December 28, 2013

Review + ARC Giveaway: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Release Date: January 7th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Page Count: 334
Source: ARC Provided by Paper Lantern Lit
Rating: The most adorable of the adorables, if not a bit unbelievable.
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.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

There's Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon. Sloane Emily is a figure skater. Sloane Devon is a hockey pro. Both have mega family issues and their own personal hang ups that lead them to be entirely terrified of the summer skating camps their being sent to and who they are in general. So when they run into each other at a hotel the night before camp starts, they switch places and then all of the things happen.

The Unbelievable:
I'm gonna start with the one thing I didn't love so much, but don't let that deter you for reading on and seeing what I did love so much because that far outweighs the negative for me.
  • The Switch-a-roo: I'm not totally sure how these girls pulled off the switch. I mean, hockey and figure skating are insanely different and I'm not sure I buy their proficiency in either after one night of off-ice training. I mean, I guess neither were particularly good in their respective camps, but yeah. Sports are hard. And then I'm not totally sure how people (an administrator perhaps?) didn't figure out the girls weren't the right girls. That seems completely irresponsible and probably grounds to close the camps. Or at least make parents re-think sending their kids there.

The Absolutely Perfect:
Okay, so if you ignore the weak foundation of the book and just go with it, this book is the best.
  • The Sports: While I don't think the switch is totally believable, I really like the sports bit. I don't know anything about hockey or figure skating, but it's clear Lauren Morrill either does or did a lot of fantastic research for this one. I mean, I just watch those movies (mostly The Cutting Edge and The Mighty Ducks), which isn't much of an education, even though I love them. So, teach me things, okay Lauren Morrill?
  • The POV: The best thing about this book is that I don't get confused between the Sloane's at all throughout the book. And there's only one 20 pages stint where I want to stick with one Sloane over the other. That balance is pretty difficult to maintain, so I'm pretty impressed with that. 
  • The Boys: Two girls, two boys. There's a lot of switch confusion drama, which I absolutely loved because, well, you make your bed and then you sleep in it and all that. But I love the love interests here. They're so sweet and charming and perfect yet imperfect in their own rights, just like Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon. I also really loved that they weren't the main focus of the book. This one is really about the girls with the boys as an extra bonus. Which is how I like my realistic fiction. But yeah. Two main characters. Two boys. Two sets of swoons. Can't hate that, really.
  • The Running Away: At first I was like, gosh, I can't relate to these girls at all. I'm neither full of rage nor sporty, really. But then I realized that I do have one thing in common with these two girls: the urge to run away. Sometimes life sucks, there's all kinds of drama (familial, like for the Sloanes or otherwise) and you just want to get away from your problems and whatever else for a bit. Which a lot of people call running away and not dealing. But I say a break isn't the end of the world. You obviously still need to deal with your issues and all that, but you don't need to do it with your issues standing right next to you. A little space from the problem never hurt anyone, and that's just what Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon needed, and took. And I like it.
  • The Sloanes: Ugh. All of their troubles really broke my heart. And they were so likable and fantastic that I read through this book in one sitting. I like how they dealt with their families, their new friends at camp, the boys, their issues and just about everything else. Yeah, they're both a little rough around the edges, but I love them for that. I find that the imperfections of a character are what I love best. The Sloanes have those imperfections in spades and honestly deal with them wonderfully.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Totally unfeasible but absolutely wonderful all the same.
World Building: Again, I don't see how this story would have happened, but if you bite the bullet and go with it, it's really a super fun, exciting book.
Character Development: I love, love, love Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon, as well as their progression throughout the book. So much so that I don't even mind the implausible set up for this book. I also love their romantic interests and their friends. The secondary character development really is excitingly fantastic.
Prose: Super fun, totally the right feel for this cute sports, switch-a-roo sports book.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you like sports, can get beyond the slightly unbelievable and love cute things, this is absolutely the book for you.

Have you read this one? Are you excited for the cuteness that is this book if you haven't read it? Do you like ice sports? How about cute boys? Now I'm just asking questions, really, so leave comments below to make me shut up, yeah?

BUT WAIT. One more thing before you go (and leave me those comments, of course)...


Yeah, I got an ARC of this book, but I'm going to buy a finished copy when it comes out, so I thought I'd pass my ARC along to one of you!
Giveaway Rules:

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