CW: racism, homophobia, bullying, hate crimes, forced outing, emotional abuse, mention of suicidal attempt, anxiety and panic attacks, torture, blackmailing, violence, stalking, gaslighting and murder
This review is brought to you by the sheer generosity of my good friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. She hosted a giveaway and I was the lucky winner, getting to choose from books she had previously talked about on her blog. I picked Ace of Spades (you can read Marie’s review here) and have not regretted that choice one bit!
This book was FANTASTIC! It genuinely deserves all the hype and I’m currently trying to wrap my head around how I could possibly put my thoughts into coherent words. The premise is pretty straight forward: the only two black kids at Niveus Private Academy suddenly get targeted by an anonymous presence called “Ace” in their final year at the school. While people don’t grasp the connection at first, a thrilling tale unfolds that will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time.
I loved the hints that were placed throughout, but how I was still shocked and surprised at every single revelation. Maybe, sometimes, it wasn’t so much because I didn’t think it was possible, but just because I didn’t want to see the knives in those kids’ backs get twisted in any further. I was rooting for them so much as they showed strength and vulnerability, where I am sure I would have crumbled to pieces already. I would have loved to burn down that entire school for what was happening to them.
While it’s easy to love Devon from the get go, it’s Chiamaka who grows on you over time, as you learn more about her. Both were so different, yet such compelling personalities in their own rights. They created the perfect balance for each other. But so did the book as a whole, in general. The writing kept me on my toes, made me turn page after page and managed to be engaging, chilling and disturbing all at once.
As much as it was a magnificent thriller, it was also an exceptional commentary on elitism, racism and the intersectionality of being queer and Black/a person of color.
My recommendation is to go into this book with as little knowledge as possible and to get yourself swept up in the mystery and emotions. I was riled up and sad and shocked. My range of emotions was really exploited to its full extent and that means I can’t put it any other way than calling this book a masterpiece. That end is going to keep a wicked smile on my face for a while, I believe.
Lastly, yes, this book really did combine Gossip Girl and Get Out in the best way possible, while completely staying its own story. Please, convince yourself of its magnificence!
Fazit: 5/5 stars! A fantastic and thrilling read. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!