Digital Reads Reviews
Book Review - Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
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Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect.
Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.
Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public.
Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.
Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces.
And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…
What it was all about
Ace of Spades was a powerful book with a message that broke my heart at the truth of it. Racism. The author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, in her afterwords, spoke about the pain she had undergone during her university days, just because she was a person of color. This led to her penning this novel.
Two black students in a sea of white in Niveus Academy were targeted one after the other, their secrets and personal lives revealed, until both joined hands to bring down Aces.
How it made me feel
The blurb caused this book to feel like a thriller, but it was not so. The aura was of bullying, the noose of threats closing around the necks of the two students rose slowly until it felt they would be forced to leave. But Chiamaka and Devon chose to fight.
The book had the right theme where everything in me wanted vengeance for them when I got to know the truth. The suspense behind who was sending the threats was diluted. Actually, this book shouldn’t have been marketed as a thriller. It was the truth of this society. It showed the mirror to the society we lived in.
The right intention
The author was powerful in her intentions, but the words chosen didn’t cause the passion to rage in my heart. I wanted a prose that would shake the roots of the societal beliefs. But it lacked the edge the story demanded. The book took me 4 days to get through. The characterization and scenes written for them could have had powerful imagery.
The last section was exciting where I too stood behind the two main characters and their choices. The epilogue felt to be rewarding, something I was content to know about.
There was a quote in the book that held my heart captive
Boys like him don’t have to carry the weight of generations and generations of hate and discrimination. But I don’t know how to even begin explaining.
To end with, the book touched my heart. It was thought provoking, an eye-opener. But it lacked as a thriller. The plot twists were nothing much to speak of. Some of the thoughts of the main characters were too repetitive.
Don’t get me wrong, the book stood strong in what it intended to say. The format and marketing could have been better.
It started here
How does one begin to deal with cumulative hate? This is a weight on my soul. On a personal note, I came to know or think of myself as Person of Color, a POC, when an author pointed it out. Till that time, I was just a human who practiced medicine. A doctor. That was my identity.
But with the label came the realization of the side glances and hints where not being an American or Britisher or Australian or Scandinavian caused publishers and blog tour organizers to not include me in their tours. It was then I realized how much racism existed in this literary world.
A UK publisher even sent me a mail saying they had checked out my blog and discovered that I did not write in English and so would not be eligible for their books. I suppose my 2k reviews are probably written in alien language, and those quotes chosen by various publishers are just a mirage. Racism exists.
The literary world became smaller
Books are supposed to open our minds, make us tolerant and accepting to the differences amongst us, give us worlds of history and past that show how humanity suffered. But unfortunately, white and white continent supremacy persists even today. Racism exits.
An Australian author called me twat. For the life of me, I didn’t know what it meant. I had to ask someone what it meant, then confront the author. This is what he said. All Indians are brainless, greedy twats and should not be given books to read. Racism exists.
How hate affected
Long, long ago when I started the blog in 2017, a bestseller author did not like my negative review – got to admit I was quite fiery in it – and her followers and friends bullied me for a year posting dirty comments first on my review then on my culture and roots until I had to shut down the comment section. It became too much work to keep taking down comments. Racism exists.
Color of the skin is just the amount of melanin in the layers of the skin tissue – yet this melanin is most present in the brain and outlook of the many people who look down on persons of color. Racism exists.
Friendship got colored-coded
When the so-called virtual friends began to look down on me when they got to know that I had more melanin than them in my skin, I knew it was ingrained in humanity. Racism exists.
Friendship existed on paper and in the feel-good words. Racism exists and wins every single day.
Hope flies high
I have met quite a few who loved me for being a good soul, didn’t care about where I came from. The soul clusters. You know who you are – my soul sisters, my soul mates, my friends both on blog and Instagram. I thank each one of you both on this blog and in my heart everyday.
Have you gone through incidents like these?
Publication Date: June 2021
I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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