Friday, January 13, 2023

Book Review: A Song Below Water

A Song Below Water 
by Bethany C. Morrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a hidden gem!!! A Song Below Water may start out a bit slow; with very heavy focus on racism, BLM, prejudice, cop supremacy, and so much more (sadly) relevant in today’s society. Bethany Morrow has done something really cool here though. Instead of just putting us in our own cruel world, she puts us in a world of literal mythological creatures. From gargoyles, sirens, sprites, and so much more; this story is a plethora of interesting creatures (monsters?) to not only bond with, but relate to. Any given teenager is likely to find some part of our leading POC girls and their challenges. Be it their looks, friendships, parental challenges, boyfriends, etc. There’s only one thing missing, which I can overlook given how unique this story is, queer representation would have made this nearly perfect for me.

Morrow writes her Own Voices story, in her unique world that is exactly like ours; and yet nothing like it. I listened to most of this book on audio (my third audiobook of the year; it’s working!!) and the narrator was good enough. Not amazing but certainly kept things moving and gave just enough intonation change to know if it was Tavia or Effie’s chapter (even without the chapter name indicating whose POV it is).

Ultimately, I want to spoil the ending sooo much because it’s absolutely amazing. The twist here is foreshadowed; but I bet very few figure it out. I had it sorted just before the reveal; and looking back I realize I should have known given how much I LOVE the creature that ultimately holds the reader hostage at the climax.

Just read it! But do read it to the end. Even if you get a bit disenchanted halfway through; trust me the ending is absolutely worth it. At least 2-3 twists happen and so you’re bound to be (pleasantly, I hope)surprised by one of them. As a final note: this is a teen book and so I expect it to read like a teen book (which it does). If you’re looking for high fantasy, complex romance, or something more than a typical teen book then I’d recommend finding something else. I give this 5 stars and love it for being exactly what it is; a unique, well represented, uniquely fantastical teen book.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

You are once again determined to fill up my to read list again, aren't you! This one sounds really good too.