Lauren, a Korean American adoptee, is best friends with the prettiest girl in school. Julie has an endless amount of confidence. Lauren doesn’t. It’s not that she wants to look like everyone else in her suburban Connecticut school—she’d just be happy if Sean, the cutest boy in her class, noticed her. And she could do without the names, too. Like “Slant.”
When Sean slips one day and calls her by the taunt, she knows she has to take matters into her own hands. Using her life savings, Lauren decides to undergo a special eye surgery that will deepen the crease of her eyelid so she just blends in. After she convinces her father to agree, Lauren learns a secret about her dead mother and finds herself faced with a dilemma: should she get the operation that might make her more confident and well-liked, or can she find that confidence within?
Sensitive and beautifully written, Laura E. Williams’s novel offers a powerful lesson to young readers whose self-esteem depends too much on how they look.
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Praise and Prizes
“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but, as any middle-school veteran will attest, a name can hurt far worse. Slant is an important reminder to young readers that name-calling can have serious consequences.”
“Laura E. Williams tackles the young adult issues of self-esteem and standards of beauty with both grit and grace.”
“The characters are exceptionally well drawn, and the friendship between Julie and Lauren is not only believable, featuring humor, conflict, and true wit, but also captures both girls’ gains in maturity.”
“A story about friendship and identity that informs and entertains—Laura E. Williams presents an important lesson in a language and style that young readers can easily embrace.”
“Refreshingly, [Lauren] develops her self-assurance through her own independent maturation, without overwhelming adult influence. . . . Her budding self-acceptance is subtly nuanced, adding depth to a contemporary topic with a gentle touch.”