Series: Lies Beneath #1
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, mermaids, fantasy
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 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.
Review: It looks like mermaids are the hot new supernatural beings that are taking their place in the limelight. I was especially intrigued by "Lies Beneath," due to it having a male protagonist, and the fact that it painted mermaids as vicious, murderous creatures whose only joy was stealing the happiness of others.
Calder is a merman who is caught in between his desire for revenge over his mother's murder, and the crush he has developed for Lily. Lily is the daughter of the man that Calder and his sisters are plotting to murder. As Calder struggles with his conflicting desires, we learn the story of who he is, and the complex nature of being a merman.
For starters, I was intrigued by Calder. Here is this guy who has totally confessed to killing before and yet, I did not automatically hate him. Surprisingly, Lily annoyed me far worse than he did - namely because of how flat she fell, as a character. I thought she was written as an extreme cliche and I had to roll my eyes at points that described her outfits or love of Victorian poetry. Sure, Calder was no prize himself (can we say "stalker"??), but at least I was invested in his development.
Together, they both lacked the buzz and intensity that is ascribed to their relationship. There is a definite insta-love element at play, and although Calder's can be explained by what he is, Lily has no excuse. Either way, it is something that gets really old, really fast.
What I loooooved was the writing. I felt uneasy reading certain parts of this book. It was dark, and edgy - keeping me at the edge of my seat. And that ending?? Whoah! Loved it!! Too often nowadays, YA books are part of a series which leaves off in a cliffhanger ending - so that you are forced to read the rest of the series. While "Lies Beneath" is the first in a series, it answered most of the questions that it put forward.
Overall, "Lies Beneath" was an enjoyable read in a series that I'd love to continue on with. Perhaps given more books and time to grow, my main annoyance with the first book - Lily and Calder's relationship - will develop into something strong, lasting, and unlike every other story out there.