Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

1 March, 2012 Reviews 4 comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood BrownLies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on June 12th 2012
Pages: 303
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.

What a disappointment.

I was looking for a new Paranormal creature to love and thought that could be found within the pages of Lies Beneath. But you know what I found? The same old story we’ve all read before over and over again. The truth is this isn’t a badly written book, but there is nothing special about it that sets it apart from your usual Young Adult fair (I wish I had written my review as soon as I finished the book because it is very forgettable). Take out the mermaids and inset your favorite paranormal creature and you’ll find you’ve been around this rodeo before.

Lies Beneath tells the story of Calder White, a merman, who along with his three sisters, attempt to plot a man’s murder. The man, Jason Hancock, is believed to have been the cause behind their mother’s death, so naturally they seek revenge. In order to get closer to Hancock, Calder stalks Lily Hancock hoping to befriend her and earn her father’s trust. What happens next? He falls in love with her, of course. And the rest, as they say, is history.

This book could have been amazing. It had an interesting premise with evil mermaids that have the ability to transform into human bodies. So if you were wondering how it was possible for mermaids to reproduce… well, there’s your answer. Unfortunately, Lies Beneath failed to follow through on a few issues:

The Romance

Why, oh why do Young Adult authors continue to go down the insta-love path? Before Calder even gets a chance to have a real conversation with Lily, let alone get to know her, love was already being mentioned. It’s one thing for him to be physically attracted to her, but an entirely different for his sister to suspect him being in love after just one encounter. They had absolutely no time to develop a relationship, so where did all this magical love come from?

*Rubs temples*

 The Stalking

Perhaps some people find it incredibly romantic to be stalked by a paranormal creature. I’m not one of them. I don’t care that Calder was stalking Lily because he was on a mission to murder her father. He was a creeper. He literally does nothing but stalk her the entire book. Where does he sleep? In her backyard. Where does her work? At her job. Does he do anything else in the book besides follow Lily around or think about Lily? No. I think her only changed his clothes once or twice throughout the entirety of the book because he is too busy watching Lily day and night.

Then there is the whole business of him finding her delicious. The mermaids in Lies Beneath feed off of human emotions because they can not create their own. So they lure humans into the water and kill them by sucking all their emotions out. I’m going to let you be the judge on if you would like a guy to think of you in this way:

“I’d be trapped with her right at my side for the next several hours–her radiating that succulent sweetness into the air. Tingling on my tongue. Begging to be consumed.”

“Once or twice I had the urge to scoop her up and dive over the side of the ferry. But there were too many witnesses.”

“What do I look like?”
“It changes, of course, depending on your mood. Today you look like melting orange sherbet. Delicious.”

How is that romantic? It is disturbing! Why is this continually romanticized in Young Adult novels? Is it because it’s “totally romantic” they way he chooses the girl over his cravings? No, just no. I don’t buy that. I will not accept that.


I did not like him at all. Conceded, cocky, pig-headed. I’m not sure why these particular traits are always relied upon when writing from a male PoV, but I grow tired of seeing the same reincarnated characters over and over. When Calder first starts to stalk Lily, he is shocked she isn’t immediately taken by him because he’s gorgeous and girls usually always fall at his feet without any effort. Of course. But Lily is different and is not impressed with him. So then we have Calder attempting to figure out what’s wrong with her because she isn’t trying to peel her panties off like everyone else with a pair of ovaries (even his sister!). Gimme a break!

Then there was a really odd scene where Calder is under the sea talking to a dead guy pretending that it’s his father. Huh? O_o

The Ending

I predicted every plot twist well before it happened. Nothing surprised me in this book and I think that is partly because the foreshadowing was poorly done. I feel like they were a little too obvious allowing the reader to figure out what was going on before the characters. This was not irony.  Instead, it made the characters appear slow and caused me boredom. I can’t even say I’ll be picking the sequel up because the ending left me with no desire to continue on with this series.

EDIT: I recently found out book two is told from Lily’s pov, so I’m more inclined to give the sequel a shot.

Would I recommend it? No, probably not because I have a feeling this book is one of those “hit or miss” titles. But, I will say that if you are a fan of Hush, Hush, Twilight, Evermore, and Wings this may be up your alley.

ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

4 Responses to “Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown”

  1. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I clicked on the spoiler. How…disturbing. O_o

    I was looking forward to getting round to this! It’s a shame you think it’s the same old YA story we’ve read countless times. That sucks. 🙁 I’m hoping I enjoy it more!

    • Stephanie Sinclair

      Yes, it was very disturbing. I’m not sure why it was even included in the book because it doesn’t seem to be directly related to the plot. Maybe it will come up later as the series goes on.

      I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I seem to be the odd one out so far on this considering majority of the ratings and reviews seem to be overall very positive.

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