Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Release date: January 7, 2014
I received this e-galley from NetGalley and Delacorte BFYR in exchange for an honest review.
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.
The Good: One of the best parts, in my opinion, is that both Sloanes found a guy but neither called it "love." Insta-love is a big pet peeve of mine, and these felt like insta-attractions that grew into like. Also, in Sloane D.'s case, she knew the guy from when she was younger, so that helped. Speaking of Sloane D.'s guy, Nando was one of my favorite characters. I liked how he helped Sloane D. realize that hockey is only great if you enjoy playing it.
There was this one line early on that made me realize that at least Sloane E. would be a kindred spirit.
"I hate being without something to read."
She speaks the truth. I can totally relate. There were lots of little lines I enjoyed, most of which were the girls' inner thoughts. They're just as snarky as me, but neither they or I voice our true opinions often.
There's also this moment in the first chapter where Sloane E says, "I wish to be somebody - anybody - else." I love how that tied into the rest of the book as she switched places with and became Sloane D. Both girls are also more similar than they realize (both are trying to save their reputations), and I think that's what drew them together even though they instantly seemed to hate each other. They seemed to bond overnight, and it was great how that came across in one line:
"I told you to stop with the king-sized bag of peanut butter M&M's, but you wouldn't listen," I [Sloane D.] say.
Another favorite moment was when Sloane D's mom comes to visit, and Sloane D. cries because she's so happy. It shows how much she loves her mom, despite how much she hated Mama Jacobs's choices (Mama Jacobs is a recovering alcoholic).
I loved the last line of the book. It almost set it up for a sequel, which could be interesting.
Overall, I really liked the characters, including: Sloane E's brother, Nando, Sloane D, and Bee.
The Bad: Continuing thoughts on the characters, I think Sloane E and Matt were the weakest, although I did like them a bit. There were a couple continuity issues. For example, in one of Sloane E's chapters, she calls her dad and he says her cold sounds better. She realizes Sloane D must have talked to him, which Sloane D said in her text that she faked having a cold. Also, there was one thing that bothered me to no end. When Matt and Sloane E have dinner, he brought French macarons but they're referred to as macaroons, which are an entirely different cookie. There's also this really awkward line during the girls' reunion a few months later. I also thought the girls picked up the other's sport just a little too fast, although both did struggle at the camps.
The Ugly: A couple mild swear words and a couple s-words (I counted 2). Talk of what Matt did with girls in past summers. There's an awkward scene after Sloane E froze her roommate's bras.
The Verdict: This book was fabulous. I loved rereading it, and I can't wait to buy a physical copy.
Also, as part of the blog blitz, I got to ask Lauren a couple questions! So here they are with her answers.
1) What are your favorite YA books?
Holy hard question! I love so many! Luckily I organize my book shelves by favorites, so let me just go check out my shelf ... ok back! Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series is one of my all-time favorites. I've probably reread them five or six times, and they still make me laugh. Also, Marcus Flutie? SWOON.
Other books on my favorites shelf:
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Are you noticing a theme? I'm a hardcore contemp fan!
2) If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?
My iPhone (with solar charger) because I think if I were separated from Twitter, I'd shrivel up and die.
The Harry Potter box set, because those books NEVER get old.
A notebook and a good, inky ballpoint pen ... lots of time to write!
3) What's your favorite fairytale?
I'm going to go with The Little Mermaid, because the Disney version is MAGICAL. I still know every word to every song.
Thank you again to Lauren Morrill and Random House (particularly Lauren Donovan) for letting me host a stop on the Being Sloane Jacobs Blog Blitz!