Book Reviews

Book Review: A Song Below Water

Title: A Song Below Water

Author: Bethany C. Marrow

Publisher: Tor Teen

Publication Date: June 2 2020

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy


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.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was one of my most anticipated books of June and while I definitely was disappointed, it didn’t hit as hard as I expected it to.

The biggest issue I had with this book is that fact that a lot of the lore that the book rely’s on wasn’t explained at all. And that would’ve been fine if the creatures in the book where exactly the same as they have been in past fairytales. But, Bethany C. Marrow put her own spin on some of the creatures and while that is a good thing when locked at through a certain lens. But it sort of felt like I was missing something especially when a detail about a character’s myth bleeds into their personality. There were a few instances where Tavia was annoyed at a character and she expresses her annoyance in a way that felt like I was on the outside listening to an inside joke.

While the lore was a bit lacking, what was there was quite interesting. The friendship/sibling relationship and plot twists were *chef’s kiss*.

The writing style was simple enough but it also drew you into the story. I found the main characters really likeable and their voices were pretty easy to read. All the characters, side and main, were very 3 dimensional and the character development of the main characters was done really well.

I aloo enjoyed the different relationship dynamics that were shown in this book. Like secret society type group that was formed out of necessity and they the other magic beings in the group do their best to keep Tavia’s secret. Also the family dynamics also the friendships and budding romantic relationships.

Effie’s whole experience with the faire and her story there was very interesting. For a while though, the way it was written made it seem like her life at the faire was a real thing, the way how Tavia was a real siren but I soon came to realize that that was not the case.

I thing the way the author put a spin on injustices that are actually happening in the real world was reading interest. The conclusion of the story was really sweet and I think the ending was more than satisfactory.

That’s All I Got, Danielle.

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