A Chorus Rises by B. C. Morrow
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Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous, privileged, has “the good hair”— and she’s an Eloko, a person who’s gifted with a song that woos anyone who hears it. Everyone loves her — well, until she’s cast as the awful person who exposed Tavia’s secret siren powers.
Now, she’s being dragged by the media. No one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, nor her Eloko community. But Naema knows the truth and is determined to build herself back up — no matter what.
When a new, flourishing segment of Naema’s online supporters start targeting black girls, however, Naema must discover the true purpose of her magical voice.
This book is the sequel to A Song Below Water (ASBW) by B.C. Morrow, I suggest you read that book before reading this one. I know some may not know this! You can read my review of A Song Below Water here.
Naema gets her own novel in this sequel, and while I didn’t like her in A Song Below Water, I think her actions and who she is as a character get explained more. I was surprised at how much depth Morrow created for Naema, that girl has spunk, and her actions all make sense to who she is. At the end of the novel, I still didn’t like Naema, but I came to a better understanding of her and her motives.
Let’s break this book down further starting with Naema. I didn’t like her, and I think we weren’t supposed to like her, but she was so well written and had so much personality and attitude in this novel, that by the end Morrow converted me to a Naema supporter. It was interesting to see her perspective on what happened at the end of ASBW and how she dealt with being “Stoned.” Naema’s family also sounds amazing, I wanted to hang out with them, especially her cousin. They all had their own distinct personalities. Naema’s protectiveness and interactions with her family showed how much she cares for them. Morrow always does an excellent job with her characters and developing them.
Instead of this book taking place in Portland, we’re now in the South where Naema’s extended family lives. I think it was a smart choice for Morrow to move the setting to a different location, to show how different Naema and Tavia really are to each other, and how family can impact a person and change their perception. This leads into Morrow’s writing, which I keep going back to, but it’s just… Next level. This book, like ASBW, was a super quick and interesting read. Morrow drew me in right from the first few pages. I could gush about her writing for hours!
The plot in this novel still has a focus on the Black community, and it also draws awareness to social media. Morrow knows how to use “hot topics” or topics that are relevant in her books and how to draw awareness to them in such a way that I’ve never thought of before (as a white female). There wasn’t a lot of action, but the growth that Naema goes through and her story really moved me. I think the message really stood out in this one. A Chorus Rises felt more character-driven than plot-driven, and I was totally okay with that.
I enjoyed this book, maybe not as much as ASBW, but it was still a decent read. If you’ve read ASBW, you should check this book out as well. There was much less of the fantastical element in this one as in ASBW, which I was okay with – this is Naema’s story after all. Overall, I enjoyed this novel, probably wouldn’t read it again, but still enjoyable nonetheless.
Let me know your thoughts on this book below!
Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕
Tea Pairing: Frozen Raspberry from David’s Tea
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: June 1, 2021