Friday, December 13, 2013

Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

If you'll remember, I just about squee'd my pants with excitement over Lauren Morrill's debut, Meant to Be. That story was completely adorable and had me giggling like a school girl over the zany antics of Jason and Julia.  The antics perpetrated by The Sloanes were no less zany and no less adorable, and I ended up loving Lauren's sophomore novel almost as much as her debut, which I've featured here on the blog prominently, as it's one of my favorite new contemporaries.

Both Sloanes are experiencing issues on and off the ice, and both are willing to do just about anything to escape those problems.  So, when a chance encounter leaves them with the opportunity to do just that, there's nothing and no one standing in their way, and they switch lives for a summer of new experiences, new obstacles, and new love.  Little do they know that running away never solves anything, and their problems have only just begun.

True, this novel requires the suspension of disbelief from the reader, as there are quite a few plot holes to be overlooked and the general plausibility of such a situation is called into question many times.  But if you can bring yourself to overlook that and focus on the novel in a purely entertaining fashion, I think you'll be pleased with the end result.  It is not a perfect book, but it is definitely a fun book.  Think The Parent Trap meets The Cutting Edge and you'd have a fairly apt comparison.

This story is told from both Sloane's perspectives, and unlike a lot of books that attempt the dual POV,  Being Sloane Jacobs actually does it effectively.  The author manages to make each girls' voice unique, which is apparently difficult to do for characters of the opposite sex for some authors, so I'm doubly impressed that Morrill was able to accomplish this task so brilliantly.  Each Sloane had similar reasons for agreeing to switch lives for several weeks, but even so, they were very different girls with very different lives, and that was portrayed well in this narrative.

Being Sloane Jacobs fares on the lighter side of YA, but I think it's too-cute role reversal plot can be enjoyed by all ages. Especially since the story focuses on the girls, their bond, and their ability to overcome life's little obstacles, rather than on the summer romances they each start up.  Those were cute, but they weren't the focal point of The Sloanes' summers, much to my delight.

I knew what to expect from this story going into it, and it delivered.  Which is to say, the book oversimplifies things a bit and comes in an entirely neat and tidy package, but it still manages to be highly entertaining in the process.  It was a jaunty little read that left me content and smiling, and sometimes, as with this book, that's all I'm looking for.  Yes, it was a fluffy read, but it was a well-written one from a great new voice in YA contemporary literature.  It's a little bit cheesy and a lotta bit fun, and if you're looking for a cute read to help pass the time until Isla is finally, finally in your hands, I think this just might be the book for you.

GIF it to me straight:

Adorable AND full of girl power.
(I'm seriously going to teach my daughter to do this in her Jeep. :P)

About the author:

LAUREN MORRILL grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was a short-term Girl Scout, a (not so) proud member of the marching band, and a trouble-making editor for the school newspaper. She graduated from Indiana University with a major in history and a minor in rock & roll, and now lives in Macon, GA with her husband and their dog, Lucy. When she's not writing, she spends a lot of hours getting knocked around on the track playing roller derby.

Find Lauren:

WebsiteTwitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. This sounds like so much fun and I've actually been checking it out on Goodreads for the past couple of weeks. Only thing is, I really wasn't a fan of Meant To Be, so I'm a little apprehensive about checking this out!

  2. A+ gif usage, I almost snorted with "GIF it to me straight." I'm so glad you loved this one because I really have been looking forward to it. And it really is a great feat for an author to make two GIRL voices distinctive because like you said, many have a problem with making the guy and girl distinctive in narration. I can't wait for the giggles and the smiles and I will totally be fine with it being fluff. Great review, Jen!

  3. Sometimes I can deal with suspending some disbelief and sometimes I can't. I'm weird like that. But I do think I want to check this one out. Thanks for warning me of that!

  4. I love how you described this as The Parent Trap meets The Cutting Edge because that is exactly how I pictured it when reading its description for the first time. While not usually my sort of book this one sounds cute and based on your review it definitely sounds like one I could dig.

  5. I've heard oooonly good things about this one! And, come on, who didn't like the Parent Trap??! ;) I think, though, I'd have problems with the plot holes. I'm a details person. Still, if it's funny...funny always wins me over.

  6. I just got this one and I can't wait to read it!

  7. I love the swapping identities thing. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I thought this book was just so fun and light! I loved the role swapping! Great review! Awesome to see that people enjoyed it as well.:D


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