Synopsis: An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.
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. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: June 1st (US), June 10th (UK)
Genres: YA, Dark Academia
Trigger Warnings: death, mentions of blood, physical violence, drugs, alcohol consumption, anti-gay microaggressions, stalking
Ace of Spades was one of my most anticipated release of the year so I am so excited that not only was it an amazing book but also it has definitely become one of my top reads of the year. Described as Gossip Girl meets Get Out, this was definitely going to be amazing but its even more good than I thought it would be.
The story follows Chiamaka and Devon, recently elected head girl and prefect of Niveus High school. Chiamaka is the popular and confident IT girl of the school who will take whatever it is to stay at the top of the school. Devon is a quiet student interested in music and away from the attention. Anonymous messages start pouring revealing secrets about them which threaten to destory them and this seems to happen only with Chiamaka and Devon and in what follows is a haunting mystery which will keep you on the edge of your seat. This had got me hooked right from page one and the mysterious vibes were present on every page which keep you invested throughout. It was a terrifying story which talks about racism, elitism, secrets and white supremacy. With plot twists which will leave you awed and good writing, this book will instantly pull you in.
The characters in this book are so well written and fleshed out. Every character has a part to play and it kind of feels like puzzle pieces coming together the way the characters fit in with the story and carry the plot forward. Chiamaka is Nigerian-Italian who is the head girl and popular and is confident and unapologetic. Devon is Black American student who loves music and just wants to get into college. When anonymous messages pour in specifically targeting them they reluctantly team up to find out the person behind this. Their stark personalities were so well explored and it gave two perspectives to the story. The supporting characters were all so good and as I said before the characters just fits. The combination of the haunting story and formidable characters make this book absolutely stunning.
Stunning writing with atmospheric plot
The writing of this book is such that it pulls you in and keeps you intrigued. There was not a single dull moment in the book. There was an air of mystery and this atmospheric vibe of the book mixed with the stunning writing makes it so hard to stop reading once you start. It’s full of twists and turns gives you the impression of watching a movie. It’s unexpected and haunting and will leave you flabbergasted. It will kind of creep up on you and surprise you.
This book talks about institutionalized racism, elitism, class, race, sexuality and white supremacy. It doesn’t just discuss these themes but digs deeper and questions everything and it was compelling and downright chilling. If you think you know what’s going to happen, then no you don’t because this book will surprise you in the best way and will leave you moved. It discussed racism for what it is- that it is structural and micro-aggressions can start from just one person. It also shows classism and how it closely tied to racism. Chiamaka was from the rich neighborhood and the way she perceives society is different from Devon who comes from a poorer neighborhood. The story also shows two different queer experiences for Chiamaka who is bisexual and Devon who is gay and how all this ties up to show two different experiences and challenges. This book also discusses friendship and hope and family and it is all tied up really well.
Overall, Ace of Spades is a chilling and haunting story about two teens with excellent mystery and thriller elements, formidable characters and continuous plot twists which will keep you hooked and intrigued. While also talking about racism and elitism and white supremacy, this book will shock you and will definitely make you a fan.
Thank you the the author and publisher for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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