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An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous m An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever…because now there is this boy she never asked for. Wade Scholfield. With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt any logical stream of thoughts. So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realizes that 1. The universe doesn’t revolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret. Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him? Acidly funny and compulsively readable, Mercedes Helnwein’s debut novel Slingshot is a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up. See also: soulmate, friendship, stupidity, sex, bad poetry, and all the indignities of being in love for the first time.


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An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous m An exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi Grace Welles had resigned herself to the particular loneliness of being fifteen and stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, when she accidentally saves the new kid in her class from being beat up. With a single aim of a slingshot, the monotonous mathematics of her life are obliterated forever…because now there is this boy she never asked for. Wade Scholfield. With Wade, Grace discovers a new way to exist. School rules are optional, life is bizarrely perfect, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt any logical stream of thoughts. So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million tiny pieces? And what are her options when she finally realizes that 1. The universe doesn’t revolve around her, and 2. Wade has been hiding a dark secret. Is Grace the only person unhinged enough to save him? Acidly funny and compulsively readable, Mercedes Helnwein’s debut novel Slingshot is a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up. See also: soulmate, friendship, stupidity, sex, bad poetry, and all the indignities of being in love for the first time.

30 review for Slingshot

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Lanz

    One of the worst romances (?) I've ever read. Featuring an opening chapter where the 15 year old protagonist is convinced her teacher is her soulmate, and yells at him upon discovering he's engaged. Um. YEAH. It's a massive yikes from me. If any of the above was mentioned in the synopsis, which it wasn’t, I would have veered far from this book. Sure, Gracie being in love with her teacher is only a side plot in the midst of the main romance, but it was a very uncomfy aspect to add; one I feel was One of the worst romances (?) I've ever read. Featuring an opening chapter where the 15 year old protagonist is convinced her teacher is her soulmate, and yells at him upon discovering he's engaged. Um. YEAH. It's a massive yikes from me. If any of the above was mentioned in the synopsis, which it wasn’t, I would have veered far from this book. Sure, Gracie being in love with her teacher is only a side plot in the midst of the main romance, but it was a very uncomfy aspect to add; one I feel was in no way necessary to her “character development”. People are going to argue, “this is a book about teenagers experiencing first love and making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes!” and yes, of course. Except my issues go way beyond the teacher plot recurring throughout the first half of the story. ~★~ What is this book about? ~★~ Gracie is a 15 year old growing more and more fed up with her life. Her father left for an entirely separate family that has no idea she and her mother exist. She attends a boarding school in which she has no friends, (is in love with her teacher while acknowledging that a relationship between them would be both illegal and pedophelic *gag*) and her mother is running low on money. When Gracie accidentally saves the new kid Wade from a fight by hitting his attackers with her slingshot, she gains an unlikely friend. Thus a romance ensues, and Gracie breaks Wade’s heart. She’s forced to undergo a reality check, and discover what she really wants out of love. ~★~ One of the main things that prevented me from enjoying this novel was that none of the characters acted their age. Maybe my high school experience was bizarre, but I’ve never heard 15 year olds curse, smoke, drink and talk about sex as casually as everyone in this book did. The four years of difference between freshmen and seniors is vast, and I think Mercedes Helnwein definitely struggled with finding that separation in maturity. Gracie sounded older than the 18 year old characters during several instances. There were many other things I didn’t care for, and had a hard time excusing as “teenagers making dumb mistakes”. The most obvious being seniors hooking up with minors 3 years younger than them and cheating where both parties are aware they’re cheating. The word ‘love’ was thrown around too much for my liking, especially with how fast the characters would come to the realization they’re in love or get over the fact that they’re in love. To be frank, I don’t have the energy left to criticise this book. I wouldn’t recommend it, as nothing inventive or original was presented that you can’t find in other books. There were issues I was not fond of, and it was overall an unfortunate time. Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the E-arc!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    What a beautiful, realistic, extremely poignant novel with John Green and Sally Rooney’s character vibes! Realistic fiction dances with coming of age! In this book: NOBODY IS PERFECT! Parents suck! Teachers are biased! Protagonists are flawed, making so many mistakes to break each others’ hearts. Angst, sadness, taking risks to fall in love and to be loved in return, loyalty, pure honesty, dysfunctional families, self-discovery, bullying, destroying your emotional barriers are the issues were reali What a beautiful, realistic, extremely poignant novel with John Green and Sally Rooney’s character vibes! Realistic fiction dances with coming of age! In this book: NOBODY IS PERFECT! Parents suck! Teachers are biased! Protagonists are flawed, making so many mistakes to break each others’ hearts. Angst, sadness, taking risks to fall in love and to be loved in return, loyalty, pure honesty, dysfunctional families, self-discovery, bullying, destroying your emotional barriers are the issues were realistically questioned in this book. Both Grace and Wade catch something so pure, delicate, unique but of course they are young, inexperienced, scared and they cannot take back the words come out their mouths or turn back in time to make things right. Both of them earned a special place in my heart. They were adorable. I’m not gonna give any spoiler but I have to tell: I cried, I hurt, I yelled a lot during my read: i didn’t expect to be affected so deeply. The characters are so genuine, natural and their stories are so relatable because everyone of us experienced the same phases and we still remember how to be 15, feeling like nobody is understanding us, bottling the anger, resentment and pain, having no idea about who we are or we are gonna be! This impeccably written, heart wrenching, questioning and remarkable book helped me make a quick mental time travel to remember those days! No more words: highly well-earned, deep, intense, unique, truly poignant four stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books / St. Martin’s Press for sharing this emotional ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    Actual rating: 3,5 I always had a weak spot for book covers, it is well known true, so when I saw the beautiful design for Slingshot, I knew I had to read this novel even before I read what it was about. I went into it expecting nothing, as more and more not-so-flattering reviews showed up. I still wanted to give it a fair shot. From the very first chapter it was obvious why so many people dislike the story. The main character, who is not only unlikeable, but rude, shallow and in her mind above eve Actual rating: 3,5 I always had a weak spot for book covers, it is well known true, so when I saw the beautiful design for Slingshot, I knew I had to read this novel even before I read what it was about. I went into it expecting nothing, as more and more not-so-flattering reviews showed up. I still wanted to give it a fair shot. From the very first chapter it was obvious why so many people dislike the story. The main character, who is not only unlikeable, but rude, shallow and in her mind above everyone else, cries because her teacher got engaged. The writing style is also not the most appealing, but it easy to read. I read somewhere that this book is either retelling of Catcher in the Rye, or written for it's fans, and I agree with that, because it very similar to said book, as both characters are jerks (and I dnf Catcher, just so you know). However, as I read more and more, I got really invested into the story. It even made me emotional at some parts. I appreciate how the author chose a different family situation for Grace, as she is a love child, secret from her father's "real" family. I like how it was discussed in the story, but I'd also like it to be more explored, if maybe Grace demanded more from her father. Her situation also gives more light to why she was acting the way she did, because in that kind of situation, you have to have emotional scars, whether you are aware of them or not. In the end, I ended up liking the book. I guess I just needed some time to get used to Grace and her narration. Would I recommend it? Yes, but be aware that you probably won't adore the main character.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    Now available to request via NetGalley! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I don't know, I liked some aspects of the book - the voice was pretty distinctive, there was some sharp dialog. But I also felt this story was too messy and too long for what it was. Its pacing was off to be sure, and it needed a better shaped plot. 1-star reviews, IMO, complain about all the things that are not worth complaining about and most of those reviews are strangely prudish - the MC is unlikeable (so what?) and at the beginning of the book she is in love with her teacher (so what? never I don't know, I liked some aspects of the book - the voice was pretty distinctive, there was some sharp dialog. But I also felt this story was too messy and too long for what it was. Its pacing was off to be sure, and it needed a better shaped plot. 1-star reviews, IMO, complain about all the things that are not worth complaining about and most of those reviews are strangely prudish - the MC is unlikeable (so what?) and at the beginning of the book she is in love with her teacher (so what? never done anything stupid like that? he behaves entirely appropriate with her), there is also s-e-x (horror!).

