By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
If you would like a twisty mystery set in a dark academia-style high school, complete with black and queer main characters, then pick up this book!
Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller, Contemporary
Recommended Age Level: 14+
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...
Though I originally picked up this book for the plot, one of my favorite parts ended up being the two-povs of the main characters and discovering their personalities. Chiamaka is the popular go-getter, while Devon is quiet and laid-back, so I found it interesting to see how they interact with one another once they are thrown into the mystery mess, as well as getting to see their own struggles and secrets slowly being revealed. My main complaint about this book was the pacing, as it got a little slow in the middle and then sped right through the ending. I also thought that the big reveal wasn’t as groundbreaking as other mystery novels I have read, though I think the epilogue tied everything nicely together, with a little bit of revenge added in. Apart from this, Ace of Spades addresses important issues of racism, classism, and homophobia, and it helped further my understanding of these detrimental experiences that unfortunately still occur in our world today. Overall, I would recommend this book, especially for the diversity and the look into the lives of characters that may be very similar or different from your own!
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