Goodreads Summary: "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."
Don't let the utterly gorgeous cover of this one fool you, though there are merMAIDS in the novel this one is about their brother. Yeah, that's right. A merMAN/BOY. I hadn't realized that when I requested it for review, I had just skimmed the synopsis and saw the captivating cover and knew I wanted to give a read. That childhood obsession with mermaids? Yeah, that's starting to come back. Anyway, imagine my surprise within the first few pages when I realize that this mermaid (I had been picturing the one on the cover) was revealed to be a HE. I think reread those first few pages about a dozen times just to be sure I wasn't mistaken.
Tera Lynn Childs was the one that had gotten me interested in mermaids all over again with her light-hearted series; Lies Beneath is that series polar opposite. Its a lot darker. These mermaids aren't Ariel from The Little Mermaid, as the characters remind you. These are mermaids as the monsters that lurk at the bottom of the water. These are terrifying creatures that are out to murder you. And I loved them just as much, if not more.
Calder was the Holden Caulfield of the mermaid world. And I mean that in nicest possible way. He was so lost, like Holden, determined to only look at the negative as he was a monster and a merman. It was how things were supposed to be. And yet, there was something more to him, a sort of hope for difference. I loved Calder, he's officially on my list of fictional boyfriends.
I loved the Lily was a different kind of heroine. She was so off the beaten path from what you normally see in today's YA. She loved Victorian poetry, she wanted to be different and she didn't fear standing out from those around her. She was an original and she was most importantly herself. I loved her sense of style, and share with her a few favorite poets. She was naive yet smart, hopeful yet she was able to face the truth, and she was a family first kind of girl.
And one of the best parts? Lily recognized Calder's dangerous-ness. She didn't go towards him. She didn't play the dopey heroine that ignored all the warning signs like you see in a lot of paranormal romances. Not that this one is a total paranormal romance. Its really more of Calder's coming of age story, but still.
I couldn't stop reading this book, it drew me in from the first page and I just watched as the percentages rapidly climbed. For a girl who has been in a total reading slump, reading books has seriously been like pulling teeth, it was a pleasant change to be devouring one in record time. You just really get invested into the storyline from the beginning between the sibling rivalry, the revenge plot, and the other interesting family dynamics going on...and did I mention there are mermaids? FOUR of them. I cannot wait until the sequel, told from Lily's perspective, is released!
This E-ARC was provided for me by Netgalley and Delacorte Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.