  6. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    dnf at 100 pages I have not being having the best luck with my arcs recently. First Down Comes the Night and now this? Unfortunately, its been a lot harder to capture my attention recently so this might even be no fault of the book itself. But at the same time, I feel like even without my reading slump this book is just not for me. I won't go into a full review of why I didn't love it, because that doesn't feel fair considering I didn't give it a full chance to redeem itself. However, I am prett dnf at 100 pages I have not being having the best luck with my arcs recently. First Down Comes the Night and now this? Unfortunately, its been a lot harder to capture my attention recently so this might even be no fault of the book itself. But at the same time, I feel like even without my reading slump this book is just not for me. I won't go into a full review of why I didn't love it, because that doesn't feel fair considering I didn't give it a full chance to redeem itself. However, I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have enjoyed it even then for a few reasons. The book started with the protagonist being angry that her teacher, who she thought was her soulmate, had a fiancée. Yeah... not my thing. Then the characters who were meant to be 15 were acting like they were 18 and I was turned off even more. I personally am not a fan of reading about excessive smoking, drinking, swearing etc. I therefore was not a fan of the protagonist. I have also seen some sock puppet reviews of this book which lessens my respect for this book and its author. I would recommend reading reviews from other people who finished it to get a better picture of the entire story. There will probably be some people who will enjoy this book, but I can't help but think that it will be a very niche audience. Thank you to St Martin’s Press for this ARC Release Date: 27 April 2021

