Author: Lauren Morrill
Release date: January 7th 2014
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
My rating: 3 out of 5 starsMeet 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.
I was really excited for this one - Being Sloane Jacobs sounded like such a cute read! And it did end up being cute. But... cute is about all Being Sloane Jacobs has going for it. The story is really cheesy, and the characters are not developed enough, so Being Sloane Jacobs turned out only okay for me.
The whole set-up is a stretch of reality. The two girls with the same name randomly run into each other on their way to their respective skating camps, which is fine. But they also have the same color hair and eyes and wear the same size clothes and shoes, which is where I think it just got too convenient. The fact that no one has seen them before at their camps - even though they're supposedly such great stars in what they're doing - didn't seem too realistic, either. I also don't get why they wanted to switch places at all - I understand their reasons, but they're not emphasized enough to justify doing something so risky.
I tried to ignore the unrealistic and cliched parts, though, and to just enjoy the story. Both stories have really good set-ups: they're unique and interesting. Despite all my other problems with the novel, you can't deny that it's fun. Being Sloane Jacobs reads really quickly and is entertaining throughout.
But despite enjoying it on this very basic level, I had issues with the characters and their development. Honestly, part of it is that I just couldn't tell the two Sloanes apart. With the same name, the voices would have had to be very distinct in order for me to differentiate, and sadly, they're not, and I had to keep reminding myself which one I was reading about. Most of the secondary characters are pretty unremarkable: they're very much the stereotypical types, with the cute guy, the enemy, and the friend roles that don't go much deeper than that.
Being Sloane Jacobs is a quick, cute, entertaining read, but it's lacking the depth and the dynamic character development that would have made me really love it. If you're just looking for a quick, fun read, give Being Sloane Jacobs a try - just don't expect anything more than that.