21-year-old London student signs seven-figure book deal

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.

Ace Of Spades will come out in June next year (Usborne Publishing/PA)

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.”

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