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Slingshot in exchange for an honest review. I am so uncomfortable and no one will convince me that anyone in this book is the age they say they are. Anyways, let's unpack this. We open on Grace, our 15 year old protagonist talking about her certainty that her and her bio teacher are soulmates which is... creepy and problematic but hey! Maybe it's an innocent crush Grace doesn't realize is creepy. Except it isn't. Grace goes so far as to cuss out the Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Slingshot in exchange for an honest review. I am so uncomfortable and no one will convince me that anyone in this book is the age they say they are. Anyways, let's unpack this. We open on Grace, our 15 year old protagonist talking about her certainty that her and her bio teacher are soulmates which is... creepy and problematic but hey! Maybe it's an innocent crush Grace doesn't realize is creepy. Except it isn't. Grace goes so far as to cuss out the teacher when she finds out he has a fiance because she genuinely thought they were soulmates. Already I was wondering why we started here. What should my takeaway from chapter one have been? Pity for Grace? Laughter? Second hand embarrassment? I'm not sure but all I got was disgust and that's basically how the rest of the chapters played out to. I talk a lot about authors writing 15 year olds as 18 year olds and 18 year olds as 15 year olds because they treat 'high school' as one age group (yes, 4 years doesn't mean much to adults but that's a substancial amount of time when you're that young) and never have I seen it done worse than here. First off, every single character in this book talks like a jaded 30 something combined with a 10 year old trying to swear as much as possible to appear 'adult'. I think whether or not a character swears and the frequency of it is a really important way of creating different character voices and when you're dealing with a group of younger teens, having them all not only be 100% comfortable with swearing but doing it ever 2 seconds just read as absurd. (to reiterate: I'm okay with 15 year old characters swearing. I'm not fine with every single 15 year old character swearing). And of course, the book's main feature. Sex. Again, I am aware some 15 year olds have lost their virginity but it is a very small percent (google told me it's about 20% tops and that's for both genders. Men tend to lose their virginity over a year before women. This is all in my search history now and I hate myself) the way everyone in this book was just like "casual sex at 15? No biggy!" just felt so weird to me and beyond me being like 'what the heck is going on' it made the plot weird. Grace loses her virginity to a high school senior named Derek. Since they have sex after Easter break, that means he's either 17 or 18 and afterwards our player 17/18 year old reveals its the first time he's had sex with a virgin. Which... maybe believable? But then the next page he says he's glad Grace is casual about it saying one time after he slept with a girl she left notes in his locker for 'a year and a half'. That means this man has been having super casual sex since he was 16 at the oldest (but probably closer to 15 since the statement implies the girl didn't recently stop leaving letters), freuqently sleeps with younger girls, and has never slept with a virgin? Anyways, sorry I made you sit through statistics about teenage sex but yeah. Did not like this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ♛ may

    Thank you Netgalley for approving me for this title!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is an ok Young Adult Contemporary Romance set in a mid-tier boarding school in Florida. Grace is a 15 year out outcast who believes her science teacher is her soulmate. When she finds out he's engaged, her heart shatters. She then sees one of the popular bullies and his minions beating up a boy and she shoots a rock with her slingshot and hits the bully in the face. The boy, Wade, and Grace run off and escape. So begins the rela 3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is an ok Young Adult Contemporary Romance set in a mid-tier boarding school in Florida. Grace is a 15 year out outcast who believes her science teacher is her soulmate. When she finds out he's engaged, her heart shatters. She then sees one of the popular bullies and his minions beating up a boy and she shoots a rock with her slingshot and hits the bully in the face. The boy, Wade, and Grace run off and escape. So begins the relationship between Grace and Wade. It starts as friendship and Grace begins to see the world differently and open herself up. It slowly builds to a sweet romance. But, they both have secrets they are keeping from each other and eventually Grace unintentionally crushes Wade's heart. Can either of them survive the heartache? The beginning of the book when Grace goes on and on about her crush on her teacher was awkward and uncomfortable to read. That part when on far too long. Grace was hard to like in the beginning. There's a difference between being shy and introspective and just down right rude. Grace is just plain rude. Wade is a fun-loving character that brings out the best in Grace, but he's a one-dimensional character. We only see him by how he affects Grace, not as a full-fledge character. While this is a typical teenage love story, everything is exaggerated and overly-dramatic (although, really, is it possible for a teenager love story to not be dramatic?) Anyway, it was a quick, fun read and I enjoyed the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. All opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    What makes this book so good is how every single character is unlikable, except Anju, who we come to understand as the character who helps Grace wake up from the way she treats other girls around her. 15-year-old Grace is at a third-tier boarding high school in Florida and she's one of the poorest students there. She believes she's in love with one of her teachers and feels immensely betrayed when she meets his fiancee. From there, Grace gives up on ever finding love and then finds herself face What makes this book so good is how every single character is unlikable, except Anju, who we come to understand as the character who helps Grace wake up from the way she treats other girls around her. 15-year-old Grace is at a third-tier boarding high school in Florida and she's one of the poorest students there. She believes she's in love with one of her teachers and feels immensely betrayed when she meets his fiancee. From there, Grace gives up on ever finding love and then finds herself face to face with Wade following an incident with a slingshot. Immediately, they bond. The book takes place over the course of a year and is a slice of life for this teen girl dealing with high school amped up because of it being such an enclosed place. She's got parents who are divorced and her father, she believes, has pretty much disowned her and replaced her and her mother with his new family and life. This isn't exactly the case, but it's a chip Grace wears on her shoulder both at school and around him. Wade is a really fascinating character and it's clear from the onset there's some deep hurt in him and secrets about his past that don't come out. That changes near the end of the book and not only does Grace witness first hand that hurt he carries, but it shifts how she understands relationships to work (even though by this point, things between them are sour). The voice is fresh, the writing is fun, and a lot of poor choices are made throughout. Many readers will be turned off immediately with the idea of a girl loving her teacher but...she's a teen girl at a boarding school and has a crush on someone who is older than her, is smarter than her, and who gives her the adult attention she hasn't found elsewhere. It's not a major plot point nor does it have any progression -- he does not reciprocate and is clear on boundaries, which is crucial TO Grace's development. Anju is one of the only characters of color described as such, and she is also well rendered and complex. To Grace, she's competition, and Grace is unbearably mean toward her. But it's Anju who helps shake Grace from her belief in girls as competition, as annoying, as shallow, and other things that can be too easy for a 15-year-old to think. I blew through this one. I don't buy the comps to Catcher in the Rye (Grace is not Holden by any means), to John Green (these teens are extremely messy in ways his are more philosophical than screwups), to Rainbow Rowell (MAYBE the closest), nor to Sally Rooney. Maybe Mary HK Choi is a good comp -- there are a lot of similarities to Emergency Contact -- with a side of Nicola Yoon and the voice of the main character from My Eyes Are Up Here.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    ↣ digital copy received via the netgalley ↢ May 20, 2020: The cover has just been revealed and it's yet another illustrated bliss like Wednesday Books' other amazing covers. OMG. ↣ digital copy received via the netgalley ↢ May 20, 2020: The cover has just been revealed and it's yet another illustrated bliss like Wednesday Books' other amazing covers. OMG.

