Ace of Spades

- Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Goodreads Book Blurb:

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…

Genres:

My Review:

enjoyable / easy to read:
3.5/5

Ace of Spades tackles racism, elitism, and homophobia – you know, the easy stuff. I was totally drawn into the insidious nature of the narrative. Starting with a few offhand comments or observations that could be interpreted differently, they build and accumulate from possibly disconcerting into deeply disturbing.

Something Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé had in the author’s note at the end of the book really stuck with me:

I hope that in reading this story, you see that despite the darkness we are plagued with, which often feels inescapable, that not only are happy endings possible for Black people, but that we deserve them.

The best way I’ve found to try to understand others is by reading about different life experiences. While I may face prejudice or discrimination due to my gender or sexuality, I’ll never know how it feels to face pervasive bias due to my skin colour. As our world becomes smaller with increased social media and technology, the prevalence of racism in everything from societal institutions to daily interactions is becoming common knowledge. While significant political change may be slow, this awareness has led to the diversification of characters and authors in literature, which I am more than happy to take advantage of as it expands my world and improves my reading experience at the same time.

I don’t want to dig too deep into Ace of Spades and ruin the slow, deliberate reveal. However, I will say these characters were compelling, and the entire premise was both fascinating and horrifying.

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