A 21-year-old student from south London has signed a seven-figure book deal for two young adult novels.
Faridah Abike-Iyimide’s debut effort, titled Ace Of Spades, will be published in the UK through Usborne Publishing in June 2021, with a second untitled novel to follow.
Described as Gossip Girl meets Get Out, the story takes place at an elite private school where a mysterious source begins spreading rumours about two black students.
The pair must fight for their reputations and their lives as they investigate the rumours, before finding themselves at the centre of a disturbing and deadly game.
The black British author describes the novel as “embodying themes that I am very passionate about, such as homophobia in the black community, institutional racism and the diversity of thought amongst black people”.
She added: “I am so grateful for this opportunity to share this story and have others see themselves for the first time in these characters.”
Usborne Publishing said readers should expect an “explosive high-school thriller that delves deep into the heart of institutionalised racism”.
Abike-Iyimide is currently studying English and Chinese in the north east of Scotland.
Her website describes her as “an avid tea drinker and a collector of strange mugs” and lists her favourite writers as authors James Baldwin and Oscar Wilde.
The site adds that she attended an all-girl Catholic school between the ages of 11 and 18, despite being Muslim.
She also writes of her heritage, saying: “I am Nigerian and love my culture – especially the food and the music.”