Lies Beneath – Anne Greenwood Brown

Synopsis from Goodreads.
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.

“Would you please get it into your head that this is not a movie. Forget everything you think you know about merpeople. Forget that freaking Ariel, think Silence of the Lambs, think Friday the Thirteenth.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Considering I thought I would absolutely hate this, I’m pleasantly surprised.

High Points.
Boy narrator! Evil mermaids. Lake Superior. Curses. Flirtatious fishes. The Bahamas. BBQs. Hammocks. A lady love interest who wasn’t completely ridiculous. A chance to have every single Little Mermaid song embedded in your soul for the entire you time you read this book.

Low Point.
OK, I actually only have one low point and I know it’s going sound stupid before I even say it… or, um, you know… write it.
But I’m going to do it anyway, my main problem was: mermaids.
“But, um, Jo… the synopsis has-”
“I know!”
“And the-”
“I know, I know.”
“Jo, the main character has a tail.”
I knew this and I truly wanted to believe.
I was the kid who watched The Little Mermaid approximately a million times and I was the kid who used to pretend the back of my chair was a rock and I’d climb up on it while warbling and pretending to be a mermaid. I even joined the queue of camera-snappy tourists and stood awkwardly next to the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.

The main problem I had with this book was that I wanted more of a back story with these merpeople.
What I did know (and could get my head around) I liked, but I think if you’re trying to sell something like mermaids to me, you need to make your case flawless.
I wanted to know about others and how you become one and the history of them and do they just live in Lake Superior and the Bahamas or are there merpeople swimming in the Thames? And the Menai Straits?
Also, the ending made me feel a bit “Ick, really?” and even though there was an explanation, it still troubled me.

All that being said, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I truly believe that people will love this book and they should because it’s so different than anything out there.
I’m just still bitter that I didn’t grow up to be a mermaid.
I’m a Piscean for goodness’ sake, it’s practically my right.

Oh Calder, mate, we need to talk.
I know you’re a merhunk and you’re from under the sea and I understand that the rules for courting a lady are probably a bit different down where it’s wetter.
And I know you want to protect your lady and see that she gets home OK, but watching her from the bushes? Watching her from the lake with just your eyes above the surface? HER WARDROBE?!
I know this whole merpeople thing is new to me but do merladies really like being peeped at from behind some coral or, like, a shark or something? Is watching from the shadowy bowels of a ship-wreck the height of romance?
Call me old fashioned but I like it when a boy just texts me to see if I’m alright.
Also, reading poetry to a girl so you can get into her kecks? Yeerugh.
How do mermaids even learn to read?! Are there mer-schools?! Mer-universities?!

Love Interest.
Eh. OK, Lily was alright.
While I was reading it I was thinking that she didn’t have much of a personality but actually she did. She wasn’t insipid like some heroines are and she wasn’t completely useless. She was a bit too accepting at the fact that her boyfriend is fish from the waist down and that his trousers smell of kelp, though.
But whatever, he sounds hot. He’s a swimmer and he’s built and he has curly hair. Boom. Forgiven.
I mean, this girl goes swimming in lakes in April (I think that’s when it was set but still, I imagine it’d be a bit nippy no matter what the month!). So she must be pretty hardcore.
She also dresses like a Victorian poet because she likes Victorian poets (long black courdroy skirts and high-neck ruffle blouses… :-| )
Um, Lily my dear, I love superheroes but you don’t see me running around wearing a… um, actually never mind.
*adjusts cat mask and slinks off into the night*

Oh man, now these are the girls I wanted to spend more time with.
Well… um, from a distance.
Because they’d eat me, actually eat me.
But wow, they were cool.
Sorry Calder, but you’re such a wuss in comparison.
I would like a series written about these ladies.

Theme Tunes.
Electric Feel by MGMT.

With the voltage running through her skin
Standing there with nothing on
She gonna teach me how to swim.

Mmmmhmmm, that’s what the kids are calling it now, eh Calder?
Also, mermaids are apparently electric.
Not entirely sure why but HEY, it fits in with my song choice so I’m willing to accept it.
And another one.
Yes, you get two because I’m feeling generous.

Part of Your World by Darren Criss.

Could it be anything else?
Because it’s Darren Criss singing Disney songs.
Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted an excuse to use one of them as theme tune?! DO YOU!?
Also, Calder has curly dark hair and he recites Tennyson to his lady loves so I imagine a singer songwriter isn’t too far off.

Dear Darren Criss,
Please grow your hair like this again,

Sadness Scale
Wow, I know that is high but don’t worry this book isn’t actually that sad. Sure there are a few moments which are pretty sad but they’re kind of glossed over. I’m not sure whether this was intentional because meremotions are a no-no, but that’s fine with me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that mermaids don’t get sad… they get eeeeeevil.
Which is good, you know, because eeeeevil is always better than angsty.
But the rating is for me.
I thought I understood what it takes to be a mermaid but I had so many puzzling questions after I finished this book that I came to realise I could never be one.
And that made me sad because now I have to seriously reconsider my life plan.

Recommended For.
People who are looking for a book about mermaids that is kinda plausible. People who like to read Tennyson while they’re wearing ruffles. People who make sure they go diving with a hot merman just in case their oxygen runs out. People who understand that not all mermaids have talking sea creatures as their friend. People who can get on hammocks without making a twonk of yourself and flashing the neighbours.

An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publishers via Netgalley.

3 thoughts on “Lies Beneath – Anne Greenwood Brown

  1. Ummm, not sure if I'll be picking this one up, but loved the review. However, I am intrigued/repelled by a ruffle-donning heroine.

    Can anybody get on a hammock gracefully? Does such a person exist? If so, then I am forever in awe!

  2. Thanks Anna! I assure you it's a lot better than you think it will be. But I think there will be people who will like it a lot more than me :)
    And yes… the ruffles. THE RUFFLES.

    Re: Hammock. I tend to just launch myself at them and hope for the best.

  3. Pingback: [Review] Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown | The Bawdy Book Blog

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