Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Lies Beneath

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
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*I almost dropped this down to 1 star, but then I started reading Starcrossed and realized that wasn't fair.

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.

Calder

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 (view spoiler). 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.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog including a Review War of Lies Beneath!
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Reading Progress

02/16/2012
11.0% "This book moves fast." 5 comments
02/19/2012
18.0% "Oh goodie! We've got ourselves a creeper! Lol." 7 comments
02/22/2012
24.0% "I don't buy the fact that Lily let her little sister go off alone with people she doesn't know." 5 comments
02/22/2012
38.0% "I don't know how I feel about this book anymore." 2 comments
02/24/2012
45.0% "At least Lily isn't smitten with Calder's stalking. That's gotta count for something!" 3 comments
02/24/2012
52.0% "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. D: This is disturbing." 4 comments
02/25/2012
68.0% ""What do I look like?" "Today you look like a melting sherbet. Delicious." >_> So very disturbing."
02/25/2012
69.0% ""You won't hurt me." "How do you know?" *sigh* This book!" 5 comments
02/25/2012
73.0% ""Slithering stalkers. That's what we are." Well, as long as you admit it..." 2 comments
02/25/2012
84.0% "I'm starting to think authors rely on the shock factor a little too much these days. In any case, I totally saw that coming." 3 comments
02/25/2012
85.0% "Really, Calder? Talking to a dead guy? You have officially lost it. Smh."

Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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message 1: by MizzSandie (new)

MizzSandie If you find out how mermaids/men have sex- please enlighten me! it's always been an unsolvable mystery to me!


Steph Sinclair MizzSandie wrote: "If you find out how mermaids/men have sex- please enlighten me! it's always been an unsolvable mystery to me!"

Hahaha! I have the same question! I'll let you know what the answer is. :)


message 3: by MizzSandie (new)

MizzSandie Stephanie wrote: "MizzSandie wrote: "If you find out how mermaids/men have sex- please enlighten me! it's always been an unsolvable mystery to me!"

Hahaha! I have the same question! I'll let you know what the answe..."


It's probably something many people are wondering... if a book about mermaids/men doesn't have the anwser, then where the F are we supposed to find it?? :)


message 4: by Penny (new) - added it

Penny Raspenny Is it good? I can't imagine how a book with mermaids could be. I mean if it was a movie ok, but a book...? :/


Steph Sinclair Penny wrote: "Is it good? I can't imagine how a book with mermaids could be. I mean if it was a movie ok, but a book...? :/"

So far, I'm not really liking it. But I'm stubborn and determined to finish it!


message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky I'm bummed to hear that, Stephanie! It sounded like a nice venture away from the vampire craze currently taking over YA right now.

(Haha, I also wondered about the logistics behind mermaid/man sex. Of course, I've also always maintained that vampires shouldn't be able to have sex either, so I'm not sure YA is really limited to the constraints of logic...)


Steph Sinclair Becky wrote: "I'm bummed to hear that, Stephanie! It sounded like a nice venture away from the vampire craze currently taking over YA right now.

(Haha, I also wondered about the logistics behind mermaid/man sex..."


It's basically the same PNR story you've read a thousand times with mermaids.


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky Aha! You've written your entire review in a single sentence. ;) Seriously, though, that's disappointing.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Noooooooo!!! Wendy said it had evil mermaids though!!! D: That's a let down...


message 10: by Steph (last edited Feb 25, 2012 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Steph Sinclair Ally wrote: "Noooooooo!!! Wendy said it had evil mermaids though!!! D: That's a let down..."

Yeah, they are evil, but there isn't anything special about this book. We've read it already in the forms of Werewolves, vampires and the fey. And it's predictable. I'm just not a fan of love interests that stalk/have thoughts of killing or eating love interest. It does nothing but turn me completely off to the story.

Becky wrote: "Aha! You've written your entire review in a single sentence. ;) Seriously, though, that's disappointing."

