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"Helnwein debuts in striking fashion... The writing, especially the dialogue, is magnetic, honest, and brimming with caustic wit... [an] enrapturing take on the intense highs and lows of teenage love." —Booklist (Starred Review)
"Wildly real and bursting with all the romance and pain of coming into oneself." —Kirkus (Starred Review)
"Helnwein frankly conveys the joy, fear, and awkwardness of an all-consuming first love, poignantly depicting Gracie's growth: particularly the hard-won knowledge that she can exist 'just by the sheer force of herself,' and the grace she learns to show herself and others." —Publishers Weekly
"One of Eight 2021 YA Books To TBR ASAP" —BookRiot
Mercedes Helnwein's Slingshot is an exciting debut contemporary young adult novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Mary H. K. Choi
"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.