YA Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Just out this week, I got this fun YA read from Net Galley.

BEING SLOANE JACOBS is the story of two girls – both named Sloane Jacobs – who switch places one summer at the respective summer camps. Sloane Emily is a wealthy senator’s daughter, bored with her life under the microscope and her power focused parents. She is an expert ice skater who has had some recent issues with confidence, and is headed to Canada for skating camp. Sloane Devon is a tough hockey player from Philly who is sent to camp as a community service due to her bad attitude. Both girls start off hating each other (sort of like Parent Trap!) when they meet at a hotel, but realize that they are similar enough in looks that they could pass for each other; then decide to take a break from their respective lives and “try on” the other’s existence.

I really enjoyed this story – it was light and funny and had a little romance built in. I would have loved this book when I was in middle school. At the end of the day the two themes ring true: “don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in the shoes” , and “East or West, home is best.” I look forward to more from Ms. Morrill!

Thanks for my ARC ecopy!

YA Review: MARIE ANTOINETTE, SERIAL KILLER by Katie Alender

I saw MARIE ANTOINETTE, SERIAL KILLER at the YA session at BEA but quite frankly, I walked past it. Marie Antoinette – serial killer?? It sounded rather absurd, plus the cover had a costumed girl with blood on her – ick (just a note here: looks like the blood didn’t make it to the final cover). However, when they were doing the session, they mentioned it as a good example of the “mash up” genre: part mystery, part historical fiction, part horror, part supernatural, part contemporary. The speaker recommended it, so I immediately slipped back to the table and grabbed a (free) copy. I have to say – I really enjoyed reading it!

MARIE ANTOINETTE, SERIAL KILLER starts with high schooler Colette Iselin preparing for a class trip to France. She is struggling with her parents recent break up and the family’s new, strained, financial situation. She can’t wait to get away with her (rather mindless and not very nice) friends, to explore the place where her family has its roots. Colette’s school group has barely gotten their feet on terra firma when they hear about a serial killer running loose – beheading victims, all of whom are from long-standing French/Parisian families. Colette sees a costumed young woman and realizes she is seeing Marie Antoinette’s ghost. As you might guess, Colette realizes she may be the next victim and needs to figure out the how and why of the murders in order to stop them. Along the way she is helped by their friendly teen tour guide (insert romance!), and she comes to realize that perhaps she has been spending too much time focusing on the things that don’t matter and less time on the things that do.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and cleverly plotted. I’m a big fan of all things French, so I love reading about people strolling through Paris and seeing the places I love.

Highly entertaining!