You're right. Maybe I should just copy and paste that sentence right on into my review box and call it a day. :P

But where is the fun in that? Lol.


message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky Stephanie wrote: "I'm just not a fan of love interests that stalk/have thoughts of killing or eating love interest. It does nothing but turn me completely off to the story. "

But what else can PNR authors write about? Character development? PLOT? I'm telling you, there would be chaos in the streets.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

"What do I look like?"
"Today you look like a melting sherbet. Delicious."


Oh. O.o
That's...um...that's attractive?


Nicola Stephanie wrote: "Yeah, they are evil, but there isn't anything special about this book."

This is exactly how I felt about this book! I was really excited to read it too but... meh. Looking forward to your review!


message 14: by Nafiza (new)

Nafiza Re: Question about mermaid sex. I want to know how they reproduce. Do they lay eggs or do they give birth? :\


Steph Sinclair Becky wrote: "But what else can PNR authors write about? Character development? PLOT? I'm telling you, there would be chaos in the streets. "

I know, right? But how can we forget that when a guy says you smell/look delicious that it's a compliment? Silly us!


Steph Sinclair Nafiza wrote: "Re: Question about mermaid sex. I want to know how they reproduce. Do they lay eggs or do they give birth? :\"

The Merpeople have evolved! I'll explain further in the review. ;)

Nicola wrote: "This is exactly how I felt about this book! I was really excited to read it too but... meh. Looking forward to your review! "

The prospect of mermaids had me excited, but it was just a >insert paramnormal creature here< situation.

Ally wrote: ""What do I look like?"
"Today you look like a melting sherbet. Delicious."

Oh. O.o
That's...um...that's attractive?"


It's incredibly sexy apparently. Lol.


message 17: by Rose (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rose I felt the same way, Stephanie.


Michelle This is still in my TBR que, and your comments aren't helping me get to it! Looking forward to the review.


Steph Sinclair Tiffani wrote: "Probably won't pick this up. I picked up several mermaid books that weren't that great."

Aww, that sucks. I really hope mermaids aren't the new Angel when it comes to sucky paranormal books.


message 20: by Kenya (new) - added it

Kenya Wright lol@ reading starcrossed! Are there any really good MErmaid books?


Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews) There seem to be a lot of mermaid novels out or coming out. Between the Sea and Sky, this, Of Poseidon, the sequel, etc.

I am sorry you didn't like this one Stephanie. I have to admit it was an "insert paranormal" here, but I had fun with the evil mermaids. Lovely, detailed review, as always.


Steph Sinclair Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews) wrote: "There seem to be a lot of mermaid novels out or coming out. Between the Sea and Sky, this, Of Poseidon, the sequel, etc.

I am sorry you didn't like this one Stephanie. I have to admit it was an "i..."


I'm off to read your review now, Jessie! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I seem to be the odd one out so far with loving this one... as usual! Lol.

Kenya wrote: "lol@ reading starcrossed! Are there any really good MErmaid books?"

I have no idea! But Of Poseidon looks good!


Steph Sinclair Mary Elizabeth wrote: "good job ;) your review gives us an interesting perspective ..."

Thank you! There are some really great positive reviews up for the book already, so hopefully mine can be helpful with shedding light on why others might not love it.


message 24: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Ew. Well, this is coming off my to read list.


message 25: by Kyle (new)

Kyle As usual, great review! So glad I never marked this as "To-Read". However, your hatred of Starcrossed has piqued my interest for it! XD


message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I only want a partner to want to eat me metaphorically. ;) If he actually wants to om nom nom me for real, I think that's a dealbreaker. And definitely a turn-off. LOL.


Steph Sinclair Kelly wrote: "I only want a partner to want to eat me metaphorically. ;) If he actually wants to om nom nom me for real, I think that's a dealbreaker. And definitely a turn-off. LOL."

LOL @ Om nom nom. LOLz.

