Thursday, March 27, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

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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.

Despite the rather unbelievable premise, Being Sloane Jacobs was quite fun and I couldn't help but fall for it while reading it during the Winter Olympics.

It took a little bit to buy into them trading places and adapting easily to each other’s lives. They're from opposite backgrounds with contrary dispositions, there was no telling which way this would go. I think I spent half the time convincing myself to go with it and the other half worried about how and when their ruse would be discovered. At some point, I ended up being more concerned with what the two Sloanes were mentally working through than all the other stuff.

Essentially, they’re both overwhelmed and exhausted by their own lives. They’re expected to behave a certain way, deliver certain results and follow a pre-destined path towards glory. Seems impressive on paper but when real life intrudes and shakes their faith in themselves and their respective families, suddenly all that they’ve been working towards has become unbearable. So trading spots isn’t such a bad idea after all. It’s a mental vacation from their lives and a chance for some breathing space. This break is exactly what they need to get their heads sorted out. As the weeks go by, they meet new friends (and enemies), learn challenging new repertoires, engage in some out-of-character high jinx and of course, there are boys involved. They eventually have to return to reality but by then they come to terms with what they have and face head on their fears and anxieties over their futures.

All in all, Being Sloane Jacobs is cute with a side of mischief – just enough to sweeten your day!

~ Bel

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