This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. It’s best to go into this dark academia without reading too much beforehand, but be warned there are some heavy topics at play.

Check out the discussion questions below! (Major spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!

Content Warning

Gaslighting, racism, homophobia, and violence.


Devon loves composing and dreams of going to Julliard, and Chiamaka longs to be a doctor. If you could be trained anywhere, what passion would you have pursued as a teenager?


1. Do you believe something like the society everyone in Niveus participates in exists?

2. Chi and Devon seem to come from vastly different backgrounds and perspectives. How do you think they were similar?

3. How did you feel about Devon’s relationship with his mother? How did your feelings about her change throughout the novel?

4. Chiamaka is pretty condescending to the people around her at the start of the novel. Did your thoughts on her change as you got to understand her motivations?

5. As you were reading, before the reveal, who did you think was Ace of Spades?

6. It’s hard to know who to trust as the story unfolds. Did you have suspicions about the characters Devon and Chiamaka trusted? Or were you as surprised as they were to realize everyone was in on it?

7. What did you think of the way everything was wrapped up? Did you find the resolution believable?

8. What did you think about the romantic relationships throughout the novel? Devon’s relationship with Andre? Chiamaka and Belle?

9. This novel hit on a lot of sociological topics: sexuality, class and wealth, mental health, racism and white privilege. Was there a revelation about a topic that you felt was particularly insightful? Is there something you would’ve liked the author to have explored more?

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.