Genre: Young Adult-Mystery/Suspense
Chiamaka and Devon are the only two black students at Niveus Academy, a predominately white private high school. Chiamaka whose father is Irish and mother is Nigerian comes from a wealthy family while Devon comes from a single parent home where his mother works two and three jobs and still doesn’t make enough to support her family and his father is in prison. Both Devon and Chiamaka work extremely hard so they can go to Ivy League Colleges leading them to become chosen as Perfect and Head Perfect or so they thought. All of a sudden some one who goes by Aces starts sending text messages revealing Devon and Chiamaka’s secrets. As Devon and Chiamaka try to ignore these attacks and just get through their senior year Aces continues to attach causing them to try to stop Aces on their own.
Whew this book was so intense and suspenseful I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know who’s Aces was. Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé kept me on the edge of my seat with all her twist and turns making it hard to put this book down to focus on anything else.
Chiamaka is a popular girl who wears her popularity like a badge of honor. She has worked twice as hard as her white classmates and uses their popularity to help her gain the status that she desire at Niveus. In the beginning I really wasn’t feeling sis but as I read more of her motives I began to understand her a little more. Her families money allowed her into a circle she really didn’t feel like she belonged in so she had to fake it. I felt bad for Chiamaka because she couldn’t just be herself, she couldn’t even wear her natural hair or her cultural braids without fear of being looked down on, which is a feeling I know and understand all to well.
Devon on the other hand came from a lower class neighborhood where he was bullied and beat on for simply being who he was. Niveus was Devon’s opportunity for a fresh start and to lay low till he graduated. His story broke my heart and was all to real for boys like him who live in poorer communities. His everyday life was a struggle and I found myself hating everyone for him even right down to his mom.
I loved the complexity of the characters and both coming from two separate but relatable backgrounds. Along with the thrilling parts (at one point I found myself holding my breathe waiting to see what would happen next) there are also serious topics from racism, classism, and homophobia and I loved every bit of it. I mean Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé even addressed how poor whites view blacks. Àbíké-Íyímídé gave us so much to swallow in this book.
I am not a Gossip Girl viewer so I didn’t get the reference, although t by the title I’m sure I can guess what the show is about but I did see Get Out and this definitely gave me high school version Get Out vibes. Through it all I loved that two black teens from very different backgrounds came together and built a bond that only we can build. This was an amazing read and I look forward to reading more from this author.
If you like YA mystery I recommend you check this one out.