Kyle wrote: "As usual, great review! So glad I never marked this as "To-Read". However, your hatred of Starcrossed has piqued my interest for it! XD"

See, that's the mistake I had. First, with Carrier or the Mark and now with Starcrossed. Curiosity got the better of me.


message 28: by ayanami (new)

ayanami For me, it's not just the stalking that's disturbing but the fact that the whole wanting to eat her thing reveals an underlying idea that women are just objects that men consume (and by consume, I don't necessarily mean 'eat', I mean 'use', like consuming a product). In other words, she's not a person, she's an object that men do things to, and is forever in a passive role. I feel like books like this one and Twilight are literally presenting women as food/prey/things to be consumed. It's not even about wanting to kill the girl (because to kill someone, they'd have to be a living, breathing person), it's like wanting to use her as an object. It's not sexy or romantic; it's gross and demeaning.

Anyway, thanks for the review. I'll be avoiding this book. I like YA paranormals a lot, but there are some really disturbing trends in them.


message 29: by Karen (new)

Karen I'm still going to read it, just not with high expectations which is a good thing :P


Steph Sinclair Karen wrote: "I'm still going to read it, just not with high expectations which is a good thing :P"

It's definitely not a bad book, it just didn't live up to its hype for me.

ayanami wrote: "For me, it's not just the stalking that's disturbing but the fact that the whole wanting to eat her thing reveals an underlying idea that women are just objects that men consume (and by consume, I ..."

Yeah, I really dislike the whole "I want to consume you!" trope. It doesn't do anything for me and I find it disturbing.


message 31: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Goodreads tried to recommend this to me and I can't do it. The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie and I watched that bad boy literally everyday for about six months when it first came to VHS (and let me tell you, skipping to my favorite parts was no picnic on a VCR). Having said that, I will never embrace a mermaid whose name is not Ariel. And I really don't see myself reading the book if the author has reduced such mythical creatures into humans that happen to have fins and live under water. Seems criminal.

I mean....mermaids have last names? Call me nitpicky, but that is just weird. You are half man and half fish! That friggin transcends last names! Hancock, really?

And they have jobs? I just picture a mermaid trying to unjam a copy machine and getting mad because someone took the last of the coffee.

And that, my friends, just don't make no sense.

Photobucket


Steph Sinclair Kimberly wrote: "Goodreads tried to recommend this to me and I can't do it. The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie and I watched that bad boy literally everyday for about six months when it first came to ..."

Lol! Vader for the win!

I still own a lot of my old Disney movies on VHS. Skipping the previews was a pain! The mermaids in Lies Beneath have evolved and they transform at will! So now not only do we have to look out for vampires that sparkle, emo werewolves, and fairies that only share Tinkerbell's attitude, but evolved howt mermen! Whatever will we do?!

Party hard.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


message 33: by Kimberly (last edited Mar 09, 2012 09:33AM) (new)

Kimberly Mermaids that can transform at will is an interesting take. Still not sold though. If they periodically burst into song accompanied by a rastafarian crab, I may reconsider.

Emo werewolves aside, I think your gif says it all. We should party hard! LOL


Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri} Since when was "I wanna eat you" romantic?
It seems Twilight and he-who-shall-not-be-named urge to eat/kill the love intrest, it's changed what love is.


Steph Sinclair Syren wrote: "Since when was "I wanna eat you" romantic?
It seems Twilight and he-who-shall-not-be-named urge to eat/kill the love intrest, it's changed what love is."


I guess it adds new intrigue to the story? I don't know. It's not really my thing, but others seem to love Lies Beneath, so I'm the odd one out as usual! Lol.


message 36: by Steph (last edited Mar 22, 2012 10:07AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Steph Sinclair Ebony wrote: "Stephanie, I just read your interview with the author, and she seems like a really nice lady.

Now I have to take all the bitchy gifs out of my review. Thanks alot!"


Lol! How do you think I feel? I said I probably wouldn't read the sequel, but now I hear it's from Lily's pov and that has me changing my mind! Brown is so sweet, I have a feeling she wouldn't want you to change a thing. Just another great example that there are authors out there who can handle negative reviews with grace. :)


message 37: by Shadowlove3 (new)

Shadowlove3 I almost threw up in my mouth when I found out even the guy's sister has the hots for him WTF!


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