  12. 4 out of 5

    sam

    i received the arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review i’m still trying to figure out how i managed to actually finish reading this book. i was hoping for something that was a little more emotional but instead i got something that was melodramatic. i wasn’t a huge fan of the main character and a lot of the situations were over exaggerated. this book honestly had a lot of potential. it’s a shame that it didn’t live up to it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh, huh, well... Slingshot was definitely a frustrating read for me. In it, you will meet Gracie and Wade. In the beginning, I loved Wade because he was completely and utterly adorable. Yet, there was so much about him we didn't know because Gracie was self-centered and shallow. She was completely horrible to anyone and everyone. Plus, I also got crazy psycho vibes from her throughout the book. Wade was no different once we I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh, huh, well... Slingshot was definitely a frustrating read for me. In it, you will meet Gracie and Wade. In the beginning, I loved Wade because he was completely and utterly adorable. Yet, there was so much about him we didn't know because Gracie was self-centered and shallow. She was completely horrible to anyone and everyone. Plus, I also got crazy psycho vibes from her throughout the book. Wade was no different once we got to see little bits and pieces. Or maybe it's just me and I wouldn't trust anyone if they said they really really liked or loved me after knowing me for an hour. Or a day. Seems oddly suspicious. Other than that, the romance was okay and all the secrets at the end were okay. BUT, and this is a huge but guys, the ending was all sorts of underwhelming. Why the letter? Why not respond? Why ghost to begin with? Nothing was making sense and I was just so done with Gracie and Wade. I hope they find happiness with someone or something else.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (JessiReadsYA)

    UPDATE: Apparently there are a lot of sock puppet reviews on this books, all comparing this to Catcher in the Rye, having no other reviews etc. This makes me extremely mad that an author would do this, so this is being bumped down to 1 star. I wanted to love this book. I saw early reviews and almost everyone loved it. But I couldn’t get past the fact that the main characters were 15, when they felt like 17-18. I just ended up thinking about “ew, is this what my brother does/thinks about”... So i UPDATE: Apparently there are a lot of sock puppet reviews on this books, all comparing this to Catcher in the Rye, having no other reviews etc. This makes me extremely mad that an author would do this, so this is being bumped down to 1 star. I wanted to love this book. I saw early reviews and almost everyone loved it. But I couldn’t get past the fact that the main characters were 15, when they felt like 17-18. I just ended up thinking about “ew, is this what my brother does/thinks about”... So in conclusion, nah this book just wasn’t for me. The only character I even remotely liked was Wade because he seemed just troubled and sweet. Maybe I’m just weird about this book because I’m 27 and 12 years removed from being 15... who knows.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. WELL! For a while there, I thought my entire review would be written in capital letters. This author has a quirky wit and a very wry sense of humour. Fifteen year old Gracie was, in her own mind, a "Rebel With Lots of Cause." She was the illegitimate daughter of a man with a "real family" on whom he showered most of his affection, time and money. Gracie and her "always look on the bright My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. WELL! For a while there, I thought my entire review would be written in capital letters. This author has a quirky wit and a very wry sense of humour. Fifteen year old Gracie was, in her own mind, a "Rebel With Lots of Cause." She was the illegitimate daughter of a man with a "real family" on whom he showered most of his affection, time and money. Gracie and her "always look on the bright side mother" were left with the dregs - of just about everything. At the start of the story, Gracie is suffering the agonizing pangs of her first bout of unrequited love for her biology teacher. Gracie is an extremely intelligent girl, but you realize that she is a typical self-absorbed, melodramatic teen with a huge chip on her shoulder. The story is told from Gracie's point of view, but the reader can easily read between the lines and see that Gracie is often the victim of her own turbulent emotions. She is very independent and scorns the popular crowd, but for some reason the cool and hip Beth influences several of Gracie's life-altering choices. Her friendship with Wade was downright charming - if you ever dared used such an adjective within Gracie's hearing! In the end, this is a highly entertaining, insightful, and extremely well written story about growing up, making good choices from the slim pickings that life has left you with, surviving and moving on. I really liked the realistic ending. It will be interesting to see what other reviewers have to say about it. This author took all the usual tropes and shook them up. Love triangles - you bet! But, well, that was not really a LOVE triangle in the usual sense. Read it, and you'll see what I mean! I grew to like Gracie, despite her prickly ways. Granted, she often got on my nerves a bit. There were times when I wanted to tell her to smarten up and tell her father exactly how she felt about his unequal treatment, but then this would have been a totally different and much shorter story, right? Highly recommended! A five out of five for this debut novel!

