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Lies Beneath: Review

Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date: June 2012
Published By: Delacorte Books
Pages: 303
Goodreads Rating: 3.68 stars

Review: Calder White lives in Lake Superior, where he and his fellow mermaid sisters must prey on passing humans to survive. This time, though, they have a target: Jason Hancock, the man responsible for their mother's death. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust through befriending his daughter, but he messes up and falls in love. Now his sisters are taking things into their own hands, forcing him to choose between his familial ties and the girl he loves.

I was hoping this wouldn't be the case, but LIES BENEATH brought up my most dreaded cliche in paranormal romance: the old guy and the young girl. I can't stand romances between characters who are old "on the inside" due to slow aging or immortality and end up falling in love with young girls. It doesn't matter if he looks sixteen or seventeen or what-have-you - he's fifty years old and it feels kind of creepy.

I also didn't really like that the romance itself was predictable. You could see it coming from a while away, even from just reading the beginning of the plot summary, and unfortunately there wasn't really much that distinguished it from similar romances in similar novels. The concept of killer mermaids was interesting, but it wasn't enough to make this stand out.

However, I still did enjoy several elements of the story, such as the excellent character development. Calder had a complicated relationship with his sisters, including a very unexpected plot twist later on, and this was characterized well through the writing. It wasn't just a simple sibling rivalry but something complex and interesting.

All in all, LIES BENEATH has many elements that don't stand out among other young adult paranormal romances. The romance itself is somewhat cliche and uses the old-guy-young-girl trope, and though the concept is intriguing, the execution is predictable. However, excellent character development brought this story to life and kept it as an enjoyable read.


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