Review: Being Sloane Jacobs

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Being Sloane JacobsBeing Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte BFYR on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars

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.

Lauren Morrill is awesome. I’m privileged to know her IRL as well as through her deliciously fluffy novels. So, yeah, that’s a thing. Funny story: she’s in my book club, but I totally didn’t know it the first time that we were at a meeting together. Someone mentioned Meant to Be, and I was all “I love that book,” and then the room released a collective held breath and was all “oh hey, that woman is Lauren Morrill and that could have been hella awkward.” Thankfully, I did love it; knowing me, that’s not always the case. Getting more on track, Morill’s sophomore novel proves that Meant to Be wasn’t a fluke. Being Sloane Jacobs is every bit as fun and fluffy as Meant to Be, with bonus family drama, pop culture references, and rarely covered (in YA at least) sports.

Being Sloane Jacobs was originally pitched as The Cutting Edge meets The Parent Trap. Now such blah meets blah advertising strategies tend to be a whole bunch of bull hockey (see what I did there?). In this case, though, that description is complete perfection. Considering that I grew up watching both of these things, I was happy as a clam (are clams happy?) from the beginning to the end.

In case you’ve not seen the cinematic gem The Cutting Edge, the basic premise is that a washed up hockey player ends up getting hired to be the partner to a bitchy princess of an ice skater who no actual pairs figure skater is willing to partner anymore. Morrill has taken this and changed it to two heroines: one washed up figure skater and one troubled hockey player. Both of them have lost their mojo at their chosen sport and, for different reasons, have been sent to training camps in Montreal for the summer.

When the two Sloane Jacobses meet by accident in their hotel, they hatch a plan to Parent Trap it up. No, they’re not long lost siblings. However, they’re both sick of their respective lives and want to escape family drama and the pressure of their respective sports. They agree to swap, both assuming that the other sport will be a total breeze compared to her own, in a taunting session that’s so completely The Cutting Edge that I flailed a bit. Of course, in swapping, they learn a lot about themselves and a new respect for another sport. Morrill does a great job with the descriptions of both the figure skating and the hockey, though I think she does the latter particularly well probably thanks to her roller derby experience (lots of hard hits in that sport too).

Both Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon are interesting girls, though I do gravitate a bit more to the hard-edged Sloane Devon. Sloane Emily’s dealing with her Senator father’s recent scandal and her mother’s overbearing attitude. Sloane Devon has a mother in rehab and a desperate need for a scholarship to have any hope of college. The scene stealer of the show, in my opinion, is Andy, a sassy black figure skater who I think is just the best.

In proper Lauren Morrill style, there is, of course, some romance. However, unlike with Meant to Be, the romance is NOT the central theme of the novel. It takes a backseat to sports, friendship and family, in roughly that order. Both girls get a cute boy and, just like in Meant to Be, it’s delightfully realistic and non-HEAish. Morill achieves this perfect balance between swooniness and a sense that the relationships probably won’t last forever.

Obviously, I read an ARC copy, but I did note a couple of things that will hopefully be fixed before the final copy is printed. As I know I’ve seen Ashleigh (The YA Kitten) point out, mention is made of Sloane Devon not having washed her hockey gear since Justin Timberlake was releasing albums, implying that it had been ages, which I do not believe to be the case. I also felt the two perspectives could have sounded a bit more distinct, but I never had much of an issue telling the two apart, since they were almost never in the same place.

Lauren Morrill is an author I trust to write deliciously fluffy novels. They’re like dessert: satisfying and happy-making, only, magically, you can’t over-indulge in this dessert and make yourself sick. Being Sloane Jacobs is an excellent choice if you like sports stories or adorableness.

Favorite Quote:

I’ve always avoided relationships, partly because between all my practices I’d never have time, and partly because high school boys are dogs who could use a healthy dose of Cesar Millan.

Tl;dr – Book in a GIFfy:

oh yeah

21 responses to “Review: Being Sloane Jacobs”

  1. YOU’RE IN HER BOOK CLUB?!? Oh. My. God. I am SO jealous. I can’t even right now. That is so awesome. Also yayyyyyy at this rating. And I’m not reading the rest of your review because I pre-ordered this book, buttttttt I had to share my excitement. asdfjkl;
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2013My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Well, it’s not HER book club, but we are in the same book club, though I’ve missed it for the last like six months. I am the worst. I think you’ll enjoy this. It’s totes adorbs. 🙂

  2. Perfect GIF is perfect.<3

    Also, I have 3 different formats of this book to read (ebook, physical ARC and audiobook) clearly there is no excuse for me NOT to read Being Sloane Jacobs.

    ALSO I think I need to watch the movie stat.
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Garden Princess | Kristin Kladstrup | Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Why, thank you!

      Lol, you get so many formats. It’s hilarious. Knowing you, you’ll read the ebook.

      Which movie? Both. You should watch both.

