Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
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|Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein|
|Reviewer: Amber Wells|
|Summary: A witty story filled with plenty of drama.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: April 2021|
|Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Gracie Welles has resigned herself to being lonely. As a secret illegitimate daughter of a man with a "real" family, she is used to not being a priority in people's lives. But when she defends a random boy in her class with her slingshot, her simple existence is changed for good. No longer can she spend her time writing novels in solitude, for her life now has a boy in it that she never asked for: Wade Scholfield.
Their blooming relationship was adorable. Gracie's harshness was balanced out well by Wade's gentle nature, and it was extremely enjoyable to watch as her walls started crumbling down around him. If there was anyone I could compare to being like a golden retriever puppy, then it would be Wade Scholfield. He's honestly such a lovely person, and it was nice to have a character like him being presented as the main love interest for once instead of a broody bad boy that doesn't respect anyone at all.
There was a love triangle in here (which I know some people despise, so I'm putting the warning here). And I found that it was quite interesting in the way that it definitely had an obvious winner, but I would still have been happy if Gracie had changed her mind and went for the other guy instead. All of the characters were endearing in their own way; they're all realistically flawed and even the minor characters are shown to have a lot of depth – a skill Helnwein displays excellently in the way that I can recall almost every side character quite well when I normally forget about them immediately after finishing a book.
Unfortunately, despite everyone seeming very realistic, they would have been better suited as eighteen-year-olds and not fifteen-year-olds. The things the characters were doing and saying were much more mature for their age than what would usually be expected, and it was sometimes a bit jarring to be reminded that they were much younger than they presented themselves to be. I have a feeling that the author was aware of this issue because there were several moments added into the novel where Gracie is acting incredibly immature – even for a fifteen-year-olds standards.
At the beginning of the novel, Gracie has a major crush on her biology teacher. A young girl having a small crush is usually fine, because in most cases it is completely harmless. But in Gracie's case, she took having a crush on a teacher to a whole new level. She has a complete meltdown when she finds out that he is engaged and says some pretty nasty things to him because she can't believe that he could love anyone else but her. I think this plotline was included to show Gracie maturing over the novel by slowly coming to realise that her old beliefs and actions were wrong, but in all honesty, the whole situation just made me feel very uncomfortable and I just wish it hadn't been included.
Overall, I still think it could be an enjoyable read for some. The writing style definitely reminded me of Solitaire by Alice Oseman and Yolk by Mary H K Choi, so I would definitely check them out if you're interested.
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