Desert Isle Keeper
She Went All The Way
If you’re looking for a book to jump-start your reading during these gray January days, look no further. She Went All the Way is a fast, funny, sexy, romantic ride.
I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m a sucker for those Hollywood romances. And, even though I’ve polished off quite a few of them in the past few years, Ms. Cabot’s real-life movie experience (The Princess Diaries) has helped her give this one more of an insider’s ring than any other I’ve read. And, from where I sit, that’s pretty darn cool.
Screenwriter Lou Calabrese, a formerly chubby New York policeman’s daughter, rose to fame at an early age by penning Copkiller, a starring vehicle and imminently successful movie franchise for Jack Townsend, “Hollywood’s Hottest Hunk.” Even though Lou is now an Oscar-winning writer for the mega-hit Hindenberg (Read: Titanic) Lou’s a bit shaky these days since her long-time live-in boyfriend (an untalented clod who rocketed to stardom in Hindenberg) dumped her to abruptly marry his co-star in the film who, wouldn’t you know it, also happened to be involved with Jack. (Breakups are bad enough, can you imagine adding Public Humiliation into the mix?)
Now Lou hates Jack – hates him, I tell you – for a number of reasons. Reason One: He dumped her best friend. Reason Two: She thinks he’s the King of Casual Sex. Reason Three (and by far the most egregious): He changed one of her lines. To add insult to injury, to rub salt in the wound, and to keep her so annoyed that she writes the most horrendous and horrific scenes for Jack involving snakes and any other kind of torture she can think of, the line he so callously changed ended up as Jack’s “Make my Day” style signature. No wonder she hates him!
Now Jack, wafting aimlessly along in an ever-changing sea of starlets, knows Lou hates him. So, when it appears that the two, along with the director’s wife, will be sharing the same helicopter while traveling to the remote Alaska set of Copkiller IV, nobody’s happy with the arrangements. Especially when the director’s wife – the close friend of Lou’s who was dumped by Jack aeons ago – receives a message necessitating that she stay behind. Jack and Lou alone together? Could things get any worse?
Of course, they can – and they do when the pilot suddenly pulls a gun mid-flight and announces that he’s been paid to kill Jack and throw his body out of the helicopter. The pair’s noble attempt to save themselves (of course, there can’t be any witnesses left alive) ends when the helicopter crashes. In the woods. In Alaska. In the snow.
Clearly, this is bad. Very bad. Especially when it becomes painfully obvious that whoever wants Jack dead seems to be far more successful in locating the pair than their potential rescuers seem to be.
With two great characters and a fast-moving story line, Meg Cabot has spun a pretty darn close to perfect opposites-attract kind of tale. Lou is a wonderful heroine – a talented woman who stayed way-too-long with an untalented man and who still spends far too much time in front of a computer screen. And, even better, she’s not afraid to punch a guy when he’s absolutely begging to be punched.
Now, as for Jack. Let me just say that it worked for me — oh, yes, it worked for me. He’s funny, sexy, has a world-class butt, and I loved watching him fall in love. I cast Clooney for my Jack (which I think is okay with the author since we’re told his fame came as the result of a TV medical show called STAT), but I think you can feel free to imagine whoever works best for you in the part. To Cabot’s credit, though, Jack is far more than a cardboard hunk. He’s a serious actor with serious ambitions and, even though he’s truly a hard nut to crack with his public anti-monogamy professions and his serial starlets, Jack is a man who’s well worth redeeming. And Lou, bless her, is just the woman for the job.
But the fun of this book doesn’t stop with these delightful characters. Meg Cabot is also a master at writing the kind of funny, don’t-I-wish-I’d-said-that kind of dialogue that elevates a good book into an even better one. To put it simply, her prose sings.
I have to say that I also loved the secondary romance she’s got going with Lou’s retired cop dad and Jack’s society mom. Both of them are sweet, wonderful characters and, even though you can see it coming a mile away, their romance is a charming one and an appealing sidelight to the book.
My only quibble with She Went All the Way came at the end. Of course, I can’t give anything away here, but the solution to the mystery of who’s after Jack and why didn’t make a great deal of sense to me. But, to be honest, the mystery isn’t the main attraction here. That honor most definitively belongs to Lou and Jack and the twists and turns of their obstacle-ridden romance.
I, for one, couldn’t be happier that Meg Cabot has decided to expand her horizons and explore the world of contemporary romances. Keep ’em coming, Ms. Cabot. You’re off to a rip-roaring start.