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A Song Below Water

By Bethany C. Morrow
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about Black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism.

In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

"It's beautiful and it's brilliant.”--Jason Reynolds, #1 New York Times bestselling author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

“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

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

72 Reviews

“"I promise myself to let it slide for the moment if he says 'people' without specifying which people keep being killed by police officers who apparently stay scared but are allowed to unload weapons into us instead of finding new jobs." A Song Below Water was so much more than I was expecting this book to be. I was originally drawn in by the gorgeous cover and talk of magic and mermaids, but I absolutely stayed for the strong, realistic, young black women. Bethany C. Morrow has written a novel that is extremely, insanely, timely and relevant. A major turning point of this novel occurs at a protest against police brutality after a black boy has been unnecessarily killed. Morrow takes this urban fantasy a step further by including institutionalized speciesism (against sirens) in addition to tackling racism. I was completely enthralled with this book, loving both sister/best friends Effie and Tavia. A bit contemporary, a bit magical, this book is like a mixture of an Angie Thomas novel and a Rivers Solomon story. Disclaimer: The quoted text is from an uncorrected proof of this book that I received from TorTeen Books in exchange for my honest review.”
“What a beautiful story about sisterhood! It touches on misogynoir and speciesism and even incorporates current-day events. This book is full of mythical creatures -which usually isn't my cup of tea. Nevertheless, though slow initially, I enjoyed this book and can't wait for book two!”
“First, I have to point out that I am a white woman with absolutely no perspective on the Black experience and cannot (and should not) speak to any aspect of the author's sharing of those experiences in this novel. What I can say is that this was a very creative way of continuing the conversation on racial equity and racism in our modern world through the lens of fantasy. I found it especially interesting how Morrow uses an example of a siren that has allowed herself to be voluntarily collared to demonstrate how the model minority expectation is so harmful. It looks like this is the first in a series and I look forward to reading more about Tavia and Effie's experiences.”
“This was so good and very different than I was expecting. I didn't read the synopsis before going into this, I saw the cover (stunning!) and heard that it was about a Black mermaid and didn't need any other motivation to pick this up. This is fantastical (this is a Portland that feels very much like an urban fantasy world: in addition to sirens, there are gargoyles and elokos among others) while also tackling real-world issues. Tavia is a siren, and in this world, sirens are mistrusted because of their voice. Because of this, there is a network of people around Tavia that protect her siren identity. These things and countless other points and themes in this book have direct comparisons to our world right now. All of those things are incredibly well done. The place that this book lost me the world of other fantastical creatures, I just needed more time with all of these other magical people and this book is fairly short. But this is a really great read, and if you've been thinking about reading it, please please pick it up. The audio for this one is also really great if you're looking to read it that way.”

About Bethany C. Morrow

Bethany C. Morrow is a national bestselling author. Her young adult novels include A Song Below Water, A Chorus Rises, and the Little Women remix, So Many Beginnings, and she is editor/contributor to the young adult anthology Take The Mic, which won the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award. Her adult novels include Mem, and the forthcoming social horror, Cherish Farrah. Her work has been featured in The LA Times, Forbes, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and more. She is included on USA TODAY's list of 100 Black novelists and fiction writers you should read.

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