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review 2016-12-14 21:45
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

No, no, NO. This was supposed to be a Triple Win for me.

There are two Sloane Jacobs. One of them is an ice-skater...

The other one plays hockey...

They are unhappy with their lives and when they meet, decide to do a Parent Trap/The Pauper and The Prince thing.

Starts OK, but when they meet, they have like, zero bonding. They do not even like each other, but still, they decided to carry on with the plan. I don't claim to be an expert about ice-skating and hockey, but how realistic is for a hockey player to do a pair skating performance after 4 weeks? I can forgive an ice-skater to play hockey, but a hockey player to do well in ice-skating?? Not because she can skate it means she do figure skating! The hockey-Sloane was big and graceless. And she won 2nd place at the end? Say what?

The story was sooo juvenile, I wasn't expecting it from looking at the cover (covers can be deceitful, I know). Both of them find a Mean Girl in their camp; one of them (Ivy, the ice-skater) was soo 2-dimensional. She even says that "pink is her color". What. So both Sloane, to prove they are strong, take revenge of the Mean Girls. In such an immature way. Pranks I expect from, I don't know, maybe 12-years-old boys.

Their respective love interest were sooo boring. Both of them "soooo good looking". I had an instant dislike with one of them, when the author described him as looking like a Bieber. Yuck. And towards the end, when each of the boys find out that his girl was lying to him, it was all "what? you are lying to me? so that kiss was all a lie?", and each girl was "nooo, please listen to me, let me explain" with tears down the cheeks. Oh my, what a cliche soap opera.

I didn't like this book. Predictable with unlikable characters. I started skimming when they girls were exposed. I barely read their "excellent" performances, which was soooo unrealistic. The hockey-player winning a 2nd place in pair figure skating... ha!

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review 2014-05-17 17:01
Being Sloane Jacobs
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

I don't think any book that is so steeped in sports can get any more charming than Being Sloane Jacobs! After I closed that book, I was just sitting there with a silly grin on my face. No kidding. I wanted to hug the book to sleep. It was that adorable. And yet I totally got into the sports parts. They were realistic, they were intense, and all the dynamics between team mates and competitors were so on point, I recognised a lot of the situations both Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon found themselves in.


While it sure is difficult to pick up a sport over a summer, I did think it was possible in the case of Sloane E. and Sloane D. Both had strong athletic backgrounds and both were immensely comfortable on ice. I've managed to break into a couple of sports myself in such short time spans too, so I didn't take issue with their camp swaps. In fact, I enjoyed reading about their training, struggles and progress.


Personality-wise, these two Sloanes were vastly different. Sloane E., a figure skater, cared a lot about her appearance. Sloane D., an ice hockey player, barely cared. It was interesting to see how they had to take on not only the sport of the other but also the style. There was a lot at stake for both of them because they each had the future of the other in her hands, so that conflict kept my eyes glued to the pages.


The Parent Trap type stories can become rather trite but somehow I think for Being Sloane Jacobs it did kind of work. I mean, I wasn't entirely convinced by the sequence of events that led to their switch but in the grand scheme, it hardly mattered. The characters were likeable, the friendships were fun, and the romance didn't annoy me. On the contrary, it was uncomplicated but still unfolded naturally for both Sloanes.


Seriously, anyone who loves sports and enjoys light-hearted contemporary fiction should definitely check out Being Sloane Jacobs!


This review is also available at dudettereads.com.

Source: dudettereads.com/2014/05/being-sloane-jacobs-lauren-morrill
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review 2014-01-26 06:14
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

This book was just cute. It is The Parent Trap cute. Lindsay Lohan-before-she-became-a-coke-addict cute. There is not much substance to the story or its characters, it is generic, it is inoffensive, but damned if I didn't have a huge grin on my face as I was reading it.

It is a feel-good book. If you need something uncomplicated, something to make you smile, this is the book for you.

The Summary: Sloane Emily Jacobs is a poor-little-rich girl. She has an enviable life. She is from a blue-blooded politician family, with power and money. Her father is a Senator. Her mother is his picture-perfect wife. Her brother is the black sheep of the family because he wants to be an environmentalist. Sloane Emily...she just wants to have a nice, normal life away from it all. She was an ice-skating champion until she fell from grace, the pressure to succeed is just too much.

