Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

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.

I received Being Sloane Jacobs from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Sloane Emily Jacobs and Sloane Devon Jacobs meet in a luggage/room mixup in a Montreal hotel, both Sloanes are on their way to camp. Overnight, they bond and decide to switch places, even though Sloane Emily is a figure skater and Sloane Devon is an ice hockey player. Hey, they’re both ice sports, right? How hard could it be? What could be better than getting away from all of the pressure of living up to other people’s expectations?

Being Sloane Jacobs is a little of The Cutting Edge mixed with some Model Behavior and a dash of The Mighty Ducks. It’s fun to watch Sloane Devon navigate the figure skating world while Sloane Emily gives hockey a try. They’re not just learning new sports; they’re also learning to cope with the new types of people they meet at the camps and learning about themselves as well. Each Sloane is harboring — and even hiding from — a secret about her life. It’s easier to ignore the realities of their lives when they’re away from home, but eventually they’re forced to face them. By that time, the girls have grown up and grown more confident and are ready for the challenge.

You do have to suspend some disbelief: figure skaters are generally strong but small, while I would guess that as a female hockey player, to be competitive on a male-dominated team even at the high school level, Sloane Devon would have to be bulkier and would have difficulty fitting into even Sloane Emily’s practice clothing. But in the overall picture, that’s a little thing and if you can get past it, as I was able to do, Being Sloane Jacobs is a fun read.

Wavering between giving Being Sloane Jacobs 4 1/2 and 5 stars, I asked myself, “What’s wrong with it?” The answer is nothing. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about Being Sloane Jacobs, but I’m giving it 4 1/2 stars because it doesn’t make me feel all fangirly. It’s definitely a satisfying read but it’s missing just a little spark that would push it into the 5 star category for me.

four and a half stars



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