What I enjoyed
This is my first time seeing a mystery-thriller that deeply explores the themes of institutional racism and with a great representation of LGBT characters. In an article Àbíké-Íyímídé mentioned:
“I think a lot of these institutions, whether it’s university or a high school, they often are prestige because they have a history that is rooted in a kind of subjugation of Black people”
Perhaps I live under a rock but I had no idea that such inequality is so deeply rooted in schools (for example slavery and racial heirachy). I love Àbíké-Íyímídé’s intent to highlight the struggles in which people of color go/went through and raise awareness. Both the protagonist’s experiences and thoughts felt real and I felt empathy for Dev and Chi, especially knowing that the author was drawing from her own experiences as well.
What I didn’t enjoy.
While I loved the message and intent of the book, I didn’t like the story itself – I’m sorry!!
- The plot behind Aces.
- Overall I didn’t like the mystery or thriller component. The first half of the book was boring, the messages from Ace felt like gossip that created soapy drama instead of tension or curiosity. Chi’s memories created some mystery, however…
- The only reminder I got of Gossip Girl was Aces. There wasn’t enough world building for me as I wasn’t transported to the lives of the glamorous elite.