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I Belong

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Title: Lies Beneath

Author: Anne Greenwood Brown

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Lies Beneath (Book 1)

Publication Date: June 12, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 303 Pages

ISBN-10: 0385742010 (Random House Kids)

ISBN-13: 978-0385742016 (Random House Kids)

Reviewed by: Kayla


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.

Quick & Dirty: A mermaid falls in love with the daughter of a revenge target. Filled with a sweet romance, loving family, a not-so-caring family and a boy wishing for freedom.

Opening Sentence: I hadn’t killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Told from Calder’s point of view, this story explores the monsters lurking underneath the waves of Lake Superior. Calder tries to escape from his sisters – key word: tries. While his three sisters stick together around Lake Superior, Calder opts to vacation in the Bahamas during the winter, but every spring, Calder is pulled back to the lake and forced to spend an entire summer with his sisters. But this time it’s different. The sisters call him back earlier because they think they’ve finally found their mother’s killer’s son – Jason Hancock. Calder reluctantly returns from the sun to the cold waters of the lake. Determined to exact revenge on the man who killed their mother, Calder and his sisters plot to seduce one of Jason’s daughters – only, when the time comes, it’s Calder’s choice of which daughter is taken from him. Now the only way to get Jason into the water is though his oldest daughter – Lily. Try as he might, good looks and savvy flirting skills aren’t going to win over Lily – instead he might just end up falling.

I read this book while on the beach…while it was cold…and found myself looking for something that might just resemble a mermaid (although I did see several cute guys). Even though I didn’t find a lick of the paranormal, I did discover this amazing world of mermaids, revenge and family. I’m always welcome to guy narrators, but usually they are either completely boring or way too graphic. Calder’s voice was a perfect balance of the scramble of his thoughts and narration. As for the character himself, he was well developed and we could see his motives change as he begins to question his way of life (sucking all emotion from humans – that’s the way mermaids eat).

The girls in this book were amazing, even from the point of view of a guy. I found it ironic that Lily was the mysterious girl who catches the eye of the guy, and I was laughing when Calder tried to figure her out. After reading so many girl-narrated books, I found Lily quite easy to decipher, but with Calder, he was completely clueless on the matter. Just an ironic twist to the YA world. The sisters in their own right were each well developed, even for minor characters. Each one had their own motives for doing whatever they were doing, but they were all connected by the familial bond and the drive to kill. Complete sirens in themselves, but this book would not be nearly has interesting without them.

Overall, this was a great book. The twists in this book I did not see coming. There were things I was confused on, like how the sisters could blame Hancock for the mother being caught in a net, but hopefully it’ll dive into more detail in the next book. MAJORish cliffhanger at the end, but the next book Deep Betrayals comes out soon!

Notable Scene:

That was what had drawn Pavati to the old man the other day, and all three of my sisters to the college kids. That was what had drawn my mother to Lily’s own grandfather. I almost wanted to tell her the story. How he’d been so happy he was a magnet to her. How she capsized the boat and brought him down, but he fought back. How he regained the surface and pleaded with her. How she offered him the life of a merman, but he rejected her, so she demanded an exchange, another life for his. How he offered his son–only one at the time. How she swam him back to shore and waited by the dock.

How a second later the family was running for the car and racing out of town. How she followed the road along the shore. And then finally how she was strangled in a fisherman’s net.

What would Lily have thought if I’d laid it all out there like that? Would she have run away screaming, knowing that we were here to collect on that promise?

Lily wasn’t so obtuse that she couldn’t see something was bothering me. She leaned out of the kayak and draped her arm around my shoulder, laying her cheek against mine, comforting me without really knowing how wrong this was. I jerked away, not realizing I’d come close enough for her to touch me. A spark jumped through the air between her arm and my back.

I could choose not to kill Lily Hancock. That choice was still mine to make. I could protect her from my sisters. But there was one thing beyond my control. In the end, I would still deceive her. Jason Hancock was still marked for death.

Lies Beneath:

1. Lies Beneath

2. Deep Betrayal

3. Promise Bound (January 2014)

FTC Advisory: Random House Children’s Books provided me with a copy of Lies Beneath. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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