Being Sloane Jacobs – Lauren Morrill
My last ARC of 2013!
Firstly, look at that cover. LOOK. AT. IT. That cover is beautiful. I love a good typeset. This is released on January 7th, so if you had book tokens for Christmas, or perhaps some money to spend, then head out and find yourself a copy of this, it’ll look ever so pretty on your shelf!
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.
This book has some huge gaping plot holes, I’m just going to start with the elephant in the room, how on earth did two teenage girls manage to switch places for so long? Because seriously, neither of them had any idea about the others sport, and, honestly, I find it a little hard to believe that they looked enough alike for no one to question that they weren’t the right Sloane Jacobs. Especially considering that Sloane Emily was the daughter of a senator and seemed the be at least semi pro, you’d think someone at that camp would have known that the Sloane on the ice wasn’t the same Sloane that they had seen in the press, so I’m surprised that the whole Parent Trap element of the story lasted so long. That isn’t to say that this is a bad book – not in the slightest, both Sloanes were great characters, it was well written, charming and endearing, but that element of the story was a little Disney movie-esque. Not that that there is anything wrong with that, sometimes we need a bit of escapism. It did surprise me that no one at such elite examples of summer camps seemed the notice that Sloane Emily didn’t have the stature or the aggression of a hockey player or that Sloane Devon didn’t have the daintiness of an ice skater, their uncovering was all due to something else entirely.
But, and this is a huge but, if you look past this tiny, insignificant detail,and manage to suspend the disbelief, the story is actually pretty good.
My only other criticism was also vanquished fairly early on, I looked at the title and I read the description and I thought to myself, it seems really rather unlikely that there would ever be one person named Sloane Jacobs, let alone two. The only Sloane I have ever come across is the one in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (which was referenced in this), but after the two characters meet I sort of let that one slide, I suppose, if two teenage girls can pull off trading places, there could be more than one person in the world called Sloane Jacobs.
Being Sloane Jacobs was actually rather endearing, both the girls had completely different voices, which meant the dual narration actually worked and you never had to refer back to the chapter to check which Sloane was talking. Seeing as most author’s find this an impossibility, I was very impressed with this and it really helped me get into the story and fall for both the Sloanes completely.
Their personal lives and back stories were woven flawlessly in with the narrative and their day to day lives at camp and although we all know that running away never solves a problem, I was rooting for both of them escaping their lives for a while. Also, the character development in this was amazing, how Morril managed to keep the essence of each Sloane but increase their maturity and take on board the things they learnt along the way was wonderful. A plus gold stars for you Lauren Morril, you go Lauren Morril.
I don’t often read sports novels, mainly because i have no interest or understanding of sport, so this subject matter made a nice change for me, I liked that even though I am completely clueless when it comes to the sports mentioned in this book, that I wasn’t lost whilst reading it, each thing is explained well without any over kill so I knew exactly what was going on without the lecture. I don’t think I could watch a game of ice hockey and follow it, but i knew enough to be able to track the Sloanes progress and know what they were up to which was great. Also, I loved the setting, I’ve never been to Canada, its on my list of places I want to go, I’ve also never read anything set in Canada before, but now I have I want to go there immediately, either in book form or in person, I’m not fussed! I love it when a book gives me wanderlust!
Overall, this book is sweet and cute, the cover and typography are gorgeous and its managed to convert me to the genre of sporting novels, so thank you netgalley for the chance to read this, I’ll be picking up my own copy when it gets released in the new year.