Monday, February 17, 2014

(Review) Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Published: January 7, 2014
Rating: Lunch Break Read
Format: Digital galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!)
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.
I was already a huge fan of Ms. Morrill from Meant to Be, which I LOVED. I could not wait to see what she had in store with this one. When the cover was revealed, I squealed. When the blurb was revealed, I danced. The Parent Trap (and yes, I mean the REAL one with Hayley Mills) was one of my favorite movies growing up, and since then, I've had a weakness for the switching-places trope. This one looked like so much fun!

And it was. I wouldn't advise going into this one expecting anything mind-blowing. It was all there in the summary and was fairly predictable, but it delivered on what it promised. There were cute boys and ice skating and hockey and two girls who learned a lot about life and love through a far-fetched idea they decided to implement.

The two Sloanes could not have been more different! They were from different walks of life, had different interests, and possessed completely different personalities. It was fun and a tad crazy watching them go from meet to switch-lives-with-me in 0.2 seconds. I wish I we would have seen them interact more! Whether they were apart or together, though, it was always obvious which one of them was currently narrating. Morrill did a great job with the alternating POV. The voices were clear, and the POV shifted just often enough to keep the reader engaged in both storylines.

As for the romances, they were pretty cute, though I wasn't bowled over. I was definitely more a fan of Sloane Devon's romance than Sloane Emily's, because I just never really connected to the Matt the Hockey Hottie. But there were still some great moments on both sides! And I loved Nando - Sloane Devon's love interest - as well as the other friends Sloane Devon made at camp. It was great watching them interact.

One of my favorite things about Morrill's books is that she isn't afraid to let teens be teens. Her characters have immature moments, make mistakes, play ridiculous pranks, and all-around act their age. I like the chip-on-my-shoulder, save-the-world, and mature-beyond-my-years characters as much as the next gal, but there's something so refreshing about characters who actually do things you would do in the real world.

While Being Sloane Jacobs didn't replace Meant to Be as my favorite Morrill, it was still worth reading. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who, like me, enjoys some good switching-places hijinks. Also, as a bonus, it had a fantastic and memorable ending! I can't wait to see what Morrill has in store for the future.

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