blogmas · Book Review · LGBTQ+ Books

Blogmas Day 9 – Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé aka the Black queer mystery thriller of my dreams 🥰📚🔪

Hello lovelies! 🥰

Blogmas is the perfect opportunity to share my reviews of my favourite books of 2021. I hope you enjoy this one!

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..

Ratings and Review

5 stars: Persephone – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever

Pheme: The goddess of fame, gossip and renown – This goddess will be invoked when a book has received a lot of attention and is praised by critics and the book community. She will be featured whether the book lived up to my expectations or not.

Iris– Goddess of rainbows. Nothing new here, we all know that rainbows represent the LGBTQ+ community so this Goddess will be featured whenever a queer relationship or character appears.

Athena– Goddess of wisdom, poetry, art, and the strategic side of war. I will feature the goddess whenever there is a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) because they are a symbol of resilience, strength and wisdom to me. I also want to put forth African folkore, myths and gods and since Athena is the goddess of poetry and art I thought it was fitting.

Ace of Spades is the Black queer mystery thriller of my dreams.

I am convinced the term “obsessed” was invented to define the state I was in once I finished reading Ace of Spades. THE PREMISE IS AMAZING: this book is marketed as “Get Out” meets “Gossip Girl” and if this doesn’t spark your interest, then I don’t know what will.
I do not even read mystery thrillers but I felt in my bones that this book was going to be amazing. (And I was right!!)

The story is intriguing from the very first page. I tried reading this as slowly as I could so that I would enjoy the writing style and the plot as much as I could.
The story is told through Chiamaka’s and Devon’s perspectives and they each offer a different side and point of view on the story and the school dynamic.
This book was so well-written and I wanted to highlight a quote from every single page. I keep thinking that this is the author’s debut novel and it blows my mind.
I was scared to pick up this book because I shy away from anything that is particularly scary or the pyschological thrillers that stick with you. Nothing gruesome or bloody happens in this book, the scary aspect comes from how realistic the situation is. I felt a continuous sense of dread that brought a lot of my suppressed trauma to the surface. I think I lost ten years of my life because of how how stressed I was. I loved the whole “Aces” plot and kind of figured out who they were but it was nice to see their motive and the history behind it. I wanted to throw the book against a wall, scream and cry.

The attention to details was spectacular and the characters were the best part of the story.
Every single one of them was intriguing and complex in their own way. You find yourself eager to see them on the page and find more about who they are and what they plan to do. My favorite character was Chiamaka. I cannot tell you how long I’ve wanted to read about a Black mean girl à la Blair Waldorf. I want more, please and thank you. I loved her ambition, seeing her navigating her feelings and owning up to who she was. Both Devon and Chiamaka are queer and seeing them coming to terms with that aspect too was incredibly refreshing, There is a lot of stigma in Black communities around queerness and I loved the way this was addressed.

My favourite aspect of the story was the representation and how the author didn’t shy away from discussions around racism especially in school settings. How when you’re Black, people don’t want you to succeed and the system is set against you. I felt so seen and heard and it made me feel valid. No one was out to get me but I also went to a predominantly white, rich private school and it wasn’t a particularly nice experience everyday. It’s sad that it happens to so many Black kids but it also made me feel less alone. I cried my eyes out from the epilogue on to the author’s note. My poor heart couldn’t take it. The ending was satisfying and cathartic and I loved it so much. I am forever grateful to the author for this beautiful piece of heart and for writing such a beautiful, entertaining, queer and complex story! This is one of a kind,

If there’s a book you should pick up this year, it’s this one!!

One thought on “Blogmas Day 9 – Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé aka the Black queer mystery thriller of my dreams 🥰📚🔪

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s