Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

January 21, 2014 Contemporary, Reviews 5 ★★

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte Books For Young Readers on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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.

One of the most important aspects of a dual narrative novel should be creating and maintaining unique voices for the narrators.  Being Sloane Jacobs failed by this count, and it made it even harder to enjoy this lightweight story. It may as well have been written as a parallel lives story since there is no discernible difference in the characters, and it was easy to forget that they were supposed to be two people.

I’ll recap the whole story in a few sentences.  Two girls named Sloane Jacobs happen to cross paths.  One is rich, one is poor, and neither is particularly happy with her life.  They decide to switch identities, and they inexplicably pull it off for a time, until, of course, it all crashes down.  They each embark upon an uninteresting romance which has a moment of turmoil (quickly resolved) when each guy learns of the deception.  But in the end, everything works out perfectly, and all of the earlier woes are washed away.

The Parent Trap plot doesn’t work due to all of the implausibilities, and character development is barely touched upon – unless you count Poor Sloane’s anger issue which manifests itself in fist fights in the first few pages, but is barely addressed again.  I would normally get irritated over a story like this, but it’s so bland and inoffensive that it’s hard to take it seriously.



5 Responses to “Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill”

  1. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    Bummer this one didn’t work out for you. I’ve seen similar reviews so sadly I don’t think it’s working for a few people I didn’t request this one since it’s not my preferred genre and honestly had no clue what it was about until I read your review. I think the concept is over used but can be very well done–too bad the voices were so much alike. With two girls with the same name you’d need a very unique narrative per girl to really have it stand out. Great, honest review.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of Scarlet by A.C. GaughenMy Profile

  2. Cait

    Bland books are really disappointing. 🙁 It feels like SUCH a waste of time, eh? I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about this book, but most people have said it’s just a fluffy feel-good read. *shrugs* Not sure if I’ll go for it.
    Cait recently posted…How To Put Links in Blogger CommentsMy Profile

  3. Pili

    I didn’t really feel like I’d be reading this one before. Not very much into fluffly contemporary reads lately. And even less after reading your review.
    Thanks for the honest review, Stephanie!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #26!!My Profile

    • Stephanie

      I don’t think I will. I just didn’t see anything special here, and there are other contemporary romance authors I’ve had better luck with.

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