Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: Being Sloane Jacobs

BEING SLOANE JACOBS
Lauren Morrill
Contemporary Young Adult
352 pages
Delacorte
Available January 7th
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Being Sloane Jacobs is a quick and easy read, one of those perfect in-between books that gives us a breather from darker and more emotionally challenging stories. This is a tale best approached with all skepticism and disbelief shelved in favor of allowing the more simplistic desire to simply be entertained rule, the lives of both Sloane Jacobses kept quite superficial despite difficult family situations that could have easily provided enough conflict to see their lives written into two separate books rather than detailed for us simultaneously. There are some extremely cute moments that split our cheeks with a monster grin, Ms. Morrill’s sense of humor an overall highlight, but it’s not always enough to keep the nitpicky reader in us at bay.

Both girls are likable with engaging points of view that are easy to follow, but as mentioned above, we never have the opportunity to dig deeper with either of them, left as simple observers of their lives rather than feeling like active participants. Sloane Emily’s family situation is a fairly typical representation of a perfect façade masking a crumbling interior, her family slowly falling apart even as their happy faces and pleasant family dinners indicate otherwise, but despite the familiarity we still find ourselves exceedingly curious, wanting the chance to chip away at those brittle smiles to see what the downward turn is hiding underneath. Sloane Devon’s family situation, while undeniably painful in and of itself, isn’t quite as intriguing as Sloane Emily’s, though again we still can’t help but want a closer look at that dynamic and its correlation to Sloane Devon’s issues in the beginning.

There are romances for each of the girls, but aside from providing a few sweet moments, they’re not given any depth, relegated to brief kisses and then the predictable big misunderstandings before everything is wrapped up quickly and neatly. Those like me who crave the happily ever will no doubt be satisfied with the end, though we are left wishing the means by which we got there had a bit more substance. All in all, Being Sloane Jacobs leaves a bit to be desired in terms of character development, but Ms. Morrill’s writing style flows well and keeps us turning the pages, ensuring we’re having fun reading even if we’re not committing this story to treasured memory.

Rating: 3/5


Find Lauren


This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

22 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved Morrill's Meant to Be, so I'm a little sad to see that her second novel wasn't as good, it seems. This concept of these two Sloanes crossing paths is really an interesting idea, and I'm disappointed to see that the characters could have been more deeply discovered in Being Sloane Jacobs. And the romance doesn't seem as spectacular as it could have been. Despite these issues, at least this novel was still enjoyable and light. I won't skip out on it just because it's Lauren Morrill, but I'm warned! Well-written review, Jenny!

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    1. I really loved Meant to Be too Jen! This one didn't work quite as well for me, but I still really enjoy the way Lauren writes. I just wanted more out of this story:)

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  2. I just finished a book that showed to be dark at the end so I would have needed this one

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    1. It's always good to have a light book on hand after finishing a really dark one!

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  3. To hear that the romance is actually lacking in this one doesn't really lend me much confidence that this book is for me, but it does sound sweet and simple, at least. I suppose we both just crave a bit more depth and development...there's nothing wrong with that! Great honest review, Jenny!

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    1. I almost wish this could have been two books. I know that would have drastically altered the premise, but there was a lot of complexity in the girls' lives that could have been explored. Because we alternated between the two though we got the bare minimum.

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  4. I agree this was a perfect in between read! Not as awesome as I had been hoping but definitely worth the read. Great review Jenny!

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    1. Exactly! I enjoyed it for the most part, I was just hoping for more:)

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  5. Ummm...I don't think this one's for me. Meh romance, superficial characters/lives just don't pull me towards this book. But at least it was a 3-star for you. Better than two or one.

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    1. She writes well and tells a good story, so definitely not a two or one star read, I just wanted to delve a little deeper with both girls:)

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  6. Hmm, I think I will pick this book up. Lately on the reviews I have been reading have been very positive and I think I could like this one. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hope you like it if you give it a try Savy!

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  7. Sometimes you need books like this! Kind of like a palate cleanser after a particularly emotional and tough read.

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    1. That's exactly it. This was a nice, light read, just not one that blew me away:)

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  8. Yep, sounds like we pretty much felt the same about this one. I just wanted a bit more depth I guess. Still an easy read and certainly not a horrible experience.

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  9. During the holidays sometimes you just need a quick read!

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  10. I skimmed your middle paragraph since I imagine you go a little more in depth there, but from what I gathered from the first and the last, you enjoyed it, but didn't exactly love that it was a bit too superficial and didn't, perhaps, explore the relationships and the girls' lives in full depth? Hmmm.. I think.. you may be right, my friend, that this one is awesome as an inbetween book. I think it would work perfectly for a beach day (or you know.. on a rainy day ;)) I can't wait to read it though. Hence me not reading the second paragraph. I think that Lauren has won the lottery with amazing covers. Have you seen the spine for the hardcover? J'adore!

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  11. I think I may skip this one. For me, contemps have to be all about the character development or at least have one good character with a great creative sideline. It doesn't sound bad, but I don't read too many of these so I become a bit more picky. :) Still, wonderful review as always!

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  12. I struggle with YA contemporaries and don't think this one is for me. Wonderful review Jenny :)

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  13. Whoa! Ice hockey and figure skating are such different sports--one WOULD have to suspend disbelief. But it does sound fun. Hope you and the hubs and the fur children had a merry Christmas, dear!

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  14. I had requested this on Netgalley some time ago because I enjoyed this author's first book. The name escapes me and I'm too lazy to look it up right now, lol! I was sort of disappointed I didn't get an approval right away but then I read Keertana's review and I was happy. Of course, the day after I got an approval and I'm even more disappointed after reading your review, Jenny! Aaack! I don't want to read a mediocre book. *sigh* My own fault with my twitchy "request it" finger! At least I know to lower my expectations. Great honest review. :)

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  15. Don't hate me, but the lack of romance is actually a turn off :( I tend to really enjoy YA Contemp. but this one just doesn't sound like it's for me!

    Diana

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