Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (June 2, 2020)
Praise for A SONG BELOW WATER
“Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike. ” ―Booklist, starred review
“Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. Empowering and innovative. Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change.” ―School Library Journal
“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully black siren song. An enthralling tale of black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series
“I love this book so, so much! Bethany C. Morrow delivers a blistering modern classic with this gorgeous tale of friendship and power. A Song Below Water somehow manages to be intensely happy and sad at the same time and all in the balance of great, riveting storytelling. The best YA novel I’ve read all year.” ―Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper
“Morrow masterfully blends the real lives of Black girls in contemporary Portland with a mythic world of sirens, gargoyles and other supernatural creatures to create a compelling coming-of-age story in which two sisters, bound by love and fate, find their voices and their power.” ―Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Award Winner, author of Trail of Lightning and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn
“Empowering and full of surprises, A Song Below Water reminds us how important it is to use our voices, even when we’re afraid. Morrow has created a world that’s both familiar and brimming with fantastical creatures, and the result is timely, necessary, and utterly captivating.” ―Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish
“A rich, intricate dive into mythology, misogynoir, and the way the world makes black girls out to be monsters. Like the siren’s song, A Song Below Water is irresistibly compelling.” ―Heidi Heilig, award-winning author of The Girl from Everywhere
“The world is lush and intense, the voice intoxicating, and the message eternal. Morrow will have you under her spell from page one.” ―L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series
“A compelling tale packed with endlessly inventive magical concepts, blazingly current social commentary, and heroines you’ll fall hopelessly in love with. I’m obsessed.” ―Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex series
“A Song Below Water is a lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece about mythology, the sometimes masked evils of racism, and all the ways the world hurts black girls. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn’t put down!” ―Jay Coles, composer and author of Tyler Johnson Was Here
“A Song Below Water is a captivating tale about the magic of sisterhood and the importance of being seen for who you truly are.” ―Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room
“An exciting new contemporary fantasy. In this parallel world, black female empowerment is standing up for yourself and others while simultaneously navigating love, physical and emotional violence, and the responsibility of immense supernatural power.” ―Kirkus Reviews
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.
Thank you to Tor Teen for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and to JeanBookNerd for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour!
An intriguing urban fantasy that weaves social injustice with mythology.
A slow building paced book, set in Portland Oregon, the narration is told from between two POVs, Tavia and Effie’s. The author includes sever key elements of racism, misogyny, and modern social injustice. A clever premise, interesting world building. I did struggle somewhat with execution of the book, but overall it was a solid read. Urban Fantasy is a bit tricky for me personally. Fans of this style of writing will be captivated and love mythology and vibrant main characters. The dialogue was spot between the two friends and I really enjoyed this and thought their friendship was wonderful.
Song Below Water is a deftly weaves coming of age struggles that deals with some tough issues, racism, prejudice, and broken family dynamics.
Bethany C. Morrow is a recovering expat splitting her time between Montreal, Quebec, and upstate New York – yet another foreign place. A California native, Bethany graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology (but took notable detours in the Film and Theatre departments). Following undergrad, she studied Clinical Psychological Research at the University of Wales, Bangor, in Great Britain before returning to North America to focus on her literary work.
Though sociology and forensic psychology will always be among her passions, writing has been a lifelong endeavor. Whether in novels for the YA or adult market, novellas, short stories, stage plays, television pilots or short film scripts, Bethany’s speculative literary fiction uses a focus on character and language to engage with, comment on and investigate worlds not unlike our own.
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