I received this book for free from the Publisher, Purchased. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
Published by Wednesday Books on April 27, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher, Purchased
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"I didn’t think it was going to be anything like this when I finally fell in love. I thought it was going to be pretty simple. Like, I’d love someone and they’d love me. I thought that’s the way it worked.”
Grace Welles is stuck at a third-tier boarding school in the swamps of Florida, where her method of survival is a strict, self-imposed loneliness. And it works. Her crap attitude keeps people away because without friends, there are fewer to lose.
But when she accidentally saves the new kid, Wade Scholfield, from being beaten up, everything about her precariously balanced loner world collapses and, in order to find her footing again, she has no choice but to discover a completely new way to exist.
Because with Wade around, school rules are optional, weird is okay, and conversations about wormholes can lead to make-out sessions that disrupt any logical stream of thought. Nothing’s perfect, but that’s not the point. When they're together everything seems uncomplicated in a way that Grace knows is not possible.
Except it is.
So why does Grace crush Wade’s heart into a million pieces?
Acidly funny and compulsive readable, this debut is a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up. See also: soulmate, stupidity, sex, friendship, bad poetry, very bad decisions and all the indignities of being in love for the first time.
This is going to be a hard one to review. There were things that I liked about this book and things that I didn’t care for at all. I am glad that I decided to go with the audiobook for this read because I think that narration was very well done and helped me stick with the book. Overall, I would say that I did like the book and the things that I liked were very well done.
Let’s get the things that I didn’t like out of the way first. The book opens with a scene between Grace and the teacher that she claims to be in love with. This isn’t a normal crush on a teacher that I maybe could have understood, although I wouldn’t have liked that either. This love for her teacher was way overdone and really made my skin crawl. Unfortunately, it popped up several times in the book. The book would have been so much better without this plot point. I was also kind of bummed that the book didn’t give me the happy ending that I hoped for but it was realistic so that isn’t such a huge deal.
There were a lot of things that I did like. First of all, Wade. I liked everything about this character. He was a genuinely likable character despite the things that he has been through. I actually liked the fact that Grace wasn’t all that nice. She said what she thought and didn’t try overly hard to fit in with her peers. She did have a lot of insecurities which we know since the book is told from her point of view. I liked the fact that the author addressed some tough issues in this story.
Jesse Vilinsky did an amazing job with the narration. She was able to really bring Grace and the rest of the characters to life. I thought that her voice was perfect for Grace and I loved the emotion that she put into her reading. I believe that I liked this book a lot more because I decided to listen to the audiobook.
I would encourage anyone who wants to try this book to do so. There were a lot of things that I found enjoyable about the story and I am glad that I decided to pick it up.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Wednesday Books via NetGalley.