Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!



Currently Reading

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Progress: 31/369 pages
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Being Sloane Jacobs (Review)

Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

ETA: I don't even know with the formatting. I usually write my reviews in a word document and then copy+paste to Tumlr and BookLikes, and everything works out correctly. It usually has the right bullet points and text/font and everything, but right now...I don't know. I don't even know.


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I haven’t read Meant to Be, so I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book. Thanks to the Winter Olympics and voyages with a certain Disney movie when I was little, I’ve always been fascinated with figure skating (though I can’t ice skate to save my life), and I thought, “What the heck? It could be really good!”


My long-standing dislike of present tense haunted me while I was reading, as both Sloanes narrate in present tense and it bothered me the whole way through. However, while I initially worried that both Sloanes would have the same voice and narration, the two girls soon identified themselves and I honestly felt like I was reading two unique points of view–and I absolutely fell in love with the story and the characters. A concept like this seems incredibly unrealistic–not just two girls named Sloane Jacobs, but the fact that they look incredibly similar, that they both happen to be able to ice skate, that nobody caught them–but Morrill pulled it off really well, and it felt smooth and enjoyable, and not at all juvenile like you might expect. The plot and pacing and characterization were handled very well, and I really look forward to reading more of Morrill’s work–definitely incentive to go find myself a copy of Meant to Be! Both fans and newcomers to Morrill will be pleasantly surprised by this little gem.


An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


What I Liked:

  • There are some books that don’t have a lot of different components that make it “good”, aside from “it was executed incredibly well”. I think that’s the case here. I’m not sure what I can say individually–I loved the characters because they were realistic and believable, I thought the plot was creative, I think the pacing was excellent–but no matter what I say on the individual front, it all comes back to execution. Everything here are basic points for a good book, but the fact that it all came together cohesively and perfectly just made reading it so enjoyable and downright fun. It was lighthearted, but taught a lesson, and you cared about what was happening and you didn’t get bored. It was perfectly planned out and came across to the reader as a great story. I know it seems strange to only have one bullet point here for a four star book, but it all came down to the wonderful execution and cohesiveness of every little thing. It was good, both in writing and planning, and storytelling and creativity.



What I Didn’t Like:

  • Sometimes, there are just those little tiny things that prevent a book from going from “really good!” to “favorite status”. For me, in this book it was the present tense. I can enjoy books written in present tense, but you can pretty much bet that it’s never because of the present tense–and more often than not, it’ll show up in one of these sad little bullet points in this section of my reviews. Such is the case with Being Sloane Jacobs. It’s not my cup of tea. It’s not my style. Granted, Morrill didn’t fall into the usual present tense traps, but it still feels like it’s just not…pulled together all the way. It was that one thing through the whole book that just bothered me at the back of the whole “reading experience”, and I couldn’t love this book entirely because of it. I think if it had been written in past tense, I would have been able to give this five stars, no sweat.


Overall: I think this is a great and well-done novel, and definitely worth reading when it comes out. If you’re like me, you’ll be snatching it up in preparation for the Winter Olympics in February, and it’s a perfect, light and cute read for the winter. I really loved almost the whole thing, and it was only the little blip with the present tense writing (which is good news, since I think I’m in the minority on that opinion) that made it less than perfect in my book. I really look forward to reading more from Morrill in the future–this is a really great book, and I recommend picking up a copy when it comes out!