A huge thank-you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for this e-arc of Go the Distance by Jen Calonita.
Fans of Hercules, this one is for you. Disney is at it again with another brilliant Twisted Tales novel. This one is called Go the Distance and it’s all about Meg!
A few years back, I picked up Reflection, Disney’s Twisted Tale about Mulan, and I was immediately hooked. These retellings of our favorite Disney stories are so creative and fun. Sometimes they answer questions that are still plaguing our minds after watching the animated films hundreds of times. Sometimes they’re a totally new plot. No matter the case, I’ve enjoyed seeing these characters come to life in a brand new and unique way.
When I found out that there was going to be a Twisted Tale for Hercules, I immediately requested the title on NetGalley. I actually hadn’t read the synopsis at all (oops) and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was about fierce and sassy Megara. Even though I didn’t watch Hercules as many times growing up, I still have tons of respect for Meg, so I began greatly looking forward to diving into this story.
It did not disappoint! If anything, it might have topped my love for Reflection (which I didn’t think was possible). But let me explain exactly why I loved it…
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Why fans of Disney’s animated film, Hercules, should read Go the Distance.
What if Meg had to become a 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 can’t 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?
Written by the author of Mirror, Mirror and Conceal, Don’t Feel, Jen Calonita’s latest twist is sure to delight and surprise. (Goodreads Synopsis)
I need to see you understand love is a strength, not a weakness. That putting your trust in someone you love doesn’t mean you can’t stand on your own two feet. It means you know how to share responsibility and accept help when it is needed… I want to see you know how to be vulnerable, Megara. And understand that love means opening your heart even if the story doesn’t always end the way you want it to.go the distance
Over the past few years, I’ve read several of these Twisted Tale stories, but none of them have stood out to me quite like Go the Distance. From the moment it began, I was sucked into the tale and wondered what would happen next. I assumed it would be childish, simple, and end with a way-too-predictable HEA (happily ever after). Instead, I was taken on a wild, emotional journey.
I’ll admit, I didn’t grow up watching Hercules the way some kids did. I’ve seen it, sure, but it doesn’t hold a space in my heart as much as other Disney animated films. However, I always admired Meg. She was bold and feisty and I loved her charisma and determination, even in the face of danger. She knew how to put “Wonder Boy” in his place and stand her ground. I think that’s why a lot of people admire her. After reading this book, there’s only respect in my mind for this strong female character.
In order to stay with Herc forever, Hera sends Megara on a quest to become a god. As is expected, the quest isn’t something easy. In fact, it requires Meg to face her past and save the woman her ex abandoned her for… from the Underworld. Back to Hades’ domain, Meg goes (and didn’t she just manage to escape?), and she has more to unravel than just the emotions tied to her previous romance.
There were some stand-out moments throughout this quest. Times where Meg could have (maybe should have) given up and chosen to remain human. There were times where she made mistakes that were oh-so relatable due to her swirling thoughts and unsure feelings. I highlighted so many quotes in my Kindle as I read and even felt as though Megara became somewhat like a friend. This surprised me greatly since I was going into this assuming it would have an almost middle-grade feel to it, as some of the other Twisted Tales had. I closed the book feeling as though I had actually learned something from it.
My greatest desire after finishing this novel? That they’d turn this book into a movie. I would absolutely watch Meg’s story on the big screen!