Hello fellow bookworms! I the school term ends in a couple days, so the realization hit me that I actually have to finish work came a little while ago. It’s been a tornado. Quite literally. I have papers everywhere.
Anywho, today I’m bringing you a review of a book I absolutely adore and don’t understand why it doesn’t have more hype. I mean, just look at the US cover. Gorgeous. I read Ace Of Spades in a single afternoon and fell in love with it.
This is a no spoiler review, I got you.
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…taken from goodreads.
- TW: death, blood mentions, homophobia, racism, mention of racial slurs, physical violence, emotional trauma, car crash (hit and run), drugs, alcohol consumption, stalking.
- Representation: Nigerian Italian mc, Black mc, Queer mc, Gay mc, Bisexual side character, and queer and black side characters.
- Read with (books with similar themes, tropes, lessons and writing): The Black Kids (Christina Hammonds Reed), All American Boys (Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds) and Clap When You Land (Elizabeth Acedevo)
- Short description: Get Out meets Gossip Girl but make it Black and queer.
Let’s talk about characters. As you may know I’m a sucker for a two person pov, and I really enjoyed this. Immediately I felt connected to Devon, he felt like someone I would love to be friends with and he seemed really sweet. On the other hand, at first I strongly disliked Chiamaka. Would it be horrible to say she would be a person I would avoid? She’s the “popular girl, get’s what she wants” type. But you learn how much deeper her character is and, trust me, by the end of the book she is a queen. I love her.
I spent quite a bit of the time yelling at the characters. Mainly it was “oh my god you like this person stop denying it” (*cough*, Chiamaka, *cough*). But for the most part I really did enjoy the characters and felt what they were feeling. I wasn’t huge on the side characters, mainly because I knew I could literally trust no one.
What about the themes? This is an exceptionally important book. It talks about class, race, sexuality and so much more. One of the things I love most bout this book though, is that Chiamaka and Devon have different experiences with their identities. Chiamaka has to come to terms with her sexuality. Devon has known for quite a while. Chiamaka comes from a much richer family, Devon doesn’t. This book grapples with so much, including but not limited too, white supremacy, gatekeeping in education and institutionalized racism.
The writing? This book might be the most quotable book I’ve read. I’m sorely disappointed in myself for not taking notes as I read this because dang, I can’t seem to remember my favourites. I thought the pacing was exceptional, and I pictured the story in very vivid detail. My only (small) complaint was that I felt like the ending was a little rushed. Not nessecarily the epilogue (I loved it and please can I just have an entire book of the epilogue) but just the ending in general.
Final Rating: 5 glowing stars.
Somebody here better have read this because I need to rant about the plot twists in this book. I’m dead.