Sunday, August 26, 2012

Butter Book Review

Title: Butter
Author: Erin Jade Lange
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1599907802

304 pp.

ARC from publisher via Netgalley

"Butter" is the nickname of a teenage boy who pushes the scale past 400 lbs. He goes to high school in a wealthy suburb of Phoenix where he's invisible. Even though he's there, bigger than life, so to speak, everyone deals with him by pretending he doesn't exist.

Until one day, he becomes the center of (unwelcome) attention. And Butter's response is to put up a website called ButtersLastMeal.com where he promises to eat himself to death live on the Internet.

Instead of the disgust, or even indifference, he was expecting, Butter finds himself becoming part of the "in" crowd as they take bets on whether or not he goes through with it.

This is an amazing debut by Erin Jade Lange, who creates beautifully flawed characters, starting with Butter. Butter has a hilarious voice, even though he's not as self-aware as he thinks he is.

The secondary characters are believable, especially Anna, the girl Butter has a crush on and who Butter has fooled into believing his online persona J.P. is a real person.

This book is a great conversation starter about obesity and bullying. At times it is uncomfortable, unflinching, and may put you off eating a certain dairy product. But it is also very funny.

I would recommend Butter to readers who enjoyed Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge or The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler.

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