Review 61. Erin Jade Lange - Butter.

ButterTitle: Butter.
Author: Erin Jade Lange.
Pages: 316.
Expected publication: September 18th 2012.
: Bloomsbury
Sort: Stand alone.

Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Please note that much of the language in this book has been removed from the final book. 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? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen’s battle with himself.

"If you can stomach it, you're invited to watch... as I eat myself to death."

This was one of my WoW picks a long time ago and I was so glad when I got the allowed to read this one. Unfortunately, I'm still not sure if I liked it or not. It was just.. so strange. That's what you can expect, but it was even weirder. Also the promise from the blurb 'to identify with the bullies and the bullied' is not true. I never had the feeling that I understood the bullies. They were just sick people, but they never really bullied him. They ignored him.

Butter is an obese boy who is extremely lonely. One day he decides that it's time to make a change. After seeing his name on the list 'most likely to die of a heart-attack', he is so mad that he starts a website called 'butters last meal'.

Instead of changing his eating habits, he wants to eat himself to death. I don't get it, but I will come back later on that topic. His website becomes very popular. People are cheering for him. Some people don't think he has the guts to do it, so there are a lot of bets. It's sick. Butter makes some kind of 'friends'. They help him with his bucket list and they try to come up with a nice last meal. Everything in his life spins around the website and he is stuck. If he backs away from the plan, he will lose the attention, but if he continues with it, he loses even more: his life.

There is also Anna, his crush. He is talking to her on the web under a fake identity. When he finally talks to her in real life, he is beