book reviews, reading

Book Review: “Go the Distance” by Jen Calonita

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hercules was one of my favorite 90s Disney movies. It wasn’t your typical princess story, but if you equate being a Greek god to being a princess then it kind of was. I am Greek and I love mythology, so I was very excited to dive into this Twisted Tale as I make my way through the series. And let me tell you, the author delivered and more!

Calonita did a great job of capturing Meg’s voice. In my opinion, it was a hard one but she did a great job of it. In the movie, I’m not the biggest fan of Meg’s. I kind of thought she was annoying. But in the book so much of her background and why she is the way she is finally gets revealed that you can’t help but love her and feel for her. I related so much to Meg’s story! It talks about her history with her mother when she was younger. Her mom was left to raise Megara on her own and because of that they had little and her mother worked a lot and Meg basically had to care for them both and raise herself. It’s every single mom’s worst fear, and I know because I was one. And I get why her mother told her that she can’t trust or rely on anyone else when she was younger, because when you’ve been abandoned by someone you thought loved you, a deep fear implants itself into you and it’s hard to get rid of. Being a single mom, even if it’s only for a short while, imbues you with this great sense of independence that’s hard to turn once it’s there. It’s not always a bad thing either. Even married now, I’m pretty self-sufficient and I think that’s why my husband and I work so well. It takes a lot of pressure off him that I still want to help provide, and that’s because for a while there I didn’t have a choice. I had to. But in doing so I felt a great sense of pride in taking care of my loved ones, and I still do. I also felt for Megara with her guy troubles. So much of the backstory on the man she sold her soul to Hades for is revealed. I don’t want to spoil any of it, because it’s too good, but it touched a place in my heart that has felt some very similar things as Meg. The Twist of the Tale isn’t really a twist at all to the original movie, but more of an extension. It picks up where the movie leaves off with Hercules becoming a god again. In this story, Hera gives Meg the option to become a god too so she can be with Hercules forever on Mount Olympus. Meg has to complete a seemingly impossible challenge that gets the ball rolling in revealing so many layers of Meg we never got to see in the movie.

This was an easy and fun read. It was hard for me to put it down because I loved all the mythology and the characters so much. And not just because their Disney characters. If this was a book separate from Disney, I would have really loved it too. Greek mythology is so fun and there are endless things writers can do with it to create wonderful stories, and this one is a great addition to that genre. I highly recommend the entire Disney Twisted Tales series, but “Go the Distance” especially.

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