Slingshot: A Novel by Mercedes Helnwein
Release Date - April 27, 2021
Slingshot: A Novel is a coming-of-age story that looks at 15-year-old Grace Welles first encounters with romance. Her dad has another family and they really don't know her. She's in a boarding school where she doesn't feel she fits in. That is until the day she shoots one of the jocks in the face with her slingshot while he's beating up a new kid. Why defend a stranger? No real reason except that the teacher she's in love with has a fiancee and she's not happy with his blatant disregard for her feelings.
As Grace starts spending more and more time with Wade, who happens to be crushing on her hard, her circle of new friends begins to grow. Soon, she's exploring friendship, love, romance, and sex.
Slingshot doesn't hold its punches. Grace isn't always a likable teen, but it's realistic. Teens can be annoying, loving, and incredibly confused. Peer pressure can play a part in all of that, but it's not always the only factor. That realism shines in this book.
The other characters in the book are just as endearing. I think Beth was my favorite. Especially when it came to matters of sex. She has some pretty adult insight about the first time, but she's also a teen and makes some mistakes along the way. I loved that honest take on growing up and having errors in judgment.