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Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Feiwel & Friends for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: June 1st, 2021

432 Pages

Synopsis: When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too. 

Shortly after the announcement is made though, someone who goes by Aces, begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threatens every aspect of their carefully planned futures. 

As Aces shows no signs of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly? 

With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary, comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbiké-Íyímídé.

Ace of Spades is one of the best debuts I’ve read and I believe it will be one of the most buzzed about books of 2021! The author brilliantly spins a complex web of lies and betrayals with timely social issues including: being LGBTQ in the black community, socioeconomic status, and institutionalized/systemic racism. I can tell you after reading countless books that attempt to be both issue-driven and suspenseful, it’s extremely difficult to do without one or the other suffering. That’s certainly not the case here. I literally could not tear myself away and despite this being over 400 pages, I easily finished it in one sitting. Chiamaka and Devon are flawed yet relatable and sympathetic characters, and my heart ached at the things they were forced to do to fit in and get ahead. While there were certain parts I guessed at early on, there were a couple of head-spinning twists that were utterly insane, especially the last one which resulted in me not being able to go to sleep after finishing. Ace of Spades is a book that is a must read for teens and adults. If I was still a children’s/YA librarian/ I’d be preordering multiple copies for my collection. This is a pitch-perfect book that not only entertains, but makes you think about the systemic racism that’s so prevalent in society and what people of color are forced to put up with day in and day out. A blurb likens it to Gossip Girl meets Get Out, and I certainly would go along with that. I encourage everyone to mark their calendars and preorder this or put it on hold at your library ASAP. I read in Newsweek that twenty-two-year-old Faridah Àbíké- Íyímídé received a seven figure advance from the publisher for her debut and a second as yet untitled book, and I can certainly understand why. I can’t wait to read her next novel.