Genres: YA Contemporary
Source: print ARC from Amazon Vine
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.
Most of my friends loved Morrill’s debut novel Meant to Be, calling it adorable and sweet and all sorts of other things I can’t remember at the moment. That her novels are done with the packaging company Paper Lantern Lit discouraged me from reading anything from her, but when a book is easily available and you’re really curious… Anyway, their praise for her is not lost on me. Though I’ve got my issues with the novel, Being Sloane Jacobs is a sugar-sweet journey into the worlds of professional ice skating and hockey with two girls who have their own problems to deal with.
It doesn’t go heavily in-depth, but we see just enough of the worlds of ice skating and hockey to feel like we’re seeing something new. You’re not going to need to open up Google to read the books and understand what these girls are taking about, at least. The parts of the novel where the Sloanes are on ice are the best, most interesting parts. The personal struggles they imply for most of then novel and explain explicitly right at the end are good too, but seeing Sloane Emily check a massive girl while playing hockey and then seeing Sloane Devon figure out the basics of skating during a routine is simply better.
It really is cute and interesting and all, but this novel has nothing to really make me stick to it. Ten pages felt like twenty and it took much longer for me to finish reading than it should have considering I’m on break from college for Christmas and literally all I want to do is read every books I can get my hands on as quickly as possible. One major contributor to my inability to stick with it is definitely the mean girl crap Sloane Devon the hockey player has to deal with from Southern ice skater Ivy. Ivy is why I hated Sloane Devon’s chapters and wanted more of Sloane Emily. There’s also some serious pop culture dissonance at times. Rather odd to see pop culture references that are already dated when the book isn’t even out yet.
This definitely isn’t the only Lauren Morrill novel I’ll read; Meant to Be doesn’t sound like my style, but the two novels she just signed the contracts for do. Oh boy, do they sound like books I want to read! If you’re curious about ice skating and hockey and think you’ll be good flipping between these two girls, go for it. The fluff is worth it even though my review is threadbare. Actually, that’s a sign the fluff really is worth it. If I have little to say, it’s a good thing. Kinda.