Book Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Posted January 10, 2014 by Stormy in Books / 15 Comments

Being Sloane Jacobs

by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs

Expected Publishing Date: January 7, 2014
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Delacorte

Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
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Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

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Being Sloane Jacobs is basically like the combination of The Parent Trap and The Cutting Edge. These Sloane Jacobs might not be related to each other, but when they realize they have the same name and no one at their final destinations know who they are, they conceive a plot to trade places for the summer. After all, they’ve both spent most of their lives on the ice. . . how hard could the transition be?

Terribly hard and painful seems to be the correct answer, but it’s such a great plot idea that really drives the book along. I think without the premise, Being Sloane Jacobs would be a pretty standard YA read. The plot is what really drove me to keep turning the pages, though the characters did grow on me after a while.

I’m not really a sports book person. I played basketball for several years and tennis throughout high school, but playing sports and reading about sports are two different things. I really liked the incorporation of the two sports into this novel. All the details are there–the research has clearly been done–but it’s not overwhelming for a reader like me who knows very little about figure skating and NOTHING about hockey. Seriously, the most I know about hockey is from watching that one episode of Gilmore Girls where Kirk announces a hockey game. That’s it. And yet I was never lost in this book, and I was immersed in the action every time there was a skating routine or a hockey game on the page.

It took me a little bit to warm up to the characters(probably because of all the ice. . . haha). But in the end I felt like I really got both of them and their emotional journeys. One of the things I really liked about Being Sloane Jacobs was that the two Sloanes didn’t really like each other at first, but through their trade came to have a mutual understanding and friendship. They both were running away from certain problems but also running towards themselves and finding if they both really had what it takes. Being Sloane Jacobs is a pretty standard coming-of-age tale from the perspective of character development, but it’s done quite well.

My only minor issue was that I thought it ended too quickly and that the conclusion chapter was rushed. I did like some of the things the conclusion hinted at, but as a reader I wanted just a little bit more to be satisfied that both Sloanes were doing well and had learned from the summer. I mean, we do kind of get that but I just wanted a little more detail, you know? That minor problem aside, Being Sloane Jacobs read quickly and was entertaining. It was definitely on the lighter side of contemporary, but also managed to tackle the issue of self-discovery at the same time, which takes talent.

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 I wasn’t sure about Being Sloane Jacobs after reading the synopsis, but I can say it really surprised me in a good way. It was a bit like the Parent Trap meets The Cutting Edge with a dash of romance for each Sloane Jacobs. I really liked the character development of each Sloane and how the sports was skillfully incorporated into the book.  4/5 cupcakes.

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4 Stars

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15 responses to “Book Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

  1. I’m not a fan of rushed endings or endings that fall short, but this still looks like it would be worth the read. I’ve been seeing a lot of people liking the sports elements in the book, and I’m definitely interested in finding out how she accomplished this. I’m not much into sports either, but I like it when books can impart things that don’t really interest you, but still make you care or actually begin to like it.

    • stormydawnc

      I’d definitely recommend it! Despite not LOVING the ending, the book was still really good. A little light, but also with definitely a deeper meaning about finding yourself. It would be a great ABC Family movie, actually. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Wow I just read another review for this about 5 mins ago and that review also said this book was a mix between those two movies haha (not that I’ve actually seen either of them…) This sounds like a pretty fun read overall (even if somewhat fluffy). I do like reading books about sports as well, so it sounds like it’d be worth a read 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      Haha! Well, a few of us on twitter were talking about how it’s like a cross of those two movies(they’re both very good, so I highly recommend them!). I think if you like sports a bit and are in the mood for a pretty light read, this would be a great one to pick up.

  3. Because of all the ice HAHAHA! I love it.
    I was actually quite surprised at how well the plot worked out! I totally wouldn’t be able to mesh these two lives together but Lauren Morrill totally nailed it! Glad you enjoyed it! Agreed, it was on the lighter side but such a fun concept & well executed!

    • stormydawnc

      Yes! It worked really well. A little far-fetched, but not so much I couldn’t suspend disbelief. I did wish there was just a *little* more depth towards the end but I think both of the Sloane Jacobs had a lot of fantastic character growth for such a light read.

  4. I don’t usually love books that focus on sports – mainly because I’m not the kind of person who particularly cares about sports myself – but every single thing I’ve heard about this book has been so positive, I can’t help but be intrigued! 🙂

    • stormydawnc

      I think even if you don’t like sports you’d still potentially like this one! I do like certain sports, but hockey? I could care less about. The hockey chapters definitely weren’t as fun for me as the ice skating chapters, but I still enjoyed it overall.

  5. I feel like every review of this book I’ve read (including my own!) has compared it to a movie – mostly The Parent Trap and/or The Cutting Edge. I think that’s what’s made this book so endearing to me. I love those types of movies, opposites attract in crazy and humorous ways, so this one felt just perfect to me! I did feel some things were rushed and glossed over and I would have liked a little more depth there, but overall it was a great read that I really enjoyed! Glad you did too and great review!

    • stormydawnc

      Yes! It really is sort of like those two movies. Yup, agreed about the depth. I feel like this one could have had just a LITTLE bit more, especially towards the end. I mean, I still really enjoyed it but I think that could have taken it to the next level. It was still really fun, though, and I loved the characters by the end, though they had to grow on me.

    • stormydawnc

      Oh my goodness, I had a secret love for the ABC family sequels. Corny, yes, but I still love them. I have no desire for hockey at all, but I really enjoyed it in this book!

  6. Wow, I haven’t seen The Cutting Edge in years, but I used to love that movie 🙂

    Anyway, I’m also not a sports book person. Actually, I’m not a sports person at all, whether it be in books, TV, games on TV. Yuck. But I am kind of curious about this one. I’m not DYING to read it, though

    I read Morrill’s Meant to Be last year, and while I liked it, I wasn’t madly in love. And there are SOOOO many other books out there that I want to read. You mentioned that it took you a bit to warm up to the characters, and I think I will have that problem too. And I kind of have to like and connect to the main characters to really like a book.

    But I might try to get this from the library eventually. I have heard pretty positive things about it.

    • stormydawnc

      My parents and I use to watch The Cutting Edge ALL the time. I think the sports in this book were just there enough to satisfy people who like sport books, but not at all overwhelming. I haven’t read Meant to Be, so this one definitely stood on it’s own. I think it would appeal to most readers, even if it’s not just an AMAZING book!

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