Monday, September 1, 2014

Being Sloane Jacobs

Being Sloane Jacobs is a YA contemporary novel by Lauren Morrill.

Sloane Emily Jacobs is about ready to launch her big ice skating comeback after a devastating moment in the junior nationals.

Or she’s supposed to anyway.

Training has been made harder by her political family’s issues, and knowledge of something that is eating her up inside.

So, when she leaves home for a hardcore ice skating camp, she’s miserable.

Sloane Devon Jacobs has been an ice hockey player for years. She’s tough and practically made for the lifestyle. It’s her one chance for a scholarship and a shot at college.

Lately, though, her aggressive streak has worsened and she finds herself forced to go to hockey camp to prove she’s worthy of being scouted come senior year.

Yet, she’s been playing worse than ever – as her mind hasn’t been in the game lately. This is not the time for hockey camp…

When the two Sloane’s serendipitously meet during travel to their camp’s, an idea is formed. Neither one of them wants to go where they’re going and both desperately want to escape their lives for a bit.

So… why not switch?

Being Sloane Jacobs did not start off as fun for me as Meant to Be did, what with both of the Sloane’s being in pretty unhappy places from the start. Whereas Meant to Be had laugh-out-loud moments from the get-go, Being Sloane Jacobs decided to ferment for us exactly how miserable the girls are.

For quite some time I was not really loving either Sloane. I appreciated their athleticism and anticipated that their switch would increase the entertainment factor in Being Sloane Jacobs – but when the switch happened there was a lot of pranking and hijinks at the camps that came across to me as more mean-spirited than funny.

The actual logistics of the switch weren’t clear to me, either. For example, both Sloane’s kept their respective cell phones – yet at one point Sloane Devon got a phone call from Sloane Emily’s father. How??? It’s possible I missed something, but I definitely felt the specifics could have been laid out a little better – even if it is an inherently unlikely situation that we’re supposed to suspend belief for.

All of this makes it sound like I wasn’t a fan of Being Sloane Jacobs, which isn’t entirely accurate. It just took quite a while to warm up to it, and I never enjoyed it as much as Meant to Be.

In the final third of Being Sloane Jacobs I finally started to root for these girls – I finally felt like they were TRYING. Amazing how that helps, huh?

After my long held reticence, Being Sloane Jacobs shockingly became rather touching. A good amount of character development and resolution that I had begun to fear I wouldn’t even care about. But I did care once we got there.

Being Sloane Jacobs was much better in the long haul – but I sure had to hang in there!!!

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