Being Sloan Jacobs

By Lauren Morrill
Published on January 7 2014
Published by Delacorte
Source: Netgalley
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.
It took me a really long time to get into this book, and I'm not even sure why. I think it suffers from a little bit of a pacing problem, which I've noticed in a lot of books lately. Nothing really happens until suddenly something does, and then, bam! The book is a whirlwind and ends quickly.

My  biggest issue with this book was that it relied on too many coincidences. The fact that Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon even meet is a coincidence, but at least it's needed to set up the plot . There are two or three coincidences after that one. I'm all for suspending belief, but I would have liked to have seen something happen because one of the Sloanes made it happen through her actions, not because it was the convenient thing to make the plot move along.

Overall, this was a cute book. It reminded me of "Freaky Friday" or "Parent Trap," and didn't really offer much else in the way of plot, because the Sloanes spend most of their time hiding from their respective issues while spending time in each other's skates. Also, blurbs about  the novel may make it sound like a romance, but there's very little of that. (In fact, I was surprised that at the end, the girls seem so focused on their potential romantic partners instead of the other changes happening in heir lives.)

Although it started out slow for me, I enjoyed the whirlwind ending that brought everything together and reunited the Sloanes. Morrill did a good job at the alternating viewpoints and I never got confused about who was speaking, even when the girls were speaking face to face. 

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