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.
Siren stories are always intriguing to me, but it always seems to take me awhile to get to them. A Song Below Water was no different. I knew I wanted to read it because it sounded so good. Two best friends grapple with their world. A world that has mythical creatures like sirens. Effie has secrets to unravel and Tavia is trying to keep her voice under wraps. Trigger warnings: past suicide attempt, self-harm, anxiety
This book was good. It was so good. This book was shorter than most books that I read, but that doesn’t stop it from accomplishing so much.
The way that this book weaves the magical into the real world is something of true brilliance. It felt so normal that sirens, elokos, and other magical creatures were apart of normal society. It felt like another layer to ours, and one that didn’t even feel like it was layered on top. It was that seamless.
The emotion this book evokes is also something to be in awe of. This book felt like a pull in my gut, one that made me feel and one that made me connect to everything that book was trying to present.
One of the things I liked best about this book is the ending. As the book was winding down, I was a bit worried about how things would end up. It felt like there were lose ends that wouldn’t be tied off. But, everything single plot point was addressed and finished with a flourish. Everything slotted into place and it just felt like the absolute best ending for this book. Ah, I know it’s weird, but I could go on and on about how well this book ended, how it fit the book so well, and how just a few pages made so many things make sense.
And now, here are 7 reasons why you should pick up A Song Below Water!
- Tavia and Effie, two best friends who are as good as sisters. They get each other, support each other, and completely love each other.
- Magical creatures that are so gorgeously described, making the characters even more beautiful than they already were.
- Conversations of racism, police brutality, and fighting for justice.
- Beautiful writing that brings more layers to this book.
- Legend mixing with real life (yes, I already mentioned it but I’m mentioning it again because it’s that well done).
- It’s a book under 300 pages, but it’s a full and amazing story.
- A quiet, but incredibly sweet romance.
This was a powerful and wonderful book, and I’m so, so glad that I finally picked it up.