Being Sloane Jacobs
by Lauren Morrill
Expected Publishing Date: January 7, 2014
Length: 352 pages
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
View at the Traffic light:
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.
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.
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.