Okay wow…I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger U-turn on my opinion of a book as I just had with Ace of Spades. What starts is a book with annoying teenage characters at private school becomes something much more impactful and gripping that I was actually glued to it. I was not expecting any of it, it was much more sick and twisted than I could ever have imagined – consider my completely shocked.
Star rating: 5 stars
Ace of Spades is fundamentally a thriller set in a fancy private school. It is told in two points of view: Chiamaka, Head Senior Prefect, the girl everyone wants to be, and Devon, scholarship kid with a less than perfect background but wicked intelligent with grand musical ambitions. Chiamaka has done everything she can to make sure she’s the best and to increase her chances of getting into Yale. Devon has Julliard in his ambitions, and is trying to put together his audition piece. The only two Black kids in school don’t really hang out with each other, but when both of them are targeted by new anonymous school-wide texter Aces, their futures are put on the line and they only have each other to count on.
Let me get this straight, I didn’t like this book to begin with. I thought it was going to be some petty Gossip Girl inspired drama with lots of girl-hate and homophobia. But at some point it began to change my mind as it became something I’ve never read before, was disgusted and horrified by and suddenly had me routing for our protagonists more than I ever thought I would.
Honestly though, I can’t review much without spoiling things (and trust me, you do not want to be spoiled). Some general things that I enjoyed were Chiamaka and Devon’s growing friendship, Chiamaka ditching the jerks in her life, and Devon’s relationship with his mother. It also has great diversity, going into Devon’s experiences as a gay, Black teen and Chiamaka’s first time finding another girl attractive.
Overall, this book is an absolute banger. It slaps hard. I had no idea of the depth of the plot when I went into it – it will be interesting when I re-read it to see all of the foreshadowing and clues that I missed. I actually can’t believe this was a debut, I can totally see why its getting rave reviews. Have you read Ace of Spades? Let me know what you thought!