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.
tw: attempted suicide, discussions of violence towards Black people.
A Song Below Water lifts the veil into another Porland, where the myths and magic come alive. Gargoyles guard Black girls. Children turn to stone. Black girls voices ring with beauty and demand justice. The Supernatural resides at the local high school, in the hall ways and at the pool, at the Ren Faire and the Park.
Effie and Tavia are sisters of the heart. They are always there for each other. Each deals with a new moment in their life. A new call for justice and murder of Black people takes over the city. Sirens become a heated subject, as fingers are pointed at them.
In Morrow’s world, Sirens are dangerous. For many Sirens, it means keeping their identities secret and their voices hidden. As fingers are pointed at sirens, many come out fighting for Black justice and for Siren’s rights. Morrow beautifully tells us the intersectionality of Black girls, the marginal spaces between being Women and Black.
Things I’ve been obsessing over:
- Black girls looking like princesses= a plus
- Latino love interest
- Black sisterhood
- Ren Faires
- Natural Hair Feminism
- Black Girl Magic
It’s also very apparent that other reviewers had a hard time distinguishing Effie’s voice from Tavia’s and I agree on that. I had to check back to who was talking because sometime’s I forgot which chapter it belonged to. As people, they have different story lines. It’s more about sound of voice. They tend to sound the same, to be perfectly frank here.
This could of been a lot better. It had a purpose and a drive with a lot of interesting supernatural creatures but fell flat in the execution. However, I could for ages about the wonderful descriptions of Black girls hair. I’ve never seen it done quite like this, to the extent of this.
Thank You To Tor Teen for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review