Magan: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

book cover for Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill  (website | twitter)
Other Books Written by This Author: Meant to Be
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 352
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: swapping lives, figure skating, hockey, Canada, summer camp
Format Read: ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley. (Thank you!)

Summary: Two Sloane Jacobs’ coincidentally meet in a hotel lobby where they’re each about to attend four week summer camps. After realizing they’d both like to temporarily forget about their own troubles, they decide to swap lives and attend the other girls’ summer camp.

Well, hello 2014! I’m so excited to be kicking off this new year with a new release that I thoroughly enjoyed, Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill. Here’s a little backstory:

Sloane Emily is a senator’s daughter. She’s got family issues that she wants to run away from and insane amounts of pressure she’d love to escape. She’s being sent to figure skating camp, against her will, for four weeks where she’s expected to perform well and make a splash back into the competitive figure skating community.

Contradictory to Sloane Emily’s seemingly “perfect” life (from an outsider’s perspective) is Sloane Devon’s. Her family is barely making ends meet, she’s losing her edge in hockey — along with all of her confidence — and the only chance she has to be a starter her senior year is to redeem herself at hockey camp.

These two girls couldn’t live more opposing lives, but a chance encounter at a hotel leads them to swap places and spend four weeks pretending to be the other Sloane Jacobs. I’m sure you’ve all seen movies like The Parent Trap or 17 Again in which two people swap lives and learn Really Important Things about themselves. Being Sloane Jacobs has that same feel-good aspect, but with great doses of humor that made me laugh out loud as the girls struggled to embrace the other’s sport. I’m not a reader that loves all loose ends tied up perfectly either if things don’t feel realistic and Morrill did a lovely job incorporating strengths and weaknesses into the story that made everything feel a bit more believable.

While the story takes place at the beginning of summer, the ice rink setting made me feel like winter was the absolute appropriate time for me to be meeting these girls. Their stories are told from alternating points of view, giving a clear picture of what each girl’s struggles are and how she’s managing to keep up the facade of being someone else. Perhaps the only time I wasn’t entirely comfortable reading from both POVs was during the epilogue when the girls were face-to-face having a conversation. (I also didn’t fully see the need for the epilogue as I would have felt pretty satisfied without it.)

I texted Estelle when I finished reading and mentioned Being Sloane Jacobs gave me the same kind of happy feel as Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. There’s tons of self-discovery, a sweet love story (or could there be two?), depth, and a generous dose of laughter. If you’re itching to use a gift card you were given for Christmas, definitely consider using it toward the purchase of Lauren Morrill’s newest release, expected in bookstores on January 7th.

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12 thoughts on “Magan: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

  1. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook says:

    I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews lately for Being Sloane Jacobs. I’ve read Meant to Be by Morrill, and I liked it, but I wasn’t in love.

    I do love the Parent Trap, though, so I am curious about this one. I’m so glad to hear that you really liked it. I think I’ll get this from the library when it’s released.

  2. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA says:

    I really enjoyed this one! Loved seeing both girls discover that the other’s life wasn’t as easy and care-free as they thought, as well as discovering that the other sport wasn’t what they initially thought it was. I actually appreciated this epiologue, although agree that it wasn’t really necessary. I just like knowing that everyone seems to live happily ever after! 🙂

    Definitely agree that people should use their gift cards on this one! Great review!

  3. tabithasbookblog says:

    Bittersweet!! That’s the perfect book to describe what this book reminded me of. I loved how it was set in the summer, but had a wintery feel (like you mentioned). I actually didn’t enjoy this one as much as Meant to Be, but it was definitely an enjoyable read.

    Great review!

  4. Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby says:

    I completely agree that it had a wintery feel! Although I really did enjoy this book, I had a few minor issues with it. Both Sloanes picked up the other’s sport far too quickly for my tastes – even though they were both skating-related, I just don’t believe it would be THAT easy to suddenly go toe-to-toe with with a figure skater/hockey player who has been at that sport her entire life.
    Apart from that (and a few times where I got the two Sloanes mixed up) I thought this book was so much fun! I’m glad you loved it, M!

  5. Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide says:

    This one was cute! I really enjoyed it a lot and I really compared it to The Parent Trap (how could you not?) and I totally forgot about 17 Again! I felt like this one was purely fun. I think I had wished it to be just a bit more.. deep, I guess. The parents had issues which of course affected the girls but it just felt super light.
    Lovely review! So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit says:

    Already pre-ordered with one of my gift cards! I’m looking for a feel-good book at this point, and I love the addition of skating vs ice hockey. Really appreciate your review – I’m glad that I’m picking it up.

  7. Alexa S. says:

    I really liked this book too! I thought it was cute, and the story had me turning the pages until I reached the end. Even though you kind of have to suspend your disbelief a bit, it was still just a lot of fun to read.

  8. Bookworm1858 says:

    I just finished reading this after having a mixed experience with Meant to Be and I liked this one so much more-the girls’ parallel experiences really resonated with me and I had so much fun following along especially because the denouement didn’t play out quite as I expected.

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