Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 989
Slingshot
(Updated: October 13, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school in Florida, where Gracie is a committed loner, avoiding any kind of social activity other than talking to her biology professor. She surprises herself when she saves a new student from being attacked by the popular boys, but it’s not some altruistic act. Gracie hates the popular boys. Wade, the transfer, is now determined to be Gracie’s friend, and their relationship begins to evolve until they’re hopelessly, irrevocably in love with one another, the kind of love where all that’s left is to lose.

This book has a fresh perspective and voice that readers are either going to love or hate. Gracie is tough. She’s terrible at apologizing, has a massive chip on her shoulder, and is generally mean. In fact, she’s probably her own worst enemy. That being said, her attitude is a means to cope with life and to protect herself from it. For some, this could make her difficult to read, but for me, it made her utterly human, even when her behavior was frustrating. I would’ve liked to see her undergo a bigger change in the end, but in real life, most of us don’t wake up one day monumentally different. It happens slowly, over time.

Besides that, the ending in general left a bit to be desired. Not a single plotline was tied up nicely with a bow, except for maybe the one with Mr. Sorrentino. At minimum, we do know the characters are going to be okay, and in a way, this outcome is poetic as it matches Gracie’s own journey and again, real life. However, I was so emotionally invested in the novel that I needed a bit more to feel fully satisfied. There seems to be so much story left to be told, and I want to know more about where all the characters land, particularly Wade, Derek, Gracie, and her mom. I’d love to read a sequel.

That being said, if you’re looking for a contemporary romance that will make you ache for days with surprising plot twists and complex characters, you should definitely read SLINGSHOT. I couldn’t put this book down, so much so that I stayed up all night reading it. I had to find out what was going to happen, and days later, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Some of the content is mature, so I’d recommend it for an older YA group.

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
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