Review: Being Sloane Jacobs

December 17, 2013 book review 6 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from Delacorte in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Being Sloane JacobsBeing Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte
Publication Date: January 7th 2014
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Goodreads,

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 was exactly the kind of contemporary fix I’ve been dying to have. It’s all you could ask for: strong voices, well executed point of view changes, cute boys, and heartwarming character growth.

Sloane Emily Jacobs has been rocked with a secret that she can’t shake. She’s the senator’s daughter and is expected to keep her mouth shut. After a devastating mistake during Junior Nationals, Sloane E. has hung her skates and called it quits. Now a couple of years later, she is ready to get back out there. Her parents are sending her off to Canada for a prestigious skating camp. Sloane Devon is angsty and got in a fight her last hockey game of the season. Her coach threatened to bench her the first couple of games the next season. This means she won’t get to play for all the scouts. He’s set up an alternative: she flies out to Canada and goes to hockey camp. Sloane D. can think of 500 things she’d rather do but she realizes it is her only option. Sloane E. wants to escape her prim and proper life of being a senator’s daughter and escape the nightmare secret she has to keep. Sloane D. wants to escape living in a broken home with an alcoholic mother and a father who hardly pays attention to her. They decide to switch places for the summer, because what could go wrong?

This book is told from both Sloane’s point of views. Each chapter switches off from one girl to the next and kept in pace with the timeline. One thing I must commend Morrill on was how she handled this. The switching POVs was done very well! Both girls were complete and total opposites and had their own unique voice, so being inside their heads was a real treat. I really enjoyed how when both girls were together, Morrill would switch back and forth between them, allowing us to see how each one perceived the given situation. They also both got equal page time. Yes, some chapters were longer than others, but we were never once stuck in a specific girl’s head for too long. I know I found myself eager to get to the next chapter to see how the other Sloane was doing pretending to be the other.

I loved seeing the changes in each girl as the novel progressed. Sloane Emily goes from a prissy Senator’s daughter to a more laid back and competitive person; Sloan Devon goes from no concept of hygiene and a bit aggressive to more mature, well groomed, and calm. Sloane E. has the biggest character growth and change, I think. She ends up (highlight to view) loving hockey, changes her proper appearance, and quits competitive figure skating. She also learns how to embrace the family she is born with. Sloane D.’s anger issues disappear and she becomes more understanding and proud of who she is. I still can’t decide who my favorite girl was. They both had interesting personalities and the situations they got themselves into were humorous, and I loved seeing how they could get themselves out of it.

No contemporary story like this would be complete without a cute budding summer romance. Sloane E. meets this hockey star named Matt. And Sloane D. runs into a boy she used to play hockey with when she was younger. Everything seems perfect until, of course, the boys find out the truth. I loved Matt. He is the camp player with a bad reputation but tries so incredibly hard to get Sloane E. to realize he’s different. The things he did were so cute and thoughtful. Nando, the boy Sloane D. was childhood friends with, wasn’t developed very well and was never around much, unfortunately. We did get to see his softer side a couple of times but overall, we just didn’t get to know him. This caused me to not particularly care about him and Sloane D.’s relationship as much as I did for Sloane E.and Matt’s. Nando just appeared a couple of times here and there and because they already had a history, we didn’t get to experience the first flames of a new romance.

By the end of the summer, both camps had an exhibition where the parents could come and watch. The only other thing that irked me was how fast the parents were okay with the switch. If it had been my parents, I would’ve been in big, big trouble. You would think Sloane E.’s mother, being the uptight and controlling person that she is, would be completely pissed. She seems to just take it like a grain of salt. If I had been her and had paid for someone other than my daughter to go to this extremely prestigious and lavish training camp, I would be livid. Both sets of parents don’t appear to be all that phased, which just seems a little too unrealistic to me.

Overall, BEING SLOANE JACOBS was a wonderful and well plotted novel. I loved both characters and enjoyed being able to see their experiences as the other girl. They both came into their own and I loved watching them start to become more comfortable in their new environment. They mess up a couple of times and have to learn how to fix things, which makes them completely relatable. If you are in the mood for something light with a lot of heart, BEING SLOANE JACOBS is the perfect book to pick up!

4.5 Thought Clouds!

Christine

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