Perfectly Executed, Fresh Plot

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Gossip Girl meets Get Out in this incredibly immersive thriller from Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. I read a few chapters via @bookishfirst and immediately added it to my tbr.

Devon and Chiamaka have wildly different upbringings, but the two are thrust into the negative spotlight together during their first week of their senior years at Niveus Private Academy. Devon lives for making music, but his Julliard-bound dreams are at stake when an anonymous texter--Aces--starts sharing dark secrets around school. Aces also has it out for fellow student Chiamaka--whose plans to become queen bee are quickly veering off course. The only tie connecting them--they’re the only two black students at Niveus.

It has the BEST twists and turns, but not necessarily the kind that give you whiplash. It’s like you’re making your way through a super creepy house and what’s behind each door you open is even freakier than the last. I love the pacing and the plot execution and found myself holding my breath to see what “Aces” would uncover next. We take some DEEP dives into institutionalized racism, and although this is fiction, it had me seriously questioning places irl that could exist.

If you’re looking to a fresh new voice to add to your books for allyship, there is plenty of on-page main character gay/queer rep. I won’t say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil anything ;).

Thanks to MacMillan audio for an ALC of Ace of Spades via NetGalley. The dual narrators-Jeanette Illidge and Tapiwa Mugweni are phenomenal together. Devon’s voice is definitely more laidback and a bit quieter than Chi’s confident, bold vibes that Illidge perfectly captured. I highly recommend the audio! It’s a bit of a time commitment for a YA at just shy of 12 hours, but the payoff is worth it! Solid 4.5 rounded up!