  16. 5 out of 5

    mika

    Received a Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review. TW: abuse Please be safe while reading it! I had mixed feelings while reading this book. One moment I would feel like I’m finally enjoying it and then the next I’d dislike it again. Okay, but what is it actually about? Slingshot is told through our main character, Gracie Welles’s, pov. Gracie goes to a boarding school, and, as you’ll find out in the second chapter, her home life is far from perfect. Long story short, one day while skipping Received a Netgalley ARC in exchange for an honest review. TW: abuse Please be safe while reading it! I had mixed feelings while reading this book. One moment I would feel like I’m finally enjoying it and then the next I’d dislike it again. Okay, but what is it actually about? Slingshot is told through our main character, Gracie Welles’s, pov. Gracie goes to a boarding school, and, as you’ll find out in the second chapter, her home life is far from perfect. Long story short, one day while skipping class she comes across a new kid (Wade Scholfield) who is being bullied and she uses her slingshot, which she carries around for luck, to save him. At first she doesn’t like Wade but eventually they become friends and develop feelings for one another. Now, let’s dive into my thoughts! What I didn’t like: ➵ Our main character (Gracie Welles): She’s the epitome of “I’m not like other girls” and was honestly just a straight up bitch throughout the whole book without any reasoning. She also came off as really whiny and was really selfish. She also had like 0 redeeming qualities. ➵ The language used: Now I’m not a saint and I do swear but the book is marketed as young adult, which means it’s for 13 year olds and older. But the author used language I’ve read in New Adult books. Some examples are: cum and cunt. I just personally don’t think that those words should be used in a book that 12/13 year olds are going to be reading. What I liked: ➵ The side characters: It’s sad, but it’s true.The side characters were the only interesting part about this book. Beth and Derek (two seniors) were really complex and fascinating characters to read about and whenever they were in a scene with Grace I actually started to care. I just wished they had more scenes (especially Derek). ➵ Wade Scholfied: He was adorable! Sure, he came off as cheesy in some scenes but overall I really liked him. He’s such a soft, gentle, kind-hearted soul and he just deserves the world. Overall, I’d give this books 2.5 stars because there were some aspects of it I genuinely enjoyed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    I thought I'd check in with what's going on with YA these days. Maybe this was not the book to try. It begins with the main character Gracie crying in a bathroom over a teacher, twenty years older than her fifteen years, who is now engaged. She has decided out of the blue that she is in love" with said teacher, and screams the house down at him for daring to have his own life. This subject (which I really don't want to read about, blech) could have been handled sensitively. Kids that age live in t I thought I'd check in with what's going on with YA these days. Maybe this was not the book to try. It begins with the main character Gracie crying in a bathroom over a teacher, twenty years older than her fifteen years, who is now engaged. She has decided out of the blue that she is in love" with said teacher, and screams the house down at him for daring to have his own life. This subject (which I really don't want to read about, blech) could have been handled sensitively. Kids that age live in the moment, their hormones fueled like jet engines. At fifteen it's difficult to know the difference between love and lust, especially with regard to an authority figure--something the book avoids dealing with, as our heroine goes on to demonstrate how cool she is with bad language, bad behavior, bad choices. Also bad characterization--she came in and out of focus, at times she didn't read like any of the teens around me. The plot goes haywire from there, making me wonder if the editor was asleep on the job. There's a lot of talent here, but little narrative control. Making a note to check out this author after she gets a few more books under her belt. Copy provided by NetGalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    ★ Jeanette Trinidad ★

    Spoiler free review “Love is love. It’s all that matters.” Slingshot starts with our main character Grace sharing how she thinks her teacher who is about 20 years older than her is her soulmate. When she discovers he has a wife she went completely nuts and screamed at him endlessly. At first, I thought the book would somewhat revolve around this incident, perhaps something like revenge or whatever but no. Overall that part was really irrelevant to the plot. Continuing with talking about the plot, Spoiler free review “Love is love. It’s all that matters.” Slingshot starts with our main character Grace sharing how she thinks her teacher who is about 20 years older than her is her soulmate. When she discovers he has a wife she went completely nuts and screamed at him endlessly. At first, I thought the book would somewhat revolve around this incident, perhaps something like revenge or whatever but no. Overall that part was really irrelevant to the plot. Continuing with talking about the plot, I didn’t get it much. There wasn’t any direction to a major conflict in the story. It was simply just the readers following the life of Grace a high school student and reading about small gossip and teenage “love” problems. There wasn’t any spice too it just bland. Let’s talk about the main character. I didn’t like Grace as much as I thought I could have. Yes, she can be a bit relatable at times. But I didn’t like how she thought she was super ugly when she was just as pretty to catch boys' attention. Then again everyone is flawed, not just in this book but in life. Because well, we can’t all be perfect. Ending this review, I did like how the author had included a song for each chapter in the book. I thought it was a cool idea. “It wasn’t just that I thought we were soul mates—I knew we were. I just knew. My reasoning was that when you know things on that level, they don’t need to make any practical sense, because love is a bigger truth than logistics, and basically anyone who wanted to have a problem with that could go suck it.” Reviewed: 1/29/2021 ARC COPY Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for letting me read a digital copy of this book. (quotes/saying are from arc and may change)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shreya Karnati

