Dec 22, 2013

Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte
Publishing Date: January 7, 2014
Pages/Format: 352, eARC

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Huh.

I really liked Lauren Morill's debut Meant to Be. So when I heard about her new novel Being Sloane Jacobs, I was immediately interested. The Parent Trap-esque premise, coupled with figure skating and hockey (something I don't see or read a lot of in YA), was intriguing and had potential. However, for me, it just didn't work out.

It took me forever to get into this book. In fact, I wasn't really "into" it until over halfway through and I saw the percentage of book read getting closer and closer to 100% (though I was into it because I liked it). It took me eleven days to read Being Sloane Jacobs. I didn't pick it up some days because I was busy and too tired, and some days I didn't pick it up because I just wasn't very interested. And the story itself had some issues. Several times I had to think really hard as I tried to remember which Sloane's POV I was reading from, and what Sloane it was--the figure skater or the hockey player. I also had to remember whose friends were whose and so on. It wasn't bad, but it got kind of confusing. And parts of the story were too quick. I wanted more depth and length to them, more details. Additionally, I feel like there were a few inconsistencies and some repeat information.

That said, I did like the book--but just not a lot. It was merely okay, sort of meh, and disappointing. (Whether you read Being Sloane Jacobs or not, please still read Meant to Be.) However, I really started to get into it at around 60% in, and that helped the book as a whole (I was smiling!), but I wish it would've been more like that from page one. Part of the problem may be that it's not my cup of tea (even though I don't drink tea). I prefer my books a bit more romance-based, and this wasn't quite that. I just wanted more of a lot of things, and I didn't get that. I wanted scenes to be more of a slow clap, not a snap of fingers.

The characters were pretty likeable, though I felt that they sometimes overreacted to things. I preferred Sloane Emily over Sloane Devon. Emily's the figure skating senator's daughter who saw something she wish she hadn't, and Devon's the hockey player with some at-home issues and an anger problem. But when they switch places, they start to change (for good). Emily meets new friends at hockey camp: Melody (who's actually not so bad), Cameron (she was cool), and Matt (I liked him!). Devon has a motley crew too: Andy (great), Ivy (not a friend, and I hated her), and Nando (I liked him, too!). I don't really think they were a problem here; the problem was just the story.

I think my biggest problem with Being Sloane Jacobs was that I just wanted more of a lot of things and I didn't get it. I was hoping for a good book, and I'm disappointed to say I didn't get that. For the most part I enjoyed the characters, and the writing wasn't bad (though I think I liked it more in Meant to Be), but the execution just didn't work. I feel like it ended somewhat openly, and I'm not sure how I feel about the actual ending (was it what I think it was?). However, I will say that I was kind of bummed it was over. But in the end, this book and I just weren't meant to be.

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Probably not.
Would I purchase it? Maybe if it was uber cheap, but I'm in no rush to have this on my shelves.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of hockey and ice-skating, and contemporaries that are less about romance and more about friendship and finding oneself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I've been having s-to-the-pam issues, and I wasn't thrilled with Disqus, so sorry about the CAPTCHA!