First of all, can I just say that the POV here was done extremely well. Sloane and well, Sloane, didn’t feel like each other at all and it was easy to know one from the other with the chapters being named after each person’s narration. It was a little tedious to see it at every chapter, but I do admit that it helped me to see that–because I’ve read far too many books where I had to skim every page two or three times so I could find out through dialogue who was talking.
Secondly, I read this book for two reasons. It was because a) I loved Parent Trap and b) I loved Sarah Ockler’s BITTERSWEET and wanted to get to know more about the ice-skating and hockey world. I felt like this book truly brought out the best in both stories, and all expectations I had for this book were blown away. Personally, I have to say that I truly enjoyed this book. I can really see this becoming a nice Disney movie.
This book teaches some valuable lessons. I liked how through the course of the story, both Sloanes learned more about who they were, what they wanted and how to move past what was going on at the moment. All the while though, they didn’t lose the basis to who they were. No epic transformation that makes no sense whatsoever. That meant a lot to me as I saw them and compared them at the beginning of the book and at the end. I thought the ending was a little drawn out for my taste, but I really did like the way it ended. I thought it was fitting.
I’m not sure how I feel right now about Morrill’s writing style. I like it, I’m just not sure how much. I’m looking forward to reading MEANT TO BE. I loved the sweet romances in this story. Both Matt and Nando were great guys. Overall, this is a really funny, sweet and heartwarming identity-switch story. Looking forward to seeing it in print. 4.5 stars.
1) BEING SLOANE JACOBS is about two girls that aren’t happy with their lives and feel really pressured to do well. They switch places, despite the both of them not knowing anything about the other’s sport–ice-skating and hockey. What inspired you to write this story?
The athletic aspect of the story grew out of my five-year career playing roller derby, which is a pretty aggressive and competitive sport. I wanted to explore the ways girls use sports and physical activity as an escape from the stress of life. I also liked playing with two sports that are perceived very differently, but that both require intensity, and often aggression, to be successful. I have been an ice hockey fan for as long as I can remember. I take my fantasy hockey team very seriously!
As for the switch aspect, I absolutely love all switch movies (The Parent Trap, original and Lohan versions; The Cutting Edge, 17 Again, the original Freaky Friday), so it seemed like a fun idea to try in novel form.
2) Both Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon seem like real foodies. Just reading their story made my mouth water. Is this something you and your characters have in common?
Yes! I’d say most of my time is spent either eating, or thinking about what I’m going to eat. I’m a terrible cook, so I’m lucky that I married a guy who not only loves cookies, but is incredible at it. Follow my twitter feed (@LaurenEMorrill), it’s equal parts books, dog pictures, and tweets about food. For BSJ, I wrote several scenes where the Sloanes eat poutine, because it’s one of my favorite foods and one I eat every time I visit Montreal. If you’ve never had it, you have to try it!
3) What was your favorite part of BSJ to write?
I loved writing all the action sequences, both for hockey and figure skating. It’s really fun to try to translate all that physicality into words and try to bring the same intensity of sports onto the page. I worked really hard to get as much of it right as I could, from talking to former skaters to watching hours of YouTube videos. And let’s just say there was a lot of pantomime going on in my apartment as I worked on those scenes.
4) If you could switch places with any author, who would it be?
I think I’d swap with JK Rowling, because I’d love to paw through her Harry Potter memorabilia (you know she probably has a great collection of stuff from the movies!) and also spend some time in Edinburgh.
5) S. Emily and S. Devon both have very different personalities (and two very cool guys). Which would you say you’re more like?
There are parts of both girls in me, but I really loved writing Sloane Devon. Sad to say I probably have a bit of her temper temper, but luckily I’m able to control it better than she does. And if I had a choice, I’d play hockey over figure skating any day. At least with hockey you get to wear pads!
6) What is your favorite scene from BSJ?
I love the scene in the hotel room at the beginning of the novel, when the Sloanes are comparing battle scars from their various sports. It comes from some real conversations I’ve had with roller derby friends.
7) Will we see more of S. Emily or S. Devon? Some authors tend to bring back characters from different books when they’re placed in the same world. What will be the case be for you?
Never say never, but right now the Sloanes are off living their lives and prepping for college. They’re much too busy to pop into my works in progress!
pg count for the hardback: 352
Expected publication date: January 7, 2014
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