  3. Stormy says:

    I really loved this book because of the Parent Trap + Cutting Edge story(for once a pitch is spot-on!). Two of my favorite stories. I actually giggled at your book club story–good thing it didn’t end up being super awkward! Clearly, I really need to read Meant to Be(though, I’ll definitely have to go into it with different expectations because one of my favorite things about this book was how the romance wasn’t a focus, whereas I know the main story of Meant to Be is a romance).
    Stormy recently posted…2014 Reading ChallengesMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The main focus is the romance for sure in MTB, though it’s a for fun now rather than a love forever sort of romance, which, to me, is an important distinction. Also, travel!

  4. Lili says:

    THE GIF AT THE END!!! It is sheer perfection! I am currently writing my review for this book and ah, it was totally adorable though highly implausible.

    I noticed it was dated at times, too! Not only with the Justin Timberlake reference (especially since he now put out a top album) but with the Bieber reference too! However, I was laughing out loud throughout the novel despite it all.

    • Christina Franke says:

      Ha, yes, but I am willing to allow some amount of implausability in fiction. At least in fluffy fiction. :-p

      Oh yeah, the Bieber hair! I knew there was another one. Lolllll. I was wondering if it meant his current cut or the swoop.

  5. This book was SUCH a fun read! Overall I preferred Sloane Devon over Sloane Emil. I also felt like I got to know Sloane Devon a bit more than Sloane Emily. I was really happy that the romance was not the pain plot point in this book.

    Glad you enjoyed it Christina.
    Alexia @ Adventures in Reading recently posted…Top Ten Books I read in 2013My Profile

  6. How funny that she is part of your book club. That could have been very awkward indeed. I loved Cutting the edge and parent trap. I like books like this, where the romance is realistic and more on the background. I have yet to read a book from Lauren, but I hope it’s soon 😀
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  7. Brandy says:

    I noticed that remarked about Justin Timberlake too and thought what???? Hopefully it will be fixed. 🙂

    I really liked that the romance was on the outer edges of this one and I think I may have liked the book even more if it hadn’t been there at all. But the book was just so much fun overall.
    Brandy recently posted…Cybils ShortlistsMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yeah, I like romance a lot and I didn’t mind it, but I do wish there had either been a bit more about Nando or that maybe Devon just didn’t have a love interest. POC love interest and he’s barely there. tis sad.

  8. Morgan says:

    Awesome review, I’m glad it lived up to its A+B=C pitch AND that it’s as good as Meant to Be!! I love The Parent Trap and I’ve seen The Cutting Edge (including the sequels haha!); it sounds like such a fun premise, plus I love reading about sports. So glad this comes out soon!

    p.s. I always wanted to learn Annie’s handshake with Martin!

  9. Molli says:

    “Deliciously fluffy.” YES. I loved MTB so much, and I’m finally starting SLOANE today. Oh, I think it’s fab you liked this one, and enjoyed both POVs. YAY that they were mostly distinct – that can be tough for an author to pull off, but I don’t doubt Lauren. She’s such a great writer. And how neat you know her IRL! I bet that’s fun. 🙂
    Molli recently posted…2014 Historical Fiction Challenge!My Profile

  10. This is a sport story?! I want more sport stories so this is making me very happy. This book is now going on my wishlist. For some reason, Meant to Be never really interested me, although I don’t really have a reason for it. I just always went ‘meh’ when I saw it. But this book sounds like such a book for me! Sports AND two perspectives (Which I love)! And adorable books are always welcome.
    Also, how funny that you didn’t know she was in your book club when you said that you loved Meant to Be. Could have been very awkward indeed!
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    • Christina Franke says:

      Fluffy romances aren’t for everyone. Nor are sports stories. I’m glad, though, that this Morrill book is more interesting to you. She’s so much fun and I would hate for you to miss out!

  11. I love seeing mentions of me in places. <3 Also, I remembered she's a Georgia author since she lives in Macon and that's where my grandparents' doctors are, but I didn't know she's in your book club! That's some cool stuff. I wish the novel had been able to hook me a little more, but it was so cute and I loved the sports angle enough that I'm definitely coming back for more. I don't think I'll be backtracking to Meant to Be, though. MORE FLUFF.

    • Christina Franke says:

      Haha, good thing you stopped by this post, then, huh? I almost always see your updates for books I’m reading. You always get to them right before me.

      Yeah, Lauren comes up to Atlanta quite a bit. I would be WAY too lazy if I lived in Macon, but she’s a doer of things.

      Hahaha, yeah, I don’t know if you would like MTB. I feel like the guy might annoy you. It mostly hinges on how you like Julia and I thought she was fabulous. Eh! Apparently she’s doing a band trip one and that will be all the awesome I expect.

  12. Angel says:

    Okay, I’m definitely sighing in relief here because I was afraid this book would turn out to be less than stellar, after how amazing Meant to Be was. I loved The Cutting Edge, and hey there Philly shoutout, so I think I’m definitely going to pick this book up soon. Great review!
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    • Christina Franke says:

      I like them about equally in different ways. I think it really comes down to which is more your thing, whether its romance or the awesomeness of the sports/life swap.

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