Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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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 really loved Lauren Morrill’s first book, Meant to Be (my review), and was very excited to learn of her next book about a figure skater and a hockey player who switch places for the summer! I knew I was in for a very fun read. As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. I feel like ice sports rarely show up in young adult books, which is sad. I’m not a hockey fan by any means, but I love figure skating. I even took lessons when I was little! I loved reading all about figure skating, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was even interested in hockey! Lauren did a great job bringing both sports to life for me.
2. I was very attracted to the Parent Trap-esque storyline. Sloane and Sloane bump into each other randomly and, each having their own baggage, decide it would be really nice to escape from their lives and try something new. The girls learn to be each other over a bunch of really expensive junk food one night, and then head off to each other’s summer camps. Sloane Emily, a figure skater, gets to try her hand at hockey while Sloane Devon learns how to fly through the air in a tiny, sparkly spandex leotard. I loved this unique idea, and smiled when The Parent Trap reference showed up in the story itself. I love that movie!
3. It was difficult at times to keep the Sloanes straight in my head, so I feel like I did not connect with either one of them as much as I could have. Sloane is already a pretty rare name, so to have two of them in the same book really messed with my mind! I eventually got used to it and was able to keep them somewhat straight by their middle names. To me, Emily is a more girly name… so Sloane Emily is the figure skater. BUT she’s playing hockey right now. Whoa. Devon seems more tomboyish to me, so Sloane Devon is the hockey player… but OH, she’s figure skating right now. See? It’s a bit confusing. You can’t read this when you’re sleepy or sick like I was when I read it!
4. Confusion aside, I really enjoyed reading about everything the Sloanes went through in their new lives. They were always exhausted, trying to learn their sport well enough to convince their peers that they were good at it already. Both girls went into things thinking they were going to be living an easier life than the one before. I like that they each got a dose of humble pie, and had to learn that they are not all that. I loved that they began to give each other (and their sport) more credit.
5. You have to suspend belief in order to enjoy this story. I seriously think that this could never happen. These Sloanes are not twins, and only kind of look alike. Why would people not recognize immediately that they were not who they said they were? Furthermore, both girls were considered to be very good at their prospective sports. Their reputations are well known. How can they switch lives and be convincing enough that nobody wonders what’s going on? Really, you have to just go with the flow and not question things.
6. I was hoping for a little romance in the beginning, but ended up enjoying the focus on the girls and their lives and how they get through their challenges. They both grew a lot through their experiences over the summer, and they do get a little romancy stuff going on, too.
7. The supporting characters added a lot to the story. I liked both love interests, Matt and Nando. My favorite character in the whole book, though, had to be Sloane Devon’s confidant and sassy figure skating guru, Alex (I think?). He was hilarious, and I loved his friendship with Sloane. I would love it if he got his own book.
Overall, Being Sloane Jacobs is a cute, shallow story. I like Meant to Be much better, but am very glad I had the opportunity to read Lauren’s sophomore novel. I loved the skating bits, and I really enjoyed watching the Sloanes grow and work through their challenges.