    DNF @ 30% I wanted to stop reading this pretty much as soon as I began this book. Literally every five minutes I would think to myself why am I even still reading this book. I pretty much always finish books even if I am not enjoying them because I like to know the ending. I found Grace to be really annoying and didn't find reading from her perspective enjoyable at all. I also found it really weird that this 15 year old thought her teacher was her soulmate and was super upset over him getting eng DNF @ 30% I wanted to stop reading this pretty much as soon as I began this book. Literally every five minutes I would think to myself why am I even still reading this book. I pretty much always finish books even if I am not enjoying them because I like to know the ending. I found Grace to be really annoying and didn't find reading from her perspective enjoyable at all. I also found it really weird that this 15 year old thought her teacher was her soulmate and was super upset over him getting engaged. I hate stopping to read a book partway through but there is no way I can get through this book without falling into a reading slump.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. EDIT: I felt like this review wasn't negative enough and it is supposed to be an honest review so... Thank you to Wednesday Books and YALLSTAYHOME for giving this book as an uncorrected bound manuscript in exchange for an honest review. *sigh* Okay, let’s do this. Hello, actual teen here, and I’m here to talk about SLINGSHOT. The story opens with Gracie, the main character, crying in the bathroom. Why, you ask? Because her 30+-year-old science teacher doesn’t reciprocate her love. SHE IS 15 YEARS O EDIT: I felt like this review wasn't negative enough and it is supposed to be an honest review so... Thank you to Wednesday Books and YALLSTAYHOME for giving this book as an uncorrected bound manuscript in exchange for an honest review. *sigh* Okay, let’s do this. Hello, actual teen here, and I’m here to talk about SLINGSHOT. The story opens with Gracie, the main character, crying in the bathroom. Why, you ask? Because her 30+-year-old science teacher doesn’t reciprocate her love. SHE IS 15 YEARS OLD. “Oh, just an innocent crush,” you say, but it is not. She yells at him and his fiancée and genuinely hates him because he isn’t in love with his underage student. As if this isn't thoroughly disgusting enough, it gets worse. Throughout the story, there’s a senior student who essentially mentors her. I forgot her name because I read this book months ago, sorry! She frequently gives TERRIBLE, extremely questionable advice and gives Gracie terrible habits and Gracie practically worships her! An example of said habits and advice? Well, first of all she introduces Gracie to smoking, which is obviously a personal choice, but Gracie is also 15 and we all learned in freshman health how unhealthy it is to smoke, especially as a young person. An even worse example, the girl encourages Gracie to seduce the biology teacher! She makes terrible generalizations about men, essentially saying that if Gracie sits in the front row with her legs apart, this 30-year-old man will be so driven to think with his d*** that he'll sleep with/fall in love with his 15-year-old student and leave his perfectly nice fiancé. I’m appalled that this book is said to be a wonderful tale of first love when it’s so problematic and terrible. Gracie is the queen of bad choices. She constantly has those thoughts of, “I’m a terrible person,” like most characters, but seriously, she is. Gracie treats her “best friends” horribly, and loses all loyalty to her love interest and so-called best friend or maybe even boyfriend at that point that she sleeps with a senior who is: 1. Is three years older and a legal adult. 2. And has literally bullied her boyfriend. And you'll neeeeeeeeeeever guess why she does, too! That's right, it IS because her mentor again gave her terrible advice, this time to sleep with someone she has no feelings for/hates, because obviously that's the best choice. How on earth can Gracie claim she loves Wade when she treats him like crap? It’s also implied that the bully been sleeping with other students for years and never been with a virgin before, so let’s not even talk about how concerning that is when you think about it for more than a few seconds. As if this isn't bad enough, said bully frequently says that he's glad he slept with Gracie because she's so mean he couldn't ever develop feelings for her (rude but she is extremely mean). Surprise, surprise, he DOES, and you know what she does? Treats even him terribly! We can also talk about Wade, love interest and all-around Nice Guy. Those are his only two personality traits aside from a tragic backstory, and I couldn't even feel bad for him when even his likable personality made him unlikable and seem like someone whose only purpose was to be pitied! Everybody is so casual about EVERYTHING in SLINGSHOT and it bothered me so much. This is that book that just makes you really uncomfortable, especially as a teen who has friends the same age as if not older than Gracie. I only finished it because I needed to review it and I was curious if it could somehow get worse. It did. Please, spare yourself and avoid this book. I really don’t get why it’s being praised when it has so many issues. It's absolutely terrible and easily one of my least favorite books I've ever read, which is saying something since I'm someone who enjoys hate-reading. Not only should SLINGSHOT not be compared to The Catcher in the Rye, the only ones doing so seem to be potential sock puppet reviewers that haven't done anything before or since. The fact that this book was published, and by one of the top five traditional publishers at that, is fucking appalling, especially considering its so hard for many people, primarily LGBTQ+ people and BIPOC, to get deals at all. This book is not only insanely toxic, but had everything I hate. I didn't need a whole page of a so-called mentor lecturing on the sexual habits of men, and I really don't think anyone does. This isn't a sweet, relatable story of first love, it's horrible and I don't know what possessed Mercedes Helwein or Wednesday Books to say it was fit to be read. I pray that teens don't read SLINGSHOT and think that's what their life should be like.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh Tway • Appropriately Inked

