Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Lies Beneath* by Anne Greenwood Brown- young adult book review
Lies Beneath
by Anne Greenwood Brown
Ages 12+ 320 pages Delacorte June 2012 Hardcover    

Calder White is the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids who are hungry to seek revenge for their mother’s death. Calder has to temper his sisters’ taste for revenge, his confused emotions about his call to return to the water, and his desire for the beautiful girl that has captured his heart.

Calder White leaves the warm Caribbean waters and heads towards the cold of Minneapolis, drawn by the urge to migrate and the call of his sisters. The three mermaids have found the man who will appease the debt to their dead mother--a man named John Hancock.

In spite of the warnings Hancock’s father gave him, the stories he told to keep him from the water, Hancock has moved his family into a house by the water. He is driven by his hope that a house by the water will help the health of his sick wife, but also because of his own need to be by the water.

Calder and his sisters devise a plan that will include using one of the daughters as bait to bring Hancock into the water. When Calder falls in love with beautiful Lily, however, Calder puts himself in danger by changing the plans and angering his sisters, who then take matters into their own hands.

Author Anne Greenwood Brown’s concept is fresh and her writing tight and seductive. Strong characterization brings the reader up close to the emotionally charged characters, giving insight to their thoughts and motivations, their desires and their weakness and strengths.

The author captures the torment that Calder feels: his conflicted emotions between his desire to avenge his mother’s death and his growing affection for Lily. Plot twists and the paradox between the beauty of the lake and the mermaids versus the eeriness and darkness of what lies beneath the lake and the mermaids’ evil intentions are spellbinding:
“For better or worse, nature had designed us all to attract the human eye, but Pavati a particularly gorgeous specimen as monsters went. Unlike Maris’s and Tuallulah’s pale complexions, Pavati’s was caramel and melted chocolate. Like a Bollywood superstar, she had square shoulders, a narrow waist, and dark-lashed eyes that glowed lavender.

She was, as Maris called her, ‘The Perfect Bait.’”
Seduction, murder and mystery make this story hypnotic and compelling. Lies Beneath has you holding your breath until the very end.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Maya Fleischmann/2012 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (