Thursday, May 31, 2012

LIES BENEATH by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath
Anne Greenwood Brown

Grade: B

Release Date: 6/12/12

Description from
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 irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting 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.

My thoughts on the book:
I have never read a mermaid book before, and I never thought I'd want to. However, this story sounded too interesting to pass up, and I'm glad I made the decision to give mermaids a try. Lies Beneath completely submerges you in mermaid life, and it's a lot darker than one might imagine. These mermaids aren't from the Disney cartoon movies. They are serial killers, and they hold a grudge. 

Lies Beneath is told from Calder's POV, and it was a bit hard for me to adjust to that, being a female and all. Once I got into the story, though, I barely noticed the gender of the narrator. A few things that bugged me were the fact that the everyone called people by their first and last names 99% of the time. Seriously, no one talks like that. It got on my nerves and pulled me out of the story at times. Another thing that bothered me was the fact that Calder called Victorian Era poets "the Victorians," like these authors were in some bad indie rock band or something. Other than that, though, the book was wonderful. 

It took Calder awhile to grow on me, but once he did, I could definitely sympathize with his character. He wasn't created to be a killer, and he didn't want the life he'd been given. I felt bad for him in that aspect. He also had a good heart, and always tried to do the right thing. He did the best he could with the lot he'd been given, and I couldn't fault him for the mistakes he made. I never really related to him, but I did sympathize with him. I cared what happened to him and wanted to finish his story. 

Lily was a very brave character, and I enjoyed learning about her through Calder's eyes. I wish I could have known what she was thinking, though. She made some strange, and sometimes not-too-bright, decisions, and I would have liked to have known what motivated her actions. I do understand why this book was told from Calder's POV, though, and the story wouldn't have been complete had it not been from his perspective. I wish Brown had switched back and forth or something, but it may not have had the same effect. In this aspect, I'm leaving it at the author knows best. If there is a sequel, maybe we can get to know how Lily's mind works.

The other characters in this story weren't incredibly well-developed, but they definitely weren't stereotypes, which was a relief. Also, the book wasn't set in a high school, and that made for a nice change. I didn't realize how tired I was about reading books set in high schools until I read one that wasn't set in a school. I know high schools are part of daily life for teens, but sometimes, a change of scenery is nice. 

The story itself is a bit slow moving at first, but by the middle, it's impossible to put the book down. I had the basic idea figured out, but I wasn't sure how it'd play out. Brown also rewarded me with plenty of surprises along the way to keep me interested. I wasn't bored at all while reading this book. Brown's writing, for the most part, is very good and believable. The story has a nice flow to it, and the pacing was pretty spot on. The ending wrapped everything up nicely, but managed to leave the possibility open for a sequel, should the author and publisher so choose to produce one. 

Over all, I would recommend this book to people who love mermaid tales and those who are new to the genre, like I am. I think most people would enjoy this story. So if you're looking for something different in the YA genre, check out Lies Beneath. You won't regret it.

Want to pre-order Lies Beneath?


  1. This really was an interesting take on mermaids and I really liked that it was told from Calder's POV I haven't really read many books told from the heroes point of view. The only other one I have read was Beautiful Creatures which was really good.

    Great Review!

  2. Yay I just got this book from the library!!! I'm so excited!!! Most people liked it!!! And Anne is super nice. I'm not a huge fan of mermaid storyies (The Little Mermaid, ew), but killer mermaids?! That's fine with me. Thanks for the review!!!! Can't wait for Deep Betrayal :)
    Alyssa Susanna <3


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