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Reviewed by Elizabeth Butts for Readers' Favorite
Slanted by Diane Paley is a unique novel that manages to tell a coming of age story of both a teenager and a forty-something aunt. Slanted follows the life of teenager Sam as she maneuvers the insanity that characterizes every girl's early teen years to early twenties. It also follows Aunt Hattie; a woman in her forties who suffered a mind-numbing personal loss when her beloved husband passed away. A loss that left her mind a bit, well, Slanted.
I love humorous characters. Characters that have unique quirks, speak their minds, are full of snark. Characters that you not only see in your mind, but sometimes conjure up the image of a friend or family member when you think of them. Aunt Hattie was a hoot. I believe Sam even described her as such. She really was. She reminded me in many ways of Grandma Masure in the Stephanie Plum series (a huge compliment, as that is my favorite character in the series).
I also love stories where the characters develop and change over time. Hattie's family, although very loving towards her, had pretty much given up hope that she would ever recover. They had fallen into a certain familiar embarrassment about her, her quirky behavior and sharp acidic tongue. But with one person who saw beyond her pain, she came alive again and blossomed into a fun hybrid of the past and present. Sam grew with friends, time, love, loss and true love. She also developed non-sports related talents that she never knew she had. Diane Paley has written a sweet, fun novel with a tinge of crime mystery thrown in for good measure. I wholeheartedly enjoyed my time with Sam, Aunt Hattie, and their family and friends.