book review

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 432

Genre: YA thriller

Rating: 4/5

Ace of Spades is a captivating yet chilling story that is an exact cross between Pretty Little Liars and Get Out. Our two narrators, Chiamaka and Devon, are both students at Niveus, a private high school. Chiamaka is the daughter of a wealthy mixed race couple and Devon is a scholarship student from a rough part of town. What they do have in common is that they are both seniors, both one of the few black kids, and they are both being targeted by an anonymous someone going by the moniker, Aces.

It is best to go into this not knowing too much because the twists and turns and different layers of this story are where it really shines. I loved that there is the thriller aspect of who is harassing Devon and Chiamaka but the author also took the time to develop each character individually. Both of them are dealing with some difficult issues and really struggling with Aces purposefully ruining their lives. There is also a great suspense aspect of not knowing who to trust and what secrets are going to come out next.

As much as I loved Chiamaka and Devon, I did have a problem with how trusting they were. Random people or events would happen and they just willingly accepted it and didn’t question much which was so frustrating. It was understandable at the beginning of the story but as things started to get revealed, I was so annoyed with them for not questioning things. Which is a big reason why I took a star off of an otherwise well paced and plotted out thriller. I also disliked the epilogue and didn’t think it brought anything of value to the story and preferred where it had originally left off.

I am a big fan of YA thrillers and this debut novel is one that will stick with me the longest. It has all the creepy and insidious vibes that make you want to keep reading. If you have previously read Lakewood by Megan Giddings or When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole and enjoyed them than I highly recommend you pick this one up.

~Cassie

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