Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Publication date: January 7, 2014
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 is my first Lauren Morrill book, and I’m glad to say that it lived up to my expectations. I read Being Sloane Jacobs after two books that made me cry, and it was just a breath of fresh air. It’s is a total immersion process. I didn’t want to put it down – it’s so fun, so light, and so friggin’ adorable. You know you’re really enjoying a book when you’d rather read for a day than do anything else – TV? Movie? Go out in the freezing cold? No thanks, I’ll take reading Being Sloane Jacobs with my cat. =)
Despite the fact that the story concept is very light-hearted, and slightly unbelievable – where else would you meet another girl who has the exact same name as you, who looks kind of like you, and who even wears the same size clothing? – there is a bit of depth to Being Sloane Jacobs. There’s a reason that both Sloanes are so eager to participate in this life swap, and it makes a weird (and sad) kind of sense.
That said, my only real critique of Being Sloane Jacobs was that I felt like some of the larger problems that the girls were dealing with weren’t really given as much weight as they deserved. Sloane Emily, in particular, is really working through something that never really gets totally addressed.
But I can’t fault Morrill for loving her characters and the light-heartedness of the book more than the darkness. The inherent comedy in the life swap situation, the adorable boys that the girls meet, the self-discovery, the learning from trying something totally out of their comfort zone, the friendships…if there isn’t a lot of substance, there sure is a lot to love.
Writing That Keeps You In The Moment: One of my favourite things about this book is that not a single word or phrase jarred me. Normally there are one or two moments when I think to myself, “That phrase or word doesn’t belong there, or doesn’t feel natural.” That didn’t happen at all in this book – Lauren Morrill is clearly a master of effortless writing, and I loved that. I didn’t ever feel like I wasn’t in the moment.
Life Swap: Honestly, the life swap is one of my favourite concepts ever. So much learning and growing into yourself! If you’ve ever wanted to swap places with someone – this is definitely the book for you.
Winter Sports: If you love figure skating or ice hockey, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I love reading about sports, and I’m a bit of a figure skating aficionado, so this book was extra fun for me. And hey, what with the Olympics coming up, it’s the perfect time to read it!
Montreal, eh? I’m always excited when a Canadian city shows up in a book I love – and I’m especially excited when the book has tons of restaurants and places I’ve been to. Rue St. Denis, La Banquise, Notre-Dame Basilica, McGill…I loved seeing one of my favourite Canadian cities through the two Sloanes’ eyes.
The Final Word:
Being Sloane Jacobs is like a favourite rom-com that you watch on a rainy day – it will never win an Oscar, but man, is it fun and cute while it lasts. If you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy contemp that has a little bit of everything good and sweet in the world, look no further.
Have you read BEING SLOANE JACOBS? Are you into lighter rom-coms as books, or do you need a ton of substance? How do you feel about life swaps? Winter sports? Let me know in the comments!