Go the Distance

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4.5 (2)
 
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Go the Distance
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
April 06, 2021
ISBN
9781368063807
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

A Hero's Journey is Never Done
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Go the Distance by Jen Calonita is the latest installment in Disney’s Twisted Tale series. This time the story focuses on one of my favorites, Hercules, and twists the story at the end of the tale. What if Hercules wasn’t allowed to become human to live with Meg? Instead, what if the gods sent Meg on her own quest and allowed her to become a god? To me, this question needed to be explored. It was something I had wondered as a child. If Hercules parents loved him so much and went through all that to bring him home, why couldn’t they convert Meg as well? Go the Distance fleshes out Meg’s character in a way the original cartoon did not, giving life and depth to the choices she made both prior to meeting Hercules and after.

Told mainly from Meg’s point of view, I found myself rooting for Meg in a way that I hadn’t before. We see her vulnerabilities, the trials she’s already faced in her life, how she wound up working for Hades in the first place, and the way she falls in love even when she really doesn’t want to. My heart broke learning about her childhood, her first love, and how everything is ripped from her. The part that truly broke me is how she expected it to be ripped from her at every turn. No part of Meg’s life had shown her that some people stay. That was heartbreaking.

The plot of this one was muddled, and the pace was inconsistent. I struggled to finish it. Meg is given her task by Hera, first to find Athena’s lost lute and if she can do that, then the rest of her quest will be revealed. At this point of the story, Meg is doubting her love for Hercules, questioning if she wants this opportunity, which makes her determination on the quest ironic. Flipping between past and present with little transition left me lost, thinking I’d skipped a page by accident. Not only that but it distracted from the present plot Meg was facing. Eventually the flashbacks tied into the present day for Meg, making sense and giving clarity to the story.

Overall, while I didn’t love Go the Distance, I did enjoy it enough to finish the story. I’ll admit that I did skim through some chapters, only reading dialogue to find out what I might be missing. Meg is a strong character both in cartoon and on paper. I loved seeing more of her story here. If you enjoy retellings and mischief making gods, you will enjoy this one.
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A perfect twist on one of Disney's best movies
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Hercules proved he was a true hero and became a god like his parents, Zeus and Hera. Meg is thrilled for him and shocked when he says he wants to stay with her. The problem? Zeus won't let Hercules go back to being a mortal, and Meg can't join him in Olympus because she is a mortal. Hera offers Meg a quest to become a god: she must once again journey to the Underworld and then save the wife of her ex boyfriend, the one she gave up her soul to save. Meg must battle literal demons and her own inner ones if she wants to stay with the god she loves.

As soon as I saw Hercules was next up in Disney's Twisted Tales series, and focusing on Meg at that, I was ecstatic. Hercules is one of my favorite Disney movies, and Meg is my favorite character. There was such joy in reading this book. In GO THE DISTANCE, we get so much more information about Meg. We see what her childhood was like, how her previous relationship developed, and how deep her fear of being abandoned is. For the first time, she has to stop running and face her past in order to move forward. She has to learn hard lessons on accepting help from others, opening her heart, and being vulnerable. Her emotional arc is beautifully written, and I was ready to sob in the last couple of chapters.

Not only do we learn more about Meg, but we also get to see more of the women in the movie who didn't get much screen time: Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, and Katerina, the woman Meg's ex moved on with who isn't originally named in the movie but mentioned. I love how the gods in particular work together and help Meg in her journey, reluctant as she is to accept help at first. Especially in regards to Hera, sometimes someone else has to see something in you that you don't recognize yet in order to find it yourself.

While I love the ending of Hercules the movie, I almost like the conclusion GO THE DISTANCE leaves us with better. A hero's hardest quest is often fought on the inside, with ourselves, and the journey can change us completely.

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