I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Go the Distance (Disney: a Twisted Tale #11) by Jen Calonita
Series: Disney Twisted Tales #11
Published by Disney Hyperion on 01/05/2021
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
What if Meg had to become a Greek god? After Hercules proves he's a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she cant be with Hercules because she's, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt Olympus as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest. The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex's current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc? The next installment in the Twisted Tales series, Go the Distance features sardonic Meg, a frequent favorite female icon of the Disney catalogue, venturing o? on her own journey for the very first time.
I am using a modified version of the CAWPILE rating system to do my review. If you’re curious about the CAWPILE system, check out this video by Book Roast!
I’m going to be perfectly honest here – I’ve never watched Disney’s Hercules. Everything I know about it is from playing the first Kingdom Hearts game. That’s pretty much it. But, I love the Twisted Tales series, so I had to read Go the Distance regardless.
Since I hadn’t seen the movie, I hadn’t really met Megara or Phil. To be honest, I know who Hades, Hercules, Hera, Zeus, and the other Greek gods are because I do have a thing for Greek mythology. But Megara and Phil were two characters I hadn’t met before.
Again, my only interaction with this character before was playing the Colosseum in Kingdom Hearts. I hated the character in Kingdom Hearts, but I have to say, he grew on me in Go the Distance. He gave Meg sound advice, even if she didn’t want to take it. At the beginning of the book, their distaste for each other is pretty clear. It was nice to see Meg grow on Phil and vice versa.
Meg reminds me a lot of myself. I don’t like to ask for help, I don’t like to depend on others. I also lost family members at a young age, so I know what that is like. Meg’s been hurt and that hurt is never more obvious than when she has to take on this quest for Hera. But she’s a strong, funny character. She ties her own shoes and everything1You’ll have to read the book to understand.
Ok, I’m going to be perfectly honest, the atmosphere is pretty much what you’d expect. A good portion of the book takes place in the various settings in which Meg finds herself trying to complete her quest. So the atmosphere changes rapidly. I will say that the author did a fairly decent job of describing the various places that Meg and her gang found themselves in.
The Writing Style
Believe it or not, this is actually the first book by Jen Calonita that I have read. I found her writing style easy to read. I was able to read this book fairly quickly, without having to struggle to understand what she meant. This is a good thing, especially in a YA novel. She doesn’t use ridiculously flowery language when she writes, but she doesn’t make it so basic you’re rolling your eyes because a first grader could read it. I really like her writing style and I’m looking forward to reading more books by her.
I can’t say I cared much for the premise and plot of the story at first. I was expecting a story that either took place during the course of the original movie or that at least changed something integral to the story. But this was more of an afterthought story – Hercules has received his godhood, but oh wait…. Meg’s mortal. Oops. Better do something about that.
Again, this is probably because I haven’t seen Hercules. I know, I know, I’ll watch it eventually…
This book intrigued me mostly because it was part of the Twisted Tales series. But the book itself held a lot of intrigue as well. Would Meg be able to get into and out of the Underworld under Hades’ nose? Would she have to sacrifice something to get out of the Underworld alive? These were questions I needed answers to as soon as I read what the second half of Meg’s quest for Hera was going to be. So the book definitely kept me intrigued.
I have to admit, I didn’t really see the logic in this particular installment of the Twisted Tales series. Maybe it’s just the way my brain works, but you’d think Hercules would have seen an issue with him being a god and Meg being a mortal in the first place. Yes, I realize that there were instances in Greek mythology in which gods consorted with mortals, but not usually in a manner that made the god want to stay on Earth instead of on Olympus. I’m just saying. But of course, that little bit of flawed logic is necessary or we wouldn’t have a story!
I actually didn’t really start to enjoy this book until Meg actually went to the Underworld to retrieve her ex’s wife. At that point, I really started to get into the book and started enjoying it. That half of the book is what made me rate the book four stars instead of two or three. Had the book not picked up then, I probably wouldn’t have rated it as high as I did.
The ending saved this book. This book was a solid 2-3 star read until I hit the ending – Meg trying to get out of the Underworld with her ex’s wife was what made me start to actually love the book. Plus, the very ending of the book didn’t hurt either. I thought the epilogue was just super cute.
I gave this book 4 stars. I think I’d recommend watching Hercules before reading this if you’ve never seen the movie. You might enjoy the book a bit better.