Dec 27, 2014

Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill


Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Published January 2014
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Summary: 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. 

Before I even starting reading this book, just based on the summary, the first thing that came into my mind was The Parent Trap. Having seen and loved that movie and everything about it, I was praying that this book wouldn't tear the idea to shreds and destroy it. Luckily, it didn't - finally, a Parent Trap retelling that is a success!

I received a copy of this book from my good friend Dana over at Dana Square a couple of weeks back and was immediately excited to start it. First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous - I had a hard time tearing my eyes away. And the story is even better.

Sloane Emily Jacobs and Sloane Devon Jacobs have an accidental meetup in a hotel the night before they're supposed to be heading to their respective camps - Sloane Emily for figure skating, and Sloane Devon for ice hockey. Neither of the two are excited about where they're heading, and upon realizing that they have the same name and also happen to look slightly similar, the decision is made...they're going to switch.

The story is told in duel-perspective in alternating chapters. You get to see Sloane Emily struggling to hold her own at a vigorous ice hockey camp while competing against teenage girls that are equivalent to giant bricks and burly milkmaids. On the other hand, you get to watch Sloane Devon struggling through the "piece of cake" figure skating routines and holding herself like a lady, all while rooming with the infamous she-devil, Ivy. Before the switch took place both girls were under the impression that the other's sport was far easier. (Sloane Emily believed that ice hockey was safer because of all of the padding and equipment. Sloane Devon thought doing girly turns on a sheet of ice was a piece of cake.)

I really enjoyed watching both girls fall into place in their new surroundings, doing everything they could to succeed because they realized how much was riding on keeping the other Sloane's reputation in tact. Both girls wanted an escape from their reality and what was expected of them, which is what pushed them towards doing the switch in the first place. The story was definitely heartwarming, funny, and interesting to follow - but there wasn't much complexity to it. For me, this was a good thing because I need a little bit of fluff and brain candy to get through my reading, so it worked out well. If you're looking for a nice, light book to take a break from vigorous, dark stories, Being Sloane Jacobs is definitely my recommendation! 

One part of this book that I wasn't too keen on was the romance aspect of it. Each girl found a boy they were interested in, which took their focus off of what they were trying to accomplish. To make it worse, they didn't tell either of the boys about their crazy scheme.

So you could definitely predict what happens with that.

All in all, Being Sloane Jacobs was a refreshing contemporary read that kept me laughing and gasping at all of the right moments. Morrill has a knack for writing chick-lit and contemporary stories like this one, and she pulled off a great retelling of The Parent Trap - which was refreshing to see. I'd definitely recommend this book to anybody looking for something fresh and new, and totally entertaining!



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