I first heard of Lauren Morrill in the blogosphere when her debut novel, Meant To Be, was released. People had been raving about that book, so I ended up giving in to the bandwagon and bought a copy for myself. There was no doubt that I greatly enjoyed Meant To Be that I decided to include Lauren Morrill in my auto-buy authors list. Hence, when her recent book, Being Sloane Jacobs, came out, I didn’t hesitate to immediately buy a copy from The Book Depository.
Here’s the plot description from the jacket cover of the book:
Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater 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 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. 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.
At a glance, this book has similar attributes to the plots of The Parent Trap and Disney Channel Original Movie’s Go Figure (if you’re familiar with it), but as I read further along the book, Being Sloane Jacobs is so much better than the two mentioned movies combined. The storyline may seem far-fetched as two persons coincidentally share the same name and look almost alike, but I’m still entertained with these characters’ mischievous acts and how they react to their surroundings, and eventually, find love unexpectedly.
At the beginning, the book already presents us with the conflicts being faced by the protagonists which then lead us to the realization of their wish to become someone else. Any person could relate to them because undoubtedly, at one point or certain points in our lives, we wished to be in someone else’s shoes. Lauren Morrill provides us with the literal illustration of that and how this affects the protagonists is up to us to find out. Being Sloane Jacobs is definitely a realistic narration of two teenagers burdened by something they’re hesitant to face and as most of us do, they try to escape it the easiest way possible.
A figure-skater becoming an ice-hockey player and vice versa is quite unimaginable to pursue. Two different sports consisting of different sets of rules and then playing something your body’s not meant to do would certainly create chaos. But that does not stop Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon from their plans. I’m actually curious how each of them would adapt. Both of them have distinct personalities and entering each other’s world would force them to become someone they’re not. However, throughout the process, I realize that ice-hockey and figure-skating are not entirely different from one another.
Both sports, despite having their own sets of rules and game plays, enhance the skills of the players, depending on which form. Technicality aside, what I really notice is that Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon encounter tensions between them and their intimidating peers. For Sloane Emily, there’s Melody, and for Sloane Devon, there’s Ivy. It’s fun to read how both Sloane Jacobses handle the situation and face the challenge. Lauren Morrill is able to portray the stereotypical characteristics of a figure-skater (through Ivy) as well an ice-hockey player (through Melody), but at the same time, destroys the preconceived notions about the players through Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon. The Sloane Jacobses prove to be different and their characters have turned out to be likeable. Most of all, the budding relationship they have with their respective love interests is what I look forward to reading after I turn every page. It’s cute, fresh, and definitely swoon-worthy.
These two Sloane Jacobses are two persons we could look up to. Although coming from different social classes, Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon still encounter family issues not unusual to us (and could happen to any of us). The weight of their problems is not that simple and yet, they are able to slowly handle them maturely. Moreover, their planned switch eventually does them good as they gradually recognize who they truly are as a person and what they actually want in life. Overall, Being Sloane Jacobs does not disappoint. I enjoyed the book from the beginning all the way to the end. I finished the book in three days – that’s how entertained I am. Lauren Morrill surely narrates the story well and I’ll definitely look forward to her future books.