Blog Tour (Review): A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow

Publisher : Tor Teen (June 1, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250316030
ISBN-13 : 978-1250316035



“Morrow expertly and smartly explores race, bigotry, oppression, and injustice against a backdrop of ordinary life with a dose of the supernatural added to the mix. A Song Below Water is a must-read for lovers of fantasy and contemporary stories alike. ” ―Booklist, starred review

“Morrow has deftly woven a contemporary tale with mythical elements to take on the invisibility and marginalization of Black women, touching on issues such as misogynoir, body image, social justice, and generational trauma. Empowering and innovative. Morrow elevates mermaids and sirens to ­legitimate and compelling vanguards for social change.” ―School Library Journal

“A watery and melodic crossroads of the real and the mythic, A Song Below Water lures readers with its seductive and beautifully black siren song. An enthralling tale of black girl magic and searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones.” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Timesbestselling author of The Belles series

“I love this book so, so much! Bethany C. Morrow delivers a blistering modern classic with this gorgeous tale of friendship and power. A Song Below Water somehow manages to be intensely happy and sad at the same time and all in the balance of great, riveting storytelling. The best YA novel I’ve read all year.” ―Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

“Morrow masterfully blends the real lives of Black girls in contemporary Portland with a mythic world of sirens, gargoyles and other supernatural creatures to create a compelling coming-of-age story in which two sisters, bound by love and fate, find their voices and their power.” ―Rebecca Roanhorse, Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Award Winner, author of Trail of Lightning and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn

“Empowering and full of surprises, A Song Below Water reminds us how important it is to use our voices, even when we’re afraid. Morrow has created a world that’s both familiar and brimming with fantastical creatures, and the result is timely, necessary, and utterly captivating.” ―Akemi Dawn Bowman, award-winning author of Starfish

“A rich, intricate dive into mythology, misogynoir, and the way the world makes black girls out to be monsters. Like the siren’s song, A Song Below Water is irresistibly compelling.” ―Heidi Heilig, award-winning author of The Girl from Everywhere

“The world is lush and intense, the voice intoxicating, and the message eternal. Morrow will have you under her spell from page one.” ―L.L. McKinney, author of the Nightmare-Verse series

“A compelling tale packed with endlessly inventive magical concepts, blazingly current social commentary, and heroines you’ll fall hopelessly in love with. I’m obsessed.” ―Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex series

“A Song Below Water is a lush, colorful, and deeply moving masterpiece about mythology, the sometimes masked evils of racism, and all the ways the world hurts black girls. An irresistible and perfectly bewitching read that I couldn’t put down!” ―Jay Coles, composer and author of Tyler Johnson Was Here

“A Song Below Water is a captivating tale about the magic of sisterhood and the importance of being seen for who you truly are.” ―Parker Peevyhouse, author of The Echo Room

“An exciting new contemporary fantasy. In this parallel world, black female empowerment is standing up for yourself and others while simultaneously navigating love, physical and emotional violence, and the responsibility of immense supernatural power.” ―Kirkus Reviews

The Hate U Give meets Shadowshaperin Bethany C. Morrow’s A Chorus Rises, a brilliant contemporary fantasy set in the world of A Song Below Water.

Teen influencer Naema Bradshaw has it all: she’s famous, privileged, has “the good hair”— and she’s an Eloko, a person who’s gifted with a song that woos anyone who hears it. Everyone loves her — well, until she’s cast as the awful person who exposed Tavia’s secret siren powers.

Now, she’s being dragged by the media. No one understands her side: not her boyfriend, not her friends, nor her Eloko community. But Naema knows the truth and is determined to build herself back up — no matter what.

When a new, flourishing segment of Naema’s online supporters start targeting black girls, however, Naema must discover the true purpose of her magical voice.

You can purchaseA Chorus Rises at the following Retailers:
I received a copy of A Chorus Rises for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
It is a gutsy move to have a new narrator in a “sequel”. It is an even more gutsy move choosing an antagonist from the first book as that main lead. Bethany C. Morrow made that gutsy choice and, I have to say, it was a successful move.
A Chorus Rises is set a year after the “Awakening” and follows the narration of Naema Bradshaw, one of our antagonists in A Song Below Water. Through her narration, we learn how being Stoned, changed by a Gorgon, feels, we learn more about what it means to be Eloko, and we see more of the world Morrow introduces us to in the first book.
I found Naema to be a very interesting character. Her motives in Tavia’s book seemed one dimensional with the “mean rich girl” trope and that trope is still there, but there is more to her than meets the eye. You aren’t going to find her sympathetic, but you may find her relatable, and that matters more in my opinion. Naema was a gutsy move that paid off.
Readers will also see more of the world Morrow has crafted. No more are we just seeing Portland with its magic, we are experiencing the Southwest. This move was a great idea. I personally love that the world is more than a microcosm in one city. So many of today’s people don’t understand a lot because they don’t bother going past their city or state limits. It can be argued that this is where we get a narrow-minded mindset, no matter what side in the political playground you play in.
Morrow, choosing to set a good portion of her book in another region of the United States, not only shows the racial dynamics but also the magical ones in her world. She expanded on her idea and made it stronger, allowing readers to come to their own conclusions about how our world is possibly different in its own sections.
I was honestly expecting Effie to be our main lead in a second book, it was a safer choice that could help expand the world without rocking the boat. But with Naema, Morrow brought to life human dynamics and our relationship with our ancestors and social media. It was a solid decision and I’m even more excited to see if we will be revisiting the world and whose voice will be singing.
A definite read for YA fans.
Photo Content from Bethany C. Morrow 
Bethany C Morrow is an Indie Bestselling author who writes for adult and young adult audiences, in genres ranging from speculative literary to contemporary fantasy to historical. She is author of the novels MEM and A SONG BELOW WATER, which is an Audie, Ignyte and Locus finalist. She is editor/contributor to the young adult anthology TAKE THE MIC, the 2020 ILA Social Justice in Literature award winner. Her work has been chosen as Indies Introduce and Indie Next picks, and 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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