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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 don’t think any book that is so steeped in sports can get any more charming than Being Sloane Jacobs! After I closed that book,I was just sitting there with a silly grin on my face. No kidding. I wanted to hug the book to sleep. It was that adorable. And yet I totally got into the sports parts. They were realistic, they were intense, and all the dynamics between team mates and competitors were so on point, I recognised a lot of the situations both Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon found themselves in.
While it sure is difficult to pick up a sport over a summer, I did think it was possible in the case of Sloane E. and Sloane D. Both had strong athletic backgrounds and both were immensely comfortable on ice. I’ve managed to break into a couple of sports myself in such short time spans too, so I didn’t take issue with their camp swaps. In fact, I enjoyed reading about their training, struggles and progress. <
Personality-wise, these two Sloanes were vastly different. Sloane E., a figure skater, cared a lot about her appearance. Sloane D., an ice hockey player, barely cared. It was interesting to see how they had to take on not only the sport of the other but also the style. There was a lot at stake for both of them because they each had the future of the other in her hands, so that conflict kept my eyes glued to the pages.
The Parent Trap type stories can become rather trite but somehow I think for Being Sloane Jacobs it did kind of work. I mean, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the sequence of events that led to their switch but in the grand scheme, it hardly mattered. The characters were likeable, the friendships were fun, and the romance didn’t annoy me. On the contrary, it was uncomplicated but still unfolded naturally for both Sloanes.
Seriously, anyone who loves sports and enjoys light-hearted contemporary fiction should definitely check out Being Sloane Jacobs!