    WOW. I loved this book more than I thought I would. Slingshot surpassed my expectations. Granted, I didn't have many expectations, but I was totally awed by this book. Within the first several chapters my heartstrings were being pulled. I have NEVER been so emotionally moved so early on in a book before. If I get mildly emotional, it's closer to the ending of a book, but never in the beginning. And never with such intensity. That seriously wowed me. The book is written in Gracie's, the main chara WOW. I loved this book more than I thought I would. Slingshot surpassed my expectations. Granted, I didn't have many expectations, but I was totally awed by this book. Within the first several chapters my heartstrings were being pulled. I have NEVER been so emotionally moved so early on in a book before. If I get mildly emotional, it's closer to the ending of a book, but never in the beginning. And never with such intensity. That seriously wowed me. The book is written in Gracie's, the main character's, point of view. She is an outcast, a sophomore in high school, and she is lonely-- terribly lonely. The writing portrays her very well as a 15 year old girl. I remember that stage of life and I think Helnwein was right on in how Gracie thought things through and how she developed throughout the book. But the emotions that Gracie expressed were so... raw. I have had similar feelings but was never able to describe them properly until I actually saw them written in words. And I loved that Gracie was very flawed; that helped me connect better with her and her emotions because she was a deeper character. I understood why she acted a certain way. Really, Helnwein did a fantastic job in writing through Gracie's emotions and development. In reality, all the characters have many flaws. But that made it so REAL and so BEAUTIFUL. Word of Caution: This book might not be for the faint of heart. There is a LOT of swearing. There is sex, but it isn't graphic. There is bullying. There are some serious familial issues. There's abuse. BUT to me, all of those messy elements are what made the book so beautiful. Families aren't perfect, people aren't perfect, life is not perfect. And this book embodies that so well. So if you're ok with reading something like that... then I recommend this as a top priority on your reading list.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shaylan

    This book was such a disappointment. After seeing this author being compared to Rainbow Rowell and John Green I had high hopes for a new voice in YA but this book was not for me. The only reason I finished it was so I could post this review. Slingshot starts with the main character, Gracie, crying because her biology teacher doesn't love her back. This plot point really bothered me and I felt it was unneeded. Gracie claims to be in love with her teacher and when he shuts her down (as he should, This book was such a disappointment. After seeing this author being compared to Rainbow Rowell and John Green I had high hopes for a new voice in YA but this book was not for me. The only reason I finished it was so I could post this review. Slingshot starts with the main character, Gracie, crying because her biology teacher doesn't love her back. This plot point really bothered me and I felt it was unneeded. Gracie claims to be in love with her teacher and when he shuts her down (as he should, because this is completely inappropriate) she lashes out at him. I found Gracie to be an unlikeable character who is rude to pretty much everyone she encounters, at the end of the book she has improved but only in the last few pages. Everything Gracie does throughout the story makes no sense to me, maybe I'm getting old but this 15 year old does the most bizarre things. I found her unrelatable and was frustrated with her actions as I kept reading. She's mean for no reason and hurts Wade's feelings constantly. I loved Wade and he was the only redeeming thing about Slingshot. He was adorable and he honestly deserved better than Gracie. Some other side characters were alright but none were so great to save this book for me. This depiction of teenagers felt off and unrealistic. The ending was unfulfilling and I just didn't like this book. There were also multiple physical fights which I didn't care for and the overall plot was confusing. I couldn't figure out where the author was going and in the end I was annoyed with Gracie and unhappy with the ending. Overall, I did not like this book at all and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. There's an inappropriate fixation with a teacher, abuse, physical fights, teen sex and cursing if any of those bother anyone reading this review. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Book Bee NYC

    I LOVE books about young people muddling their way through life and love...whether it's an adult book like NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney or a YA read like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, I'm in! SLINGSHOT is perfect for readers like me. It's a "funny/sad" story about two teenagers at a second rate boarding school in Florida, who find each other just when they need it. I like that it has a great love story, but it's not cheesy. Plus it's all from the point of view of a really funny heroine who's brave en I LOVE books about young people muddling their way through life and love...whether it's an adult book like NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney or a YA read like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, I'm in! SLINGSHOT is perfect for readers like me. It's a "funny/sad" story about two teenagers at a second rate boarding school in Florida, who find each other just when they need it. I like that it has a great love story, but it's not cheesy. Plus it's all from the point of view of a really funny heroine who's brave enough to say what's really on her mind. Can't wait to recommend it to friends! One of my favorite recent reads.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. I found the main character unlikeable and I thought Wade was too good for her. Gracie is fifteen, so she's going through puberty, emotional, and lashes out at others. To an extent, I can deal with that but Gracie was over the top mean. She said horrible things to people, even telling them she hopes they die. She hurt two boys who liked her and was consistently awful to her roommate. I didn't feel like Gracie made much progress during the story. A couple ti Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. I found the main character unlikeable and I thought Wade was too good for her. Gracie is fifteen, so she's going through puberty, emotional, and lashes out at others. To an extent, I can deal with that but Gracie was over the top mean. She said horrible things to people, even telling them she hopes they die. She hurt two boys who liked her and was consistently awful to her roommate. I didn't feel like Gracie made much progress during the story. A couple times she showed a bit of maturity but not enough for me to change my mind about her. I also thought the ending seemed unresolved and abrupt, almost a cliffhanger but not quite. Maybe an epilogue several years in the future would have shown more growth and a happier ending. The one character I really liked was Wade. He was going through some rough things, but was pretty happy and cared about Gracie, even when she was terrible to him. He stood up for others and tried to comfort them when they needed it. His story was a bit open, but I liked how it worked out and I think they way he and Gracie left it was good. I hope others will see the good in Gracie where I couldn't and enjoy this more. I received this advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    s

