Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I could not figure out how they would pull it off. It just didn’t make sense to me! But then I read it and it all made perfect sense.
And I loved it.
Both Sloanes were incredible teenagers in their own right. Sloane Emily was a figure skater on a path heading towards the Olympics, while Sloane Devon was a sight to see in the ice hockey arena. Except… both of them were in a place where they felt lost on the inside. Sloane Emily’s world was falling apart because she witnessed her father (a US Senator) having an affair, and Sloane Devon’s world was changing because her mom is in rehab and all she feels is anger. When she tries to play, she freezes up. Both Sloanes want to be anywhere else – anyone else.
A chance encounter on the way to sports retreats allow them to do just that. The one thing they have in common? Ice skating.
It’s a little bit like The Parent Trap or Freaky Friday or any other story where the main characters get to switch places. Only this one feels more realistic. They aren’t at home trying to fool people they know, so we don’t have to suspend our disbelief. There’s no magical body switch. There are problems that arise when suddenly these girls aren’t as proficient in their respective sports as they’re supposed to be.
And it’s a fun story to read. It’s a little bit heartbreaking in places. But in the end, I found myself cheering for both of them. I wanted them to both get their happy endings.
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- Book Rock Betty: I enjoyed the book, but it was pretty fluffy. I loved the idea and initial setup, but the overall story was quite surface level. The characters and relationships weren’t overly developed and I wasn’t able to connect as much as I wanted to.
- Beauty and the Bookshelf: I prefer my books a bit more romance-based, and this wasn’t quite that. I just wanted more of a lot of things, and I didn’t get that. I wanted scenes to be more of a slow clap, not a snap of fingers.
- Ivy Book Bindings: Being Sloane Jacobs is the type of novel where you are forced to overlook the little details that fail to fit together, compelled to push aside the gaping plot holes that don’t add up, and just read. For readers who were disappointed that novels like Just One Year promised endings that didn’t happen, Being Sloane Jacobs is a relief, giving exactly what it says it will.