Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
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 and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
Okay, I'm not going to lie, I went into this book truly afraid I wasn't going to like it, that I would want to throw it across the room because the characters were angsting too much. You could say that I'm very wary when it comes to YA Paranormal, especially if I'm not an angst "Oh! I cannot be with you!" fan (just my personal preferences). I also am wary with male perspectives (that's pure personal bias that I'm not one-hundred percent proud of). So needless to say I started reading it with the lowest expectations. Thus, when I ended up with my eyes attached to the book and enjoying it, I was happily surprised.
Yes, Calder does seem a bit melodramatic for my taste, and Lily plays the part of sacrificial lamb. Yes, they cannot be and it is very dramatic, but there are a lot of other things that were more up my alley. Their love developed slowly, with Calder trying to charm her pants off because he's supposed to and Lily pretty much ignoring him. Calder's sisters are top notch villains with interesting and different personalities, and the idea and mythology of the mermaids is so well done. This idea is unique and actually had made me nervous to take my backpacking trip up the edge of Lake Superior a few months after I had finished it.
The writing has a rather poetic, dramatic (like stage play dramatic) tone to it that I like, and most of the side characters seem to have their own direction and depth to them that is unusual in a lot of books that worked to add a layer of realism to a paranormal tale.
I absolutely adored the twist at the end where it turns out that Lily's father is actually a merman and just never knew it, that technically Calder's foster mother was Lily's blood grandmother, making Lily some kind of mer-hybrid-thing. The thing is, is that Brown forshadowed this like crazy, but I didn't even suspect that was the truth and I think that proves how well she did it, foreshadowing can be a very thin line to walk (you don't want to make it too obvious, but you want reader's to realize the twist was ALWAYS there).
I recommend this book to people who love mermaid stories, but wants something a bit different, for people who love Lake Superior and for people who enjoy good villains. I am very happy that despite my reservations I chose to read this book.