    ARC RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY FOR HONEST REVIEW Slingshot is about Gracie Welles, a 15-year-old girl attending a boarding school in Florida where she struggles to make friends and has a complicated home life due to her absent father. Enter Wade Scholfield, another student at Midhurst School, who Gracie saves from the torment of bullies with a lucky slingshot. A friendship, and eventual romance, ensues between the two. I think a lot of the problems I had with this story could’ve been resolved by adj ARC RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY FOR HONEST REVIEW Slingshot is about Gracie Welles, a 15-year-old girl attending a boarding school in Florida where she struggles to make friends and has a complicated home life due to her absent father. Enter Wade Scholfield, another student at Midhurst School, who Gracie saves from the torment of bullies with a lucky slingshot. A friendship, and eventual romance, ensues between the two. I think a lot of the problems I had with this story could’ve been resolved by adjusting the age of the main characters. While they were described as 15-year-olds, Grace often spoke as if she was 18/19. I also had a problem with the portrayal of sex, smoking, and drugs, especially considering the age range of the readers this book is catered to. The first chapter starts out awkwardly with the character having a crush on the teacher and yelling at him. This book was certainly something and it wasn't done well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really tried to get through this one, but I could not STAND the main character. At the beginning I was really confused about her age because some of her thoughts/quotes felt very juvenile to me? Then I realized she was a sophmore(?) in high school and wow. I was shocked lol I am unfortunately DNFing this one. I've basically been in a year-long reading slump and can't get myself to reading anything unless I'm absolutely in love with it. Normally unlikable characters really don't bother me much, I really tried to get through this one, but I could not STAND the main character. At the beginning I was really confused about her age because some of her thoughts/quotes felt very juvenile to me? Then I realized she was a sophmore(?) in high school and wow. I was shocked lol I am unfortunately DNFing this one. I've basically been in a year-long reading slump and can't get myself to reading anything unless I'm absolutely in love with it. Normally unlikable characters really don't bother me much, but something about her attitude really irked me. I was cringing the whole time I was reading lmao Regardless, won't be finishing this one. If you're interested in reading this, def give it a try! It just didn't work for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Slingshot is a Young Adult contemporary novel that I would categorize as realistic fiction. It is not a sweet cute YA romance. This book is completely different from most YA books that I read. The narrator is 15 year old Grace (1st person POV). She goes to a boarding school in Florida. Most of the kids at her school have money, but she doesn't. This book is very difficult to rate. There were things that I liked. And other things that I found quite disturbing. The book looks at serious issues like Slingshot is a Young Adult contemporary novel that I would categorize as realistic fiction. It is not a sweet cute YA romance. This book is completely different from most YA books that I read. The narrator is 15 year old Grace (1st person POV). She goes to a boarding school in Florida. Most of the kids at her school have money, but she doesn't. This book is very difficult to rate. There were things that I liked. And other things that I found quite disturbing. The book looks at serious issues like bullying and teens having sex. But I really wish that the main character had been a bit older. She does not act like a 15 year old. And the things that she said and did made me super uncomfortable. Grace is not a very nice person. She is rude and inconsiderate. But she is befriended by Wade (who has his own problems). There were things about their relationship that I enjoyed. And I found everything to do with the gas station scene to be compelling. But overall I wanted more. I sort of enjoyed the last part of the book. But I wanted a better resolution at the end. The cover is really pretty. But it sort of made me think that it would be a sweet YA romance. Thanks to netgalley and St. Martin's Press/Wednesday books for allowing me to read this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather Brock

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was fantastic. I fell in love with Gracie Welles-she is irreverent, funny, real. I found myself relating my 15-year-old self to her in many ways. Life is messy. Mercedes Helnwein never shies away from that truth, but still manages to portray a story of finding love and coming-of-age in a fun, gritty way. I find myself wanting more. The ending does not necessarily leave loose ends, but I want to know MORE. DO Wade and Gracie find their way back to one another in the future? They fit wel This book was fantastic. I fell in love with Gracie Welles-she is irreverent, funny, real. I found myself relating my 15-year-old self to her in many ways. Life is messy. Mercedes Helnwein never shies away from that truth, but still manages to portray a story of finding love and coming-of-age in a fun, gritty way. I find myself wanting more. The ending does not necessarily leave loose ends, but I want to know MORE. DO Wade and Gracie find their way back to one another in the future? They fit well, and it's what I hope for them. I also found it refreshing the way sex and the "loss of virginity" convention were treated. It's okay have sex with someone just for the sake of doing it or getting it out of the way. It's a personal choice, and does not have to be this sacred, huge ceremony society has turned it into. The most important aspect is CONSENT. That's all that matters. I will almost certainly read anything further the author chooses to write. Big thanks to Wednesday Books for providing an uncorrected manuscript to read and review. I was charmed by this book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Prager

    FINALLY! I book that speaks to my humor - something that's not trendy, but an instant classic! Like Salinger's Catcher in the Rye Mercedes knows how to write smart, sassy characters with a soul. Her style is frank and no bullshit. She obviously loves the underdog and gives them a voice, while keeping the world funny and grounded. I really love this book. I hope she writes another one soon !! FINALLY! I book that speaks to my humor - something that's not trendy, but an instant classic! Like Salinger's Catcher in the Rye Mercedes knows how to write smart, sassy characters with a soul. Her style is frank and no bullshit. She obviously loves the underdog and gives them a voice, while keeping the world funny and grounded. I really love this book. I hope she writes another one soon !!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    Sophomore year. High School. Love. Hate. Angst. Calm. Teachers. Parents. Honesty. Attitude. Homework. Acceptance. Denial. Love. Hate. Sophomore year in high school. We've all been there. This story is an easy and touching read. Sophomore year. High School. Love. Hate. Angst. Calm. Teachers. Parents. Honesty. Attitude. Homework. Acceptance. Denial. Love. Hate. Sophomore year in high school. We've all been there. This story is an easy and touching read.

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