Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath, Book #1
Published: June 12th, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
313 pages (ebook)
Genre: Young adult paranormal/romance
Acquired this book: From NetGalley/Random House
Warning: may contain spoilers
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Synopsis: Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him. 

In Lies Beneath, debut author Anne Greenwood Brown weaves an intoxicating tale that is dark and somewhat disturbing, but also thrilling, romantic, and, at times heartbreaking. This was the first mermaid book I’ve read, and I can definitely tell you it won’t be the last. 

There’s no wasting time in the beginning, the story jumps right in and we’re introduced to Calder, who is wishing he could avoid his yearly reunion with his mermaid sisters. I have to admit, there was part of me that didn’t want to like Calder. He was a monster and a murderer, but it didn’t take me long to realize he was so much more than that, and the ‘monster’ and ‘murderer’ in him were part of his nature. It would be hypocritical of me to hate him for that when I love vampires and other supernatural killers, right? Plus, Calder wanted so badly to separate himself from his inherent nature and not be like other merpeople, especially his dangerous and deadly sisters.

I really started to like Calder when he began interacting with Lily. It was a struggle for them at first, because Calder didn’t know how to act human, and he made Lily nervous with his forthright nature, and the fact that he always seemed to be around. At first, Calder did his best to keep things impersonal - he had a mission, and he couldn’t let anything get in the way. Only, something did get in the way - his growing feelings for Lily.

Lily was very different from a lot of other girls in books. I wasn’t sure I would like her at first, because she seemed so determined to be different, but then I saw that it wasn’t necessarily that she was trying to be different, she was different, and she just wanted to express herself. She was free-spirited and fearless with a touch of a rebellious soul, but there was also this sweetness and innocence to her that was refreshing, and that made me love her.

My favorite scenes were definitely the ones where Calder and Lily were together. Things built slowly between them, and I loved the anticipation. There were scenes that were so sweet, but also kind of sexy, where every little moment or touch held so much tension it made me sigh and silently cheer them on.

I enjoyed learning some of the back story of merpeople - how they were born or made, and what it meant to be part of a mermaid family. Calder’s sadistic sisters fascinated me, and I wish we had seen a bit more of them and learned more about them. One thing is for sure: I’ve always been afraid of open water, and I don’t think that’ll be changing any time soon after reading this book!

The pacing of the story was great - little tidbits of the puzzle were revealed throughout, and by the time the climax hit, I was shocked. I really didn’t see any of it coming, and I love when that happens. This book genuinely kept me guessing, and I was so desperate for Calder and Lily to be together, but no matter how many scenarios I played out in my head, I couldn’t see a way that would work.

Overall, Lies Beneath is a captivating debut that shouldn’t be missed, especially if you enjoy mermaid books, but more than that, stories about love, redemption, revenge, human (or inhuman) nature, secrets, and family ties.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.
*Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book for review.*
Have you read Lies Beneath? What do you think of mermaid books in general? How about stories told from a male's perspective?


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait to pick it up myself.

    I often feel like vampires get away with a lot: killing, age difference in relationships... etc. I like when a story like this comes along though, where mermaids aren't those nice creatures either! It's fascinating.

    Great review!

  2. Nice review! I have a friend who's a sucker for mermaids, so I'll definitely be dropping her a note about this one!

  3. YAY YAY YAY, I am really jazzed that you liked this one as much as I did. This was the first mermaid book I read, too, I believe. I was drawn to Calder even as I was thinking, "but he's horrible!" Yet Anne effortlessly made me think again, re-consider, see Calder struggling to evolve...and ultimately love him.

    I just loved that this book was creepy and dark. I also really liked Lily, and it's awesome that you were able to, as well!

  4. I've seen a couple other reviews on this book and your review has me wanting to read it more.


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