Review: Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
Author: Mercedes Helnwein
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Coming of Age
Slingshot was a big no for me. I tried to enjoy it and there were some parts of the book that I enjoyed more than others, however the overall feel and vibe of the book wasn't to my liking. I remember reading Cather in the Rye in high school and hating the story and hating the main character. I found this story very similarly told as Cather in the Rye and hence it made it really hard for me to get into. I don't find characters who constantly do the wrong thing appealing, I don't understand these characters arcs and I don't find them entertaining. I felt like screaming at Grace to get her s*it together and she just wouldn't. Her mind was a mess and therefore her actions and consequently the book, for me, ended up being a mess.
With that said, the writing is good. The same goes for Cather in the Rye, the book is popular for a reason and it holds a lot of thematic elements that are important to discuss and dissect in an English classroom, the same idea can be said about this story. The thematic elements of coming of age and finding oneself confused about their sexuality, their love life, their life in general is very normal and my issue was never the writing but the characters. Maybe because of my Hispanic background I wasn't able to relate to the characters and their definition of problems, maybe I grew up too fast and I wasn't the teenager that was confused and hence I don't understand Grace's inability to make one thing right. However, I appreciate the author for writing such a recluse character. Grace was complex and even though I didn't relate or enjoy her mind, I am guessing some people might.
The story overall begins with Grace being infatuated over her science teacher and being mad at him for being engaged. This for me was already telling that although Grace was 15 she acted as if she was a child. Where I go back to my point of maybe not understanding her mentality due to my background which doesn't make me the most knowledgeable person to criticize her. However, the story wasn't fun for me. I sided with the secondary characters more and I wanted Grace to realize her issues. In the end I feel the story took a turn for the better and then we go back to the story being about Grace only and her process of finding herself (again, I understand this is the point of the book, but when you don't like Grace it makes it hard to enjoy the process of her finding herself rather than the tidbits of romance).
* I received this eArc from Netgalley and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review *
--- 2 stars ---