Ed Slaterton is Min's no-good, two-timing ex. But before he becomes all of those things—the villain in Min's story, if you will—Ed is a hero. Big time. For starters, he's the co-captain of the Hellman High School basketball team, a player so valuable that he's a household name at rival schools. On top of that, he's really stinkin' hot. Let's just say that Ed's the Jordan Catalano to Min's Angela Chase. Seriously, just listen to her gush:
Strong and showered, confident, friendly even, but not eager to please. Enormous like a shout, well rested, able-bodied. Showered I said. Gorgeous, Ed, is what I mean. I gasped like Al did when I gave him the perfect present. (4.43)
Min's so taken with Ed's good looks (and, it must be said, smarts and quick sense of humor) that she overlooks a lot of troubling signs. But Shmoop noticed—we always do—and so did others around her.
While Min tells us her story weeks after the breakup, most of the book is told through flashbacks to a time when she is in love with Ed. Even when we see him through her starry, moonstruck eyes, though, we see that he has some serious flaws. Partly, this is because we know to look for them—long before she spills the gory details, Min lets us know he's done something really wrong.
Still, there are lots of other clues that suggest that Ed's inconsiderate and even disloyal. He's always making fun of Min's best friend Al for being a "fag"—his word, not Shmoop's—which is both bigoted and factually incorrect. He also tells his best friend Trevor that Min will only do everything but (meaning she's a virgin). Min's furious—furious—that he's shares such private information about her with someone else, but she forgives him almost immediately. Oh, girl.
On the other hand, Ed isn't all bad. While he's a jock, he's not a stereotype by any means. He's smart—a math whiz who carries a protractor in his back pocket, if you can even believe it—and he's also funny, keeping up with Min's Gilmore Girls-grade banter.
"It's a football field. Don't call it a yard."
"Grass where people sit and hang out is a yard."
"We stole things here, but that doesn't make it a bank."
You were getting better at talking like this with me, the bounce-bounce dialogue that's so good in all the Old Hat movies. (25.49-25.53)
The truth is, Min seems to bring out the good side of Ed. With her, he tries new things, like coffee, that change his life for the better.
And the truth is, Ed probably needs some good things in his life. He has some serious problems that stretch beyond his love life and the basketball court. Ed's mom is really sick—maybe even dying—and he never seems to talk about it, even to Min. It's too bad he's so tight lipped; if he weren't, we might feel badly enough for him to forgive him for being a jerk. But since mum's the word on the feelings front, well, we're Team Min all the way.