A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.
But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either.
This was an absolutely stunning novel. A Song Below Water read more of a contemporary novel than a fantasy novel. It’s a fantasy novel but contained a lot of relevant topics from racism, social justice and current politics. This is a much needed book and is perfect for what is currently happening in the States and even around the world. This was a quick read for me; I was instantly drawn into the world Morrow created with sirens, mermaids, gargoyles and more fantastical creatures. It was a packed book that was fast-paced. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and wanted more. The magical realism element was strong in this novel; I fell in love with the world Morrow created, it felt real to me.
I really enjoyed reading a novel featuring strong Black female characters. I believe there is a huge gap in literature, especially YA literature that doesn’t feature these characters. That needs to change, and this book is the step in the right direction. There’s a huge gap in my reading where I don’t read nearly enough books by Black authors, or authors of any minority. I have them on my shelves, and in my NetGalley lists, but it’s only until recently that I started to be more conscious of my gap in my bookshelf.
This is one of the books that I’m still waiting to get my hands on, but I can’t because it’s still sold out at my local Chapters and bookstore. Morrow released a Twitter statement shortly after the book was published to state that it’s already sent back to the printers for more copies, how amazing is that?! I cannot stress this enough, but you need to read this novel.
It’s made me want to read more of her novels. I’ve also used this book in my marketing class and my technology class assignments in order to get more eyes on this novel.
Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕
Let me know if you’ve read this one!