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New YA book confronts sexual violence in education systems

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde is out on 14 March 2024, published in paperback by Usborne

International bestselling author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde is set to release her second YA novel, Where Sleeping Girls Lie, this March

"I wrote this book to expose the power abuses and hidden subculture of sexual threat in British educational systems and spark meaningful conversations among young readers, proving that even in the darkest stories, there can be a light that guides us."


International bestselling author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde, 25, exposes the dark realities and hidden horror of misogynoir, sexual violence and secrecy endemic in British educational systems in her new YA book, Where Sleeping Girls Lie (14 March 2024, Usborne Publishing). 


Set in the Alfred Nobel Academy, a prestigious boarding school in England steeped in tradition, this highly anticipated contemporary mystery draws inspiration from various real-life cases of alleged sexual misconduct within UK’s educational institutions that have emerged in the media.


Uncovering the unspoken truths that fester within the corridors of elitist academia, it follows the story of seventeen-year-old Sade Hussein who is thrown into the centre of a web of mysteries when her roommate, Elizabeth, goes missing on her first night. Sade must race to uncover the truth, but secrets lurk around every corner of the school…secrets that rival even her own.


The cover of international bestselling author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé's second novel, Where Sleeping Girls Lie, which is out in paperback this March, published by Usborne
Cover artwork by Aykut Aydoğdu I Designed by Elizabeth H. Clark

The tragic murder of Oluwatoyin Salau profoundly influenced Faridah's writing, compelling her to bring the often-silenced voices of Black girls to the forefront of the #MeToo movement, expand discussions on sexual assault, and champion a more inclusive dialogue that recognises and empathetically addresses their distinct experiences.


Drawing from her sleepless nights at university witnessing the silent suffering of female peers, the book is a chilling reflection of the ignored cries, normalised abuses and societal issues within elite schools and beyond.  These haunting memories have been woven into the fabric of her book, offering a raw and unfiltered look at the uncomfortable truths about elitism, racism, and sexual violence at places of education.


Not only uncovering the darker side, but Faridah also intrinsically weaves in inspiring messages on the importance of allyship, the enduring flame of hope, and the strength found in community bonds, all while maintaining a gripping storyline.


Faridah and Usborne Publishing worked with The Survivors’ Trust and Safeline when researching the book. Keen to debunk the 'perfect victim' myth, Faridah presents a nuanced exploration of victimhood through complex, diverse and unlikable characters, challenging the often one-dimensional stereotypes prevalent in media and entertainment. Faridah hopes this will not only help to empower all victims and survivors to find allies and seek support but will also guide educators and teachers in fostering change within their institutions.


Faridah said: "Writing 'Where Sleeping Girls Lie' was a journey close to my heart. It's drawn from nights at university, where I witnessed the quiet struggles of others, struggles often overlooked. This book is a tribute to those experiences and to girls and women like Oluwatoyin Salau whose stories are often buried in mainstream discussions of violence against girls/women. Black girls have been lost in the #MeToo conversation and this is my way of genuinely recentring them and their distinct experiences in the movement – which was created by a Black woman.  Through diverse characters, I aimed to shatter stereotypes surrounding victimhood. It's a tale that touches everyone, a plea for schools and educators to understand and instigate the change we so urgently need, and ultimately a powerful message about finding hope and positivity, even in the darkest times”.

Praise for Where Sleeping Girls Lie

“Incisive and devastatingly insightful, Àbíké-Íyímídé rends a thriller in which every character is hiding painful secrets from themselves and each other, and true to life, justice is a hard-won thing. Where Sleeping Girls Lie paints an honest portrait of the rage of teenage girls and the catharsis found thereafter.” Joelle Wellington, author of Their Vicious Games 


“Where Sleeping Girls Lie seductively blends the irresistible camp of Mean Girls with the propulsive campus whodunnit of Wednesday and the vigilante thrill of Promising Young Woman. Àbíké-Íyímídé is an incisive force – and a total vibe.” Olivie Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six

About Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is the instant New York Times, international bestselling and award-winning author of Ace of SpadesAce of Spades was the bestselling YA debut in the UK in 2021 and has sold over a quarter of a million copies in the English Language, becoming a TikTok success. It received critical media acclaim from Vogue and Good Morning America and was an instant New York Times and lndieBound bestseller, charting at No. 2 in the UK Children’s & YA Chart. Faridah is currently pursuing an MA in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College, London. She is an avid tea drinker, a collector of strange mugs and a graduate from a Scottish university where she studied English Literature. Faridah is an official 2024 World Book Day author with The Doomsday Date publishing in time for the Day on Thursday 7th March. In June 2024, Faridah will partner with YA Book Prize-winner, Adiba Jaigirdar, for the joyous romcom Four Eids and a FuneralFind out more at: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (; @faridahlikestea


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