Anne Greenwood Brown
Lies Beneath #1
Published June 12, 2012 by Delacorte (Random House)
YA paranormal romance
Egalley from NetGalley
For the first few chapters, I thought I would hate this book, but in the end I actually enjoyed it. It was a good light read, and the male narrator was enough of a change from Everything Else to make it a bit more interesting.
Lies Beneath is basically the same book as about a dozen others I've read in the past year. Dangerous boy with superpowers, semi-normal girl, issues, etc. The only differences are that Calder is a merman rather than a vampire or nephilim or werewolf or whatever else is out there, which isn't really a lot, and that he's the narrator, which is a slightly more interesting twist but still wouldn't have been enough to make me like the book on its own. However, in the end, it turned out to be a pretty good book.
When the Hancock family moves back to Lake Superior, Calder and his sisters see it as the perfect opportunity to exact their revenge for the death of their mother. Calder is elected most likely to be able to get close to one of the two daughters, but finds himself falling in love with Lily Hancock. As you can see, it's definitely a rather cliched storyline, though on the plus side, no vampires. (I'm tired of vampires.) The story doesn't really provide surprises, but it is pretty well-written and well-paced, and Calder's perspective, while a little angsty, is an unusual take on the story – one that, happily, doesn't involve him falling head-over-heels in love the first time he sees Lily.
I do have a couple of issues with the book. It's a little overly moralizing in places; any moral a story contains should always be implicit, or you risk alienating your audience. Luckily this is only a small problem in a couple of places, and not bad enough to be really annoying. I wasn't terribly impressed with one or two of the plot decisions – once again, I feel I must point out that the plot serves the characters and not the other way around. Anything else is jarring and wrecks the whole suspension of disbelief thing. Again, not a huge issue in this book, but enough of one that I feel compelled to point it out.
Otherwise, if you're looking for a light beach read, Lies Beneath would be a good choice, because who wouldn't want to read about killer mermaids while sitting next to a large body of water. It's a fun book, with a story typical of YA, and if you like that sort of thing you'll certainly enjoy this book. However, if you're bored with the standard YA paranormal romance, Lies Beneath probably isn't for you.
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