What It Took by Mercedes Guy

four stars

mercedesIn What It Took: Daughters of the Ocean Book 1, author Mercedes Guy takes the reader on a mythical journey through a seemingly regular world where magical creatures live beside one another as if it’s no big deal. We follow main character Morgan, a teenage girl who just happens to be half mermaid. Morgan tries her best to live a quiet life and stay out of trouble, but it proves to be rather hard for her, as she often catches the attention of the school’s head cheerleader and bully, the nefarious pixie, Ginger. When a hot new quarterback and vampire named Leroy moves to school and asks Morgan out, her life becomes even more complicated, as Leroy has a few secrets of his own he doesn’t seem willing to share. Add in another new student named Emmaline, who also finds herself drawn to Morgan, and strongly feels an unexplainable urge to protect her, even though she’s unsure of what Morgan really needs protecting from. It’s not long before the two girls find their relationship evolving past a typical friendship as strong emotions get tangled up in the waters.

Mercedes Guy dreams up a world where magical beings attend the same high school, as teenage angst and strange abilities and attributes mix together, allowing a fun and dramatic story to unfold on the page. What It Took is an entertaining and suspenseful read, as we follow along protagonist Morgan whose life is quickly getting more and more complicated. With two new students thrown into the mix who find themselves falling under Morgan’s spell, the narrative ramps up, as we come to realize Morgan may be more important than her often demure personality displays. As the first book in planned series, this novel does a great job of setting up a new world, telling an enthralling story, and leaving a few loose ends so that future tales can spin out from what has been crafted here. What It Took is sure to appeal to YA readers and fantasy fans alike.

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