Sloane Emily just wants to get away from it all, particularly from the fact that she walked in on her esteemed politician father in a compromising position with his secretary.

It is an election year, and her family is putting on as bright a picture as possible. That includes their daughter coming back into the limelight as a bright ice skater. They are shipping her off to skating camp in Canada.

Sloane Devon Jacobs is a tough-as-nails hockey player from Philadelphia. She's got a whole lot of issues, including an anger management problem and a secret---she chokes. Sloane Devon cannot score a hockey goal for her life. She is terrified of taking a shot because she might fail. Every time she tries, there is a tingle on the back of her neck that tells her she can't do it. Sloane is trying to cover up her mental fear the best way she can---by being angry at the world.

This is a problem, because hockey is her only ticket out of town. She needs a hockey scholarship to go to college, and Sloane Devon cannot afford to fail. Her coach wants her benched, her only option is to attend a hockey camp in Canada.

These two girls will meet. Despite the fact that both girls are as different as night and day, they are both running away from their problems. Sloane Devon does not want to attend hockey camp, she is afraid of confronting her fears. Sloane Emily does not want to go back to ice skating, she does not want to do what her family pushes upon her. They come up with an insane plan.

“We look alike. Even that desk attendant thought so,” I say, as much to myself as to her.
Sloane blinks at me from the other side of the table, staring at me as though I’ve gone insane.
And maybe I have.
But the idea won’t let go: Here it is. My chance to be somebody else for a bit.
My chance to switch.

Both have misconceptions of the others. Sloane Devon, the tough hockey player, the tomboy, thinks that ice skating will be a piece of cake.

Figure skating is way easier than hockey. No one is trying to break your legs or bash your brains out when you’re figure skating. There are no shots to take or miss, which means no tingles. And there are no scouts or coaches expecting me to be a hero, thus there’s no way to fail.

Sloane Emily, the pampered, feminine ice skater, is just plain glad that she won't have to skate.

I’m on a public bus in Montreal, on my way to play hockey for four weeks. I can sit however I want, and no one is going to tell me otherwise.
This is going to be the greatest summer ever.
No triple axels. No triple axels.

Needless to say, it doesn't exactly turn out the way they planned. Both girls have plenty of adjusting to do, not to mention that neither ice hockey or ice skating is as easy as they thought it would be. They make new friends, they face their own fears, they learn that you can't simply run away from your life without eventually having to face the consequences. Regardless, it will be a summer to remember.

The Characters: As generic as you would expect from a "fun" YA contemporary, but it is so cute, that I easily forgive this book its faults. There are your usual "bad guys," which is to say the Mean Girl clique, as well as your hulking bully. There is the cute bad boy, the Lothario, who turns out not to be such a bad boy after all. Sloane Emily and Sloane Jacobs are nothing new themselves. One is the typically spoiled rich girl, she's not mean at all, but she is still an ultra-feminine girly girl, whereas Sloane Devon is her polar opposite, a tough, swearing tomboy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Generic, yes, but familiar, and oh-so-cute.

The Plot: I had my qualms about the plausibility of the whole switching-places thing, since I know ice skating, and I know how incredibly tough it is to execute the spins. People who compete in ice skating have been training since childhood. It is NOT something you can easily pick up. I do have problems with how little Sloane Devon struggles with ice skating, I know she is not perfect, but it seems like she turns into a passable ice skater with little more than natural skills and some additional practice.

The Romance: Just freaking adorable. It's YA contemporary, so it gets a pass from me on the romance front. There is nothing at all offensive about this book's romance. It is just so squee, it is tooth-achingly sweet. And I have no complaints.

Overall: Such a cute book. Not much substance, but just pure fun.

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review 2014-01-20 00:00
Being Sloane Jacobs
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.

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.
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review 2014-01-19 02:08
Disney Already Did It (and failed too)
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

By now, you’ve probably heard my rant about packaged books.  But occasionally, on very rare occasions, I do indulge in them.


This was one of those books.  It involved figure skating, you guys.  That in itself almost guaranteed that I would read it.


However, the whole sport of figure skating was just sort of shitted on in this book and if you like hockey…you might like this book better than I did.  Of course, I know nothing about hockey, so all the hockey talk in this book might be wrong.


The basic gist of this book is parent trap but without the parents and without the twin angle.  Oh, and add winter sports to it.  But during summer time in Montreal.

If that didn’t make any sense I’ll link you to the summary.


Anyway, despite its packaged state, I was excited about this one and it had been getting fair to decent reviews. Once I read it though, I was not impressed.  Not that there was anything technically wrong about the writing-if I don’t count the horrible research done regarding figure skating.  The prose is pretty bearable.  And the characters gradually became well formed, but I really think it did suffer in part from the dual narrative.


I just didn’t think like I got to know the two Sloanes that well.  Maybe this was in part because they had way too many issues to be solved when their page count was cut in half.  I really didn’t feel like I got to know them and when they were doing pranks that were more juvenile than what you’d see in a Marauders era fanfic, well, I was not amused.


That seemed to be a big problem I had with this book: the maturity factor.

It really felt like the characters were five or six years younger than they were actually supposed to be.  The pranks, the use of the Mean Girl trope, and the characters overall reactions don’t appear how someone in their late teens would act.  I try to give some slack, but eventually my eyes couldn’t help but roll.


Honestly, this book read like a watered down immature version of a Stephanie Perkins book.  And while you might think this is a good thing because I love Stephanie Perkins’s writing, the immaturity factor made it painful to read.  The reason Stephanie Perkins writing works (for me) is that it doesn’t try to be something its not, this book tries too hard to be “cool” and talk “teen”.


Pro tip: if you’re writing a YA book never try to talk like a teen.


Also, if you claim a book involves a plot that heavily involves figure skating actually do some research about the sport and don’t make it a damn hockey book.


It’s not that I don’t like hockey.  I really know nothing about it, I’m from Texas after all.  But figure skating, that’s the only sport I’ll regularly watch on TV.  And I know that it should be impossible for a novice who is going to an elite skating camp to wind up second let alone in pairs.


Even if you’re a figure skating novice if you watch The Cutting Edge you know that skating in pairs is a completely different thing than singles.  Having a hockey player who doesn’t even know how to do figure skating basics being almost instant good at pairs makes me seethe.


Also, I don’t think “Hedwig’s Theme” would exactly work as skating music-this is my personal opinion though.


Also, I find it weird how everyone believes that this figure skating novice is qualified to attend the camp.  Surely, they must notice she can’t make any of the jumps or know the lingo.  The same applies with the other Sloane who is at hockey camp.  Heck, with the way Morrill wrote the story you might think that Sloane Emily is a hockey prodigy despite the fact that she has never played hockey before in her life and based on those Rachel Gibson books I’ve read I don’t think playing hockey is that easy.


But what do I know?


I also just loved how all the research on figure skating seemed confined to cliches.   Of course, all figure skaters are itty bitty mean girls and their male counterparts are gay b.f.f.s.  Oh, and everyone wears sequins too.


Gag me.


Sigh, I guess the problems with this one are partially my own.  I was really hoping for more.  The last time I was this disappointed was when I went to see the movie, Ice Princess.  I remember being so excited because it was a screenplay written by Meg Cabot.  I mean, can you imagine a Meg Cabot script.  It would probably be something akin to Gilmore Girls, but on steroids.  But you know what happened…..Disney.

Instead of keeping the Cabot storyline where a hockey player turned figure player falls in love with a Zamboni driver, we got a crappy movie with Dawn from Buffy in it trying to pretend she’s smart (she doesn’t do that great of a job).


Remind me, to review that movie eventually.


This book sort of reminded me of that movie.  Lots of potential, but what could’ve made it great was ignored and what we got was well meh.  I didn’t hate this book.  I’ve read much, much, worse.  Especially in the past month, but I can’t  really recommend it either.

Source: howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/disney-already-did-it-being-sloane-jacobs-by-lauren-morrill
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