This review is for the Being Sloane Jacobs blog blitz. The book comes out on January 7, so check it out!
Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
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.
Being Sloane Jacobs is a fun, cute take on what it means to find yourself. Lauren Morrill’s fresh, light voice made me really enjoy this story though I wasn’t sure about it at first. I don’t usually go for books about athletes, but Morrill made me fall for both of the Sloanes anyway.
Something in particular that stood out to me about this novel was the expert way in which Morrill showed each Sloane’s passion for their respective sport. Instead of being really technical and focusing on the game like some other sports books I read, Morrill focused on how ice skating and hockey kept her characters ticking. Rather than being something that kept me from liking the story, the character’s passions for their sports actually helped draw me into the story.
Another thing I liked about the book was watching each Sloane grow. To be honest, I did see more growth in Sloane Emily than Sloane Devon, but that didn’t bother me too much. I liked watching Sloane Emily gain more confidence through hockey, and also found her side of the story a bit more believable than Sloane Devon’s. I could see the transition to figure skating to hockey happening because it paralleled Sloane Emily’s growth into a stronger person. I thought Sloane Devon’s figure skating career seemed less plausible because of her injury, personality, and the time frame of the story, but that was probably the only thing I didn’t like about the book.
I also found myself rooting for both of the romances. I think I myself would have gone for Nando, but I felt Matt was equally charming. I liked that the romances didn’t overwhelm the story as well.
Another thing I noticed about this story is that it brings up a lot of interesting, serious issues: infidelity, alcoholism, the pressure of family expectations, what happens when you your passion becomes something that hurts you, and classicism. Though all of these things appear in the novel, none are discussed in enough depth to be overwhelming. Morrill did a great job of keeping her book fun without making it too fluffy.
Fans of contemporary romance who want something a little different will love this book and wish for a sequel after finishing the last page.