Thursday, January 2, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs Lauren Morrill book cover
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. 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. 

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.


Even though my feelings towards Morrill's debut novel Meant To Be were fairly lukewarm, there was two things about Being Sloane Jacobs that enticed me to read it: ice skating (figure skating and hockey) and a life switch of Parent Trap proportions. It proved to be a very wise decision, as I wound up falling hard and fast for this contemporary YA tale. Even though it required a suspension of disbelief, Being Sloane Jacobs hit all my sweet spots in just the right way.

The best word to describe this novel? It's cute. It reads like a Disney Channel Original movie, honestly, complete with crazy situations and amazingly timed twists. I described it to someone as a blend of The Parent Trap, Cutting Edge & The Mighty Ducks, but only in terms of the plot. Even though it certainly was borderline unbelievable at times, it was easy for me to accept everything that happened as fact for this story. 

What sets Being Sloane Jacobs apart from these movies is how distinctively drawn Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon are as characters. I truly liked both these characters, and would honestly not be able to pick a favorite! They are similar in a lot of ways -- delicate family situations, easy summer romances and personal issues with their skating lives. But they're also very different -- they grew up with different standards, and handle tough stuff differently. I never had difficulty knowing which girl's point of view was being utilized because they were both incredibly unique (and clearly, they were dealing with different things all summer).

Being Sloane Jacobs is a magical, fun little read that's perfect for this wintry season. The only (minor) issue I really had with it was that everything fell into place a little too easily, and worked out too conveniently. But mostly, this book made me want to go ice skating (which I'm definitely going to be doing at some point before winter is over). If you're in the mood for something short, sweet and cute, then this book is the one I'd shove into your hands.

Which girl would you switch with?

I really had to think about this question before giving my final answer! I would have loved to be involved in a team sport like hockey, and I admire Sloane Devon's attitude. But, in the end, I would definitely trade with Sloane Elizabeth, in spite of all the problems she faces with her family. I have always been fascinated by figure skaters, even going so far as to obsessively watch videos of my favorites over and over again! It would be pretty darn amazing to be able to spin and jump and twirl and perform like they do. Plus, who wouldn't want a chance to reside in somewhere as posh as her figure skating boot camp sounds?

14 comments:

  1. I've read nothing but good things about this book, which is surprising because I never thought a book like this would be for me. Wonderful and convincing review, Alexa!

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    1. Thank you, Melissa! It's just such a fantastic, fun read. It's definitely perfect if you're looking for something easy & entertaining, as well as if you're a fan of Parent Trap!

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  2. The synopsis did give off a Disney Channel movie vibe...but one of the classic ones. This seems ADORABLE so I want to read it asap. And I love your new feature! I've always wanted to ice skate too. My friend just signed on to be in Disney on Ice (or whatever that's called) so she'll be travelling and skating and being paid...I'm pretty jealous!

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    1. And thanks for the warning of the too neat ending. I hate those, WHY AUTHORS.

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    2. It's a really adorable book! Even though it's got that ending wrapped up neatly in a bow, it was still fun to read about the journey the girls took to get there.

      Thanks for your kind words about our new feature. Ice skating has always been something I LOVED watching, but unfortunately, I'm just not good at it. Congratulations to your friend though -- that opportunity sounds amazing!

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  3. I love the comparision to Disney Channel movies! This one totally felt like one, but in a good way. I like that Morrill's books don't always feel super realistic and feel more like a cute movie; sometimes that's just what you need! And the ice skating... my favorite part! I'm terrible at it (seriously, us Alabamians are no good with ice!) but it's always been a dream to figure skate!

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    1. Yes, I meant that comparison to be a compliment. I absolutely ADORE Disney movies! I think Morrill hit it out of the park with her second novel, honestly. Or maybe I'm just partial to those ice skating main characters ;)

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  4. I totally agreed about this one. Things did happen a bit easily and a lot of the story was a bit unbelievable, but I was able to just accept it and enjoy the book for what it was, a cute fluffy read. And I definitely need to go ice skating soon!

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    1. That's pretty much the attitude I had! It was cute and fluffy and all sorts of adorable and could totally be adapted into a film (by Disney, of course). I think I need to go ice skating before winter ends, even though it's so cold out!

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  5. I haven't read a book by Lauren Morrill before, as Meant to Be never really grabbed my interest. This book however sounds like such a book for me, because I love it when sports are incorporated in a book AND I love books with a dual POV. I do like cute books, but it should be a little realistic, so I'll keep in mind that it can be a little unbelievable.

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    1. I would recommend reading this one over Meant to Be. While MTB was enjoyable enough, Being Sloane Jacobs is just SO FUN. I think you'd enjoy this one!

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  6. I totally felt like this was a Disney channel movie! It was simply cute and adorable and I really enjoyed how each girl learned something about herself by "being" the other girl. Definitely fun (although MTB is still my jam)!

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    1. We've got opposite opinions on this, as I loved BSJ just a little bit more than MTB! But still, I absolutely agree with what you've said -- this book is just so adorable!

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  7. I can relate to what you said about Meant To Be: I thought it was pretty cute, but that's that. It didn't really impress me, even though it takes place in London and I had expected to love it. Being Sloane Jacobs mostly speaks to me because the Parent Trap was my favorite movie EVER when I was younger. I think I saw my VHS almost every week and I still know all the words (in Dutch though). I love that you compare this to a Disney Channel movie! Those movies make my heart so happy. Can't wait to read this. :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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