Publishing Info: June 12, 2012 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 18, 2013
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 and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love - just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
I’ve only read one other YA mermaid series despite the growing trend for mermaid novels so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by LIES BENEATH. I don’t know if I thought it was going to be cheesy or if mermaids just weren’t my cup of tea, but the story was actually really interesting. I really liked that it was based in myths and despite the fact that we’re reading about mermaids, none of the story really seemed that far-fetched.
One thing that I felt was actually kind of special about the book was that Anne Greenwood Brown chose to start off her series with a male voice. Our main character Calder brings us his story of his sisters’ quest for revenge and how that throws him in the path of Lily Hancock. I really loved that the series starts with the male voice when most YA series start with the female MC or choose to alternate between the male & female characters. Calder’s voice throughout the book was humorous, sarcastic, and yet subtly sweet. He surely has his own demons and secrets which bring on the darker tone of the book (this is surely no Little Mermaid — although Ursula WAS pretty scary) but he also started to develop some genuine feelings for Lily and watching their relationship grow was really sweet.
One thing I did notice (and I want to say I’m complaning but I’m totally not) is that it felt really “Twilight-y” on quite a few occasions. Normally, I think I’d feel bothered by that but somehow the Twilight feel in this book actually made it better for me. I think it added that tiny layer of nostalgia, if that makes sense. It was just little things though — no major plot points ripped from the books — like how Calder is a “monster” and should be wanting to attack Lily, not be attracted to her. Things like that reminded me of the Twilight series, but I’m not gonna lie. I did like it.
The plot was rather enjoyable as a whole as were the characters. It was a little weird seeing Lily through a male POV but interesting all at the same time. I liked that we were in the guy’s head for once. I think I was more okay with Lily because we WEREN’T in her head. I think watching her get to know Calder from her POV may have ruined it a little for me.
I really enjoyed that there were TWISTS. I was not expecting that! Thank goodness for extra layers! I just wasn’t expecting the book to be that deep (no pun intended) but it definitely had a lot more going for it than I originally gave it credit for!
While LIES BENEATH wasn’t quite earth-shattering, I really enjoyed it quite a bit. Personally, I would recommend it if you’re looking for a mermaid story, particularly one that has a darker twist. If you’re looking for something different, it has the male POV going for it which I found really enjoyable!
Calder: Calder was a really fun character for me to read/listen to. I loved his tone and although he’s pretty sarcastic, he’s got that “bad boy” swagger that totally makes you like (love) him anyway. Things definitely get interesting when he starts getting to know Lily and we see a little bit of a softer side to him. I just really liked his character and I think the fact that I was surprised by it really helped too!
Lily: Lily was actually just okay for me. I think I felt weird seeing her through Calder’s POV because there was so much beneath the surface (GOSH what is with these puns? I’m not trying, I swear) and we didn’t get to see a lot of that. Then again, the book would have been totally different from her POV and I almost think I may not have liked it as much reading from Lily’s perspective.
This book was really, really good. I’m really glad that I enjoyed it so much — plus it helped that I loved the audiobook narrator! I’m not normally one for mermaid novels but this book was very well put together and just a lot of fun to read.