eARC Review – Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein


Title: Slingshot

Author: Mercedes Helnwein

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: April 27th, 2021

352 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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.


I have been waiting on this review for awhile after finishing the book as I’m really not sure what to say about it besides… it just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there’s an audience for this book, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to read it – but I wouldn’t read it again and I didn’t enjoy it.

Grace is 15, at boarding school, and alone. No friends, living in the life of a rich kid without being rich. One day, she uses a slingshot to save the new kid from being beat up by the school bully. And just like that, she has the friend she never wanted in Wade. But Grace makes a ton of mistakes and ends up destroying their relationship, and friendship, before learning Wade’s deepest secret.

So, let’s start on the characters. Grace is mean. She is quite literally a rude person to everyone she comes in contact with. She starts off the book over the top in love with her teacher? And unsure why he didn’t love her back? To be honest it creeped me out. And throughout the book she continues to be mean to everyone around and it’s supposed to be her “quirkiness”. But really she just makes bad decisions and lashes out. Next up, the plot. I found myself 50% into the book and wondering what the point of this book is. It felt like I was reading and reading and nothing was happening.

I think this book did bring up important conversations around sex, love, friendship, and family life. There were aspects that I found enjoyable, but overall it didn’t do it for me. I’m sure it has the right audience out there, and I hope those readers find it!

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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