate in it in some way. They don’t all have white hoods or call us mean things; I know that. But racism isn’t just about that– it’s not about being nice or mean. Or good versus bad. It’s bigger than that.”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Niveus is a rich private academy for the most elite and wealthy students. It seems like a normal year until an anonymous texter “Aces” starts texting the student body exposing secrets. Devon and Chiamaka are both being targeted and must try to find and stop Aces before they ruin their lives.

This is such a thrilling, dark and overall emotional read – that touches on some seriously heavy topics. I didn’t know much about this book but saw the cover and knew I had to read it. I’m honestly left speechless and emotional drained. Such great qpoc representation while also being well-paced, easy to read and entertaining.

I instantly fell in love with the characters, they are flawed, complex, and felt so real. I was rooting for them and every time someone fucked with them I felt enraged on their behalf. Faridah did such an amazing job at bringing these characters to life. Even though this book wasn’t long I felt like I really got to know them – and I am so proud of both of them!!

Aces in such an evil antagonist, it’s totally next level. I absolutely hated them and could feel my blood boil. There is no justifiable reason for their actions, but it’s such a reality that it makes it even more upsetting. I honestly trusted nobody and as the book went on my anxiety levels went up. I don’t want to give away too much, but get your stress ball ready.

This book shows the characters overcoming and experiencing, institutionalized racism, blackmailing, educational gatekeeping, outing, stalking, murder, PTSD, elitism and classism. Faridah does such an excellent job of covering and showing you how these can impact someone’s life. Even though in this book everything is at an extreme, things like this really happen, and I think that is what makes this book so intense.

Even with all the dark themes, there were some funny and heart-warming moments, that kept me dedicated and invested. I cried and gasped multiple times at how things unfolded and even though I was able to anticipate what was going on, I would of never guess to what extent. I don’t want to say too much because I highly recommend picking this book up.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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