Ace of Spades is being marketed as Gossip Girl meets Get Out – and while I haven’t seen either of those, I understand the concept and seeing so many positive reviews for this story, I was intrigued! Unfortunately I’m in the minority and this thriller fell flat for me.
Title: Ace of Spades
Author: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
I’m always here for a good thriller, I love a good mystery and I’m cool with the “boarding school” plot. This is set at a private high school in America, but the school feels like a British boarding school. Chiamaka has worked hard to get to the top of the class and is awarded head prefect as the beginning of senior year, as she expected. Devon is a kid who has tried to stay under the radar, he isn’t popular, he just tries to get by – but he is also awarded as a prefect for his senior year, much to his surprise.
Soon after, Chiamaka and Devon are being targeted and rumors are spread about them – both of them have skeletons in their closet that are suddenly being leaked to the entire student body via text messages from someone named “Aces.”
The beginning started out slow, setting up these characters, their friends and families, so I was willing to give this time – I’ve seen other reviews mention it gets better the second half of the story, so I kept listening.
Dear reader, it did not get better.
For a thriller, never once was I “on the edge of my seat” so to speak. I was never really invested in this plot line or these characters – they felt one dimensional and continued to make stupid decisions, say later how they made a poor decision, and make the same stupid decision the next time. Rinse and repeat. The plot line was predictable, and I’m terrible at guessing mysteries, so I feel that says a lot. This story had potential, but it fell flat.
Things this story did have going for it: 1. Chiamaka and Devon are both Black students at an all white private academy – they talk about the struggles of being Black and expectations of Black people compared to white students. 2. Chiamaka is biracial and speaks about how her own family is racist against her. 3. LGBTQ+ rep! It was there and it was proud – this book has homophobia in it, which isn’t nice, but felt like real life sadly. I thought it was portrayed well.
Overall, I wish I DNF-ed this earlier on. I thought it would get better, so I kept going, but I was left disappointed with an unsatisfying conclusion.
Side note, I recently discussed prologues/epilogues and are they necessary. This is a prime example of an epilogue that makes the book even worse. This epilogue was totally unnecessary and left a sour taste in my mouth.
I enjoyed this as an audiobook, since its told in 2 POVs, Chiamaka and Devon, there are two narrators. They were both good narrators.
My only complaint, which is very much a personal thing, is they both spoke at very different speeds, so it was hard to listen to this audiobook on a consistent speed.
I ended up on 2.5x speed by the end. I could have went faster for Chiamaka.
I’m giving this a 2.5* and rounding down to 2 on Goodreads – I wanted to like this book so badly! Everyone else liked this book! But it just did not click with me. I could have DNF-ed at any point and been ok – the ending was so disappointing.
8 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: ‘Ace of Spades’”
oh no! i’m sorry this one didn’t work out for you! i’ve been really excited to read it.
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I was excited to read it too, so I was so sad I didn’t like it! But I hope you enjoy it more than I did~!
Sorry to hear this wasn’t a great read for you. A thriller that doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat has definitely not done its job.
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Thanks – I really wanted to like this one but sadly, it didn’t work out. I agree, a thriller where I’m not eager to turn the page (or in this case, listen more) isn’t doing its job…
I totally agree with a lot of what you said here. The characters felt like caricatures to me, and the plot was extremely predictable. I also thought that the epilogue was just really bad…I struggled through it, and I was just relieved to finish it. Glad I’m not alone!
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THANK YOU! I’m so glad someone else agrees, because I haven’t seen many people who didn’t like this book… we are far and few between lol. I struggled through this book too and was never excited to pick it up again, and thats never a good sign when reading…. the epilogue was just unnecessary and painful ugh. But yay I’m glad we both feel the same way – thanks for reading my review & commenting! 🙂
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