Contemporary Young Adult
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.
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.
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.