Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill // The Parent Trap Without the Sister Dilemma

Being Sloane Jacobs, by Lauren MorrillUntitled-1      Publication: January 7, 2014, by Delacorte Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance                                                             Pages: 352                                         Format: Hardcover                     Source: Gifted                                             Rating: Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PM

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.

Michelle’s Thoughts:

I feel pretty bad for my books. I treat them as real people, if you can believe it—not to sound weird or anything. I’m friendly, no stalker. But if I leave a book itching for me to read it for ages, I feel bad that I’m not picking it up instead of all of the other new books that are being released and those that I’m requesting and borrowing from the library. Being Sloane Jacobs by the awesome Lauren Morrill was one of those books that I’ve been waiting to read forever. It was pretty fabulous, if you ask me.

Have you ever watched the classic film The Parent Trap? This book is so similar to it. Minus the actual secret twin/sisterhood thing as well as parents getting back together, Morrill basically adds all of the quirkiness and entertainment that you ever have wanted in a contemporary-romance novel, with two different perspectives that’ll leave you giggling for ages, even after the whole story is over.

“Either you love it or you don’t. Either you can do it or you can’t. And, kid? I been watching you for years, and I know you can do it. The question you gotta figure out is, do you love it?” (4)

This features two distinct girls with the same name: Sloane Jacobs. One is a figure skater while the other plays hockey. When summer vacation comes, they decide that they’d like to go to camps where they’re able to do the talents and hobbies that they enjoy the most. When they meet in a hotel in Montreal and discover that they look pretty similar and both are able to skate, they decide to switch places. They fall in love with different people, learn new things and decide how they’ll actually be themselves when the time comes.

I adored the concept which Morrill handed to us. There’s no doubt about that. I can’t get the story and its events out of my head, including the cute picture-perfect romance and all of the things that made each character and perspective themselves. The writing is brilliant, though quick, fast-paced and interesting, leaving me unable to stop reading. As I’ve read the author’s other books in the past, I kind of already knew what to expect, but it all turned out to be more satisfying than what I already predicted beforehand.

“I, Sloane Emily Jacobs, am sitting in my pajamas on the handlebars of a boy’s bike, being whisked around a foreign city at midnight. I can’t even imagine what my mom would say. The thought makes me grin.” (139)

When I think about it, I don’t really have a favourite “Sloane Jacobs.” The girls were two different, distinct personalities who loved different things, behaved differently and had a different view on life and what you should do to be happy. Love isn’t all you need kind of felt like the motto by the end as well. Fame and fortune? Those don’t matter either, actually. All that mattered to me was the writing, plot, characters and pacing, as well as the meaning discovered in the end. At least, those things satisfied me. *giggles*

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All in all, Being Sloane Jacobs turned out to be one of those books that you’ll finish and enjoy in one sitting. It’s fast-paced, and unique, compared to the large selection of contemporaries that are found in YA lit today. Did you enjoy The Parent Trap films? Do you enjoy books about the theme of friendship and first love? What about starting over again once something bad occurred to you in life? This has that all.

do you prefer a fast or slow pace when contemporaries are written? have you read anything by lauren morrill before? Do you like similar cover schemes from one particular author and all of their books?

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Sway by Kat Spears // Love From a Teenage Boy’s Perspective Is Magical

Sway, by Kat Spears                            Publication: September 16, 2014, by St. Martin’s Griffin                                                     Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance                                                                   Pages: 320                                                           Format: Hardcover                                         Source: Gifted                                                   Rating: Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.12.37 PM

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or “Sway,” as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want—term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVERlets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion—until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.

Sam’s Thoughts:

Do you ever feel like swaying to a beautiful song that you have just heard on the radio? What about gushing and giggling when an author just writes a brilliant sentence that is so quote sticky-note worthy? If you answered “yes” to at least one of those two questions, that means that 50% of you is a lover of contemporary romance novels. It is just meant to be. And through this review, I promise you that you’ll feel captivated to purchase/borrow/beg for a copy of Kat Spears’s Sway. I almost typed “swag” there, LOLZ.

This is a novel that I admit I wasn’t too sure about. How could you be when it’s about instant romance, in a way? Or money making slash romance? Those can simply go either way, but at least I had enjoyed Owen Matthews’s How to Win at High School, which was kind of similar to this, in a way. I promise you that there are hundreds of phrases/things/quirks that this book has which will leave you gushing, even if you’re not an original fan of these kinds of books or work.

Having to remind myself since it’s been quite a while since I touched the gorgeous dust jacket of Spears’s tale, this is all about first love, which came in an unexpected way to two, completely different teenagers. Written in a male’s perspective, Jesse is the guy you’ll surely fall in love with. He could practically sell anything, or do tons of favours for people, for a price, obviously. When this hot-shot jock named Ken asks him to talk to angelic Bridget for him, Jesse is first hesitant but knows that he’ll get paid well if he succeeds. When he meets her, they click instantly and their friendship begins, and strengthens to limits that aren’t really allowed as Jesse’s doing this as a job. 

Accidents make everything better. It’s like that cheesy saying about karma, “Good things come to those who wait.” Bridget and Jesse’s relationship really was an accident full of lies and stupid mistakes, but it all turned out to be 5 starred and spectacular. It was an accident that they ever clicked, when their personalities never should have clicked as they’re opposites. If Jesse had never begun a friendship with Bridget’s little brother, things wouldn’t have gone to where they ended. It’s a realistic, beautiful story that I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of. And I can tell you that many, many real-life relationships had never been meant to be, but something randomly clicked, and all fell into love’s hands.

Kat’s writing is lyrical, right-to-the-point and like a fresh breeze. Most contemporaries revolve around A) a jealous ex (B) somebody hiding from their past and looking for a way to shine/feel better and/or (C) a huge secret. This book revolved around the last option, but it’s not like we were reminded by it. Jesse and Bridget’s attraction was real, new and enchanting, nothing like it was fake or just written for pleasure. They made the pacing, concept and plot become what it turned out to be, not the other way around. I’d seriously read anything else Spears comes up with in the future, because I just can’t get it all out of my head.

Smart, brainy, beautiful girl, plus a badass, hot guy? That equals absolute flirtation. We all saw some huge fit coming or else the story wouldn’t have been real, but I’m glad to see that the plot and everything practically glued, sewed together to form a true masterpiece in the end. If you typically read science-fiction, go for this book. If you typically read high fantasy, go for this book. I just can’t pronounce it enough. YOU NEED THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN YOUR LIFE, OKAY?

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This is something that I would’ve been a hundred times proud of if I discovered that John Green or Rainbow Rowell had written, some of the best contemporary writers in modern lit. But it takes its own whirl at things, to teenagers’ hearts. Sway will leave you swaying, swaying to the incomprehensible song it promotes, the song that readers are only able to receive once they’ve read it and understood its real message. Plus, who doesn’t like to read about cute elderly people who played on with it all? *winks*

What do you think of romances that are not so typical? what about those that deal with lies and emotional destruction through the end portion of the plot? are you willing to give this a chance? (because i hope you are.) this is wonderful, pure brilliance.

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