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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 316
Genre: Contemporary
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? 
*Digital galley provided by publisher for an honest review*

When I first heard about Butter on Goodreads I knew that I was going to like this book, a lot. Contemporary never was my forte or really a genre that could captivate me, not like paranromal or sci-fi, and the works, but Butter really changed the tides. The ostracized, obese kid that is going to eat himself to death on a live video stream. Okay, I might get looks for reading something like this, something so far-fetched and down right disgusting and morally unacceptable in the standards of society, but really Butter took modern contemporary to a whole new level, something that I've never seen nor heard about before. Butter is one unique, satisfying read.

From page one Butter gives the reader his sassy attitude. He's large (figuratively and literally) and in charge, saxophone inclined with the practice to prove himself so, and in love with Anna, cheerleader and the girl who sits in front of him in class. They talk and she has him head over heels for him, but it's not what you think. Anna doesn't know who Butter is besides the fat kid to needs two desks in class and a whole entire bench to sit on during lunch--they talk online through IM chats where he goes by the alias of JP. But Butter is dying for her to notice him, and his internet craze,, is sweeping the school and the popular boys are taking a notice and Butter finds that it's a one way ticket to Anna but also a one way ticket to his death. Because peer pressure is a bitch.

It's a really sad novel, the bullying and Butter's fight to get the girl. The connection to Butter really is a strong one, because as the reader you want him to win, you want him to lose the wait and for Anna to fall for him. But that's hard for a 400+lbs teenager to do. Especially when his parents have almost given up on controlling the weight, the dad fails to even acknowledge Butter because of how out of control his size is. The humanity in the reader goes a long way through the novel as Butter's character develops in more ways than one.

There was only one small problem that I really had in the novel, and it had to do with the naming of two characters. You have Tucker, Butter's best friend from fat camp, the name of the actual camp is escaping my mind at the moment, and Parker one of the popular guys that Butter starts to hang out with. During some portions of the book I started to get jumbled and confused by how similar the names happened to be, and I know it's silly but I started to confuse Parker with Tucker and vice versa. So parts of the story didn't make sense until I went back and double checked who was who. That really was the only problem I had to remark about in this novel.

The one thing that I really liked was the father and Butter's relationship by the end of the novel. They struggled, the wall between them was so dense and so thick, and by the time all the events that happen happen, I respected both Butter and his father so much more. Here are two of my favorite quotes that his father has to say:
"You could coach me in algebra," I suggested.
Dad shook his head and smiled. "No, I missed my chance to be your coach. But if it's not too late, I'd like to be a fan."
"Why are we so--Well, how come we're not more alike, you and me?" 
First Line: You think I eat a lot now? That's nothing.
Story: S
Cover: C