Staff Review – Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

This YA novel is advertised as the horror movie "Get Out" meets the YA book series turned TV show "Gossip Girl". While I haven't read/watched either, I knew enough about both to know that this would be a killer combo. "Ace of Spades" tells the story of Devon and Chiamaka, the only two Black students at the prestigious Niveus Private Academy. In their senior year, when both are selected as prefects, is when the stories start to spread. Stories are sent to all student's phones by the anonymous "Aces", spreading gossip and harmful stories about the two students (and a select few students close to them). As the stories continue, Devon and Chiamaka's lives turn upside down. These stories have the power to change their trajectory following high school.

I don't read too many thrillers, but this one sounded too good to pass up! I really liked all of the diversity and representation in this story, as well as breaking stereotypes about people of different backgrounds. While Devon comes from a family that has faced hardships - his father in prison, his mother working multiple jobs - Chiamaka comes from a family of doctors and privilege. There are also several characters that belong to the LGBTQ+ community, as these teens explore who they are and what makes them happy.

The horror element in this story was real - there were definitely a few moments that really spooked me! While I would've liked a bit more from the ending, overall I think the story really tied together well, especially for a debut author. Àbíké-Íyímídé has definitely cemented herself as a YA author to watch. Be sure to get your hands on "Ace of Spades" by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé today!