Book Reviews

Review: What it Took by Mercedes Guy

This book hooked me with the mention of mermaids and mythical creatures, but what it left me was angry and incredibly disappointed.


Goodreads summarizes this as: Morgan never felt like she fit in at school, being half human and half mermaid, and she saw herself as the school’s biggest outcast. She led a quiet life with her water nymph guardian, trying to keep her identity a secret in a school of mortals and mythical creatures. Tormented daily by head cheerleader and pixie, Ginger, Morgan finds herself rescued by Leroy, Folly high school’s hot new quarterback and vampire, who asks her out on a date. However, Leroy is not all that he seems, and Morgan’s life becomes increasingly complicated, confusing and frightening.

Emmaline, a mythical creature herself, moves with her family to Folly and is instantly drawn to Morgan. When the song, “Voodoo” by Emmaline’s favorite singer, Alexz Johnson, seems to play on her car stereo every time Morgan is around, she begins to realize that the song’s words have a message for her, and she soon discovers that she is destined to save Morgan—but from what, whom or how, she does not know. As the two spend more time together, Emmaline tries to keep her feelings for Morgan separate from her duty to keep Morgan safe, but it soon becomes impossible to deny the intense desires of her heart. Morgan soon discovers the depth of Emmaline’s feelings and her undying devotion as she learns . . . what it took.


book review What it took by mercedes guy(TW: Rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse)

I want to end on a positive note, so let me just get all the things I didn’t like out of the way. First off, there has to be a trigger warning for rape. While I was reading this, I had seen no other trigger warnings, and this absolutely has to be there. It is just not okay for it not to be. When I was reading it on the train, it absolutely stunned me and hurt me. Even though I feel that it is absolutely not acceptable it had none, I haven’t let this factor influence my overall rating of the book. But it 100% needs to be said, and put into the book.

The Content

Onto the actual substance of the book, there was barely any. First of all, the characters were incredibly type cast. There was little depth to them. Even my favorite ones, Emmaline and Morgan, had little complexity. (And even though they were my favorite, it was because of their interactions. If Guy does something well here, the interactions between them were sweet and they provided this dim light in an otherwise bleak book). They played their roles of protector and heroine who doesn’t think she can be a heroine, but besides that I felt that they had little quirks.

Because of this, the entire book becomes pretty predictable. We know what is going to happen. There are enough hints that from the synopsis you can almost guess the trajectory of the book. These two factors alone wouldn’t be enough to make me give a two star rating, but paired together they spell disaster and I couldn’t finish this book fast enough.

You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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