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REVIEW: She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot

Dear Ms. Cabot:

She Went All the WayYou know that I love your work, right? That I have an inappropriate girl crush on you and all? So it’s with some dismay that I have to write this letter which talks about why I didn’t like this latest reprint of yours. Part of the problem was that the voice of the narration was too juvenile for the age of the main protagonists. The other part of the problem was the leaps of faith that you required me to take. I was just too reluctant to jump with you this time.

Lou Calabrese wrote a smash screenplay for Hollywood called Hindenburg. It was a “vehicle” for her boyfriend of 10 years, Barry aka Bruno di Blase. Bruno pays her back by running off with his co star, Greta Woolston. Woolston is the girlfriend of the silver screen action hero, Jack Townsend. Jack is in Alaska shooting scenes for Copkiller IV also written by Lou.

Lou and Jack have a past. They’ve known each other for years. Worked together on Copkiller I. Jack dated and supposedly stomped all over the poor heart of Lou’s best friend, an actress. Despite this long history and lack of respect for each other, for some reason, Jack and Lou can’t stop their instant lusting, an instant lusting that never reared its head in the past.

As I told one of my friends about this book any “Hollywood” type of book requires some suspension of disbelief, particularly when there is Alaskan gun scenes involved but the romance required some suspension of disbelief as well. But a reader had to suspend disbelief that everything was so coincidental. First, there was the convenient pairing of the two after their respective “others” ran off. (Of course, with Lou, Barry leaves her, but with Jack, he was tired of his girlfriend). Second, there was, of course, the aforementioned Alaskan gun scenes. Third, places of shelter kept appearing whenever the two needed them giving them ample time to “shack up” together. (my poor attempt at a pun). But what finally drove me over the edge was the contrived way in which the couple falls in love.

These two don’t hate each other. They lack respect for each other and thus it didn’t seem plausible that all of a sudden they would be in instant lust. Jack is a standard man who can’t keep his pants zipped and had already moved on from Greta’s defection. She wanted marriage and he just wanted to get laid. I’m to assume that Lou is going to fall for this guy just because he put his arm around her when she cried? And that Jack suddenly finds that matrimony might be a great idea because he spent a few nights in the snow with Lou?

At times the story was fun and funny:

Almost all of his relationships with women were flirtatious in nature. Lou Calabrese was just about the only woman he’d ever known-’with the exception of his mother, of course-’who had always seemed completely oblivious to his, er, charms. Not oblivious to the fact that other women found him attractive, of course. Otherwise, why would she keep writing all those scenes in which Pete Logan was required to drop trou?

Lou is very likeable. She’s the sister of four cops. Her movie, Copkiller, is like an homage to her brothers and her father. She’s a success in a male dominated industry. But many times I found the mental lusting and instant attraction so out of place that it was distracting. (Plus, Jack is kind of a tool) It had some trademark Cabot cuteness, but I think was too cute, too contrived and ultimately not for me. C.

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in trade paperback or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. snarkhunter
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 07:20:50

    Well, FWIW, this was Meg’s first adult contemporary romance. I agree that it’s implausible…but I love it anyway. :)

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  2. B
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 08:02:55

    Yeah, I loved it too. It was a lot of fun.

    And it’s really not any more implausable than a Viking warrior with a shaved chest, perfectly white, straight teeth, and no beard (my fiance is Scandanavian. Danish, to be precise. Showing him cover snark for Viking romances is like a history lesson).

    Ah, books. The only thing that does implausibility with more enthusiasm is movies. ;)

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  3. SB Sarah
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 08:48:41

    Wow. Get outta my head, Jane. That was the exact thing I would have said about this book, too. Contrived, with an odd “lust lust lust HELLO I love you because my boners for you are different from my normal boners!” dance.

    I think the first scene I really, really enjoyed was when her brothers and father are driving to the airport after news of the crash has hit the airwaves, and when Lou and Jack are in the bar and Lou tells him that his mom and her dad are in the hotel waiting in Anchorage. I literally laughed out loud. But sadly, Cabot has raised the bar in terms of her ability to crack me up so if I only get two giggles out of the book, and spend the rest of my time trying to find higher and higher hooks upon which to suspend my belief, then I am a disappointed wench.

    But man, do I ever have a weakness for behind-the-scenes Hollywood romance novels. It’s almost embarrassing.

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  4. Jane
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 09:02:26

    Yeah, I wasn’t convinced that Jack’s boners were all that different from girl to girl. Seemed to me that Jack got a boner just being around female body parts. I loved Lou and her family. Definitely should be sequels about those guys.

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  5. Caitie
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 09:35:09

    I actually loved this book. Not the most realistic tale, but I really enjoyed it all the same. This was the book that got me started on Meg Cabot’s books :)

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  6. Joyce
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 13:17:59

    Sorry that I have to disagree on my first-time reply, but this book was pretty entertaining for me. Plus it was way more believable than another (quite popular) book I read around the same time. In the other book, the heroine, who directs commercials, picks up some type of automatic machine gun, points it in the direction of the bad guy and hero, pulls the trigger, yet manages to NOT actually shoot anyone. Now that was unbelievable.

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  7. asrai
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:10:51

    See for me that kind of instant lusting is normal for me. But maybe i’m abnormal. Hmm, think I answered my own question.

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  8. LAmonkeygirl
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 21:53:41

    One of my biggest problems with this book involves a

    S

    P

    O

    I

    L

    E

    R

    I hated that the villain was, you guessed it, the short guy. ENOUGH WITH THE SHORT VILLAINS ALREADY! My husband is 5’5″ and heroic in every way, and I am so tired of seeing the mocking and villification of shorter men in books and film (yes, Shrek, it’s okay if you’re ugly, you can still get the girl, but it isn’t okay for the short prince to, you know, actually have self esteem). Can someone please write a short (or at least shorter) hero? Please?

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  9. Jennie
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 22:08:57

    You did better than I did. I couldn’t finish it.

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  10. Shannon
    Mar 21, 2008 @ 10:24:20

    I have to say, I didn’t hate this book. You are correct in that so much of it was over the top. It was fun, but nothing spectacular. Now, her brothers… sequels please! Especially now that Ms. Cabot has more experience writing for adult audiences. The way those men interacted and treated one another, makes you think she has brothers IRL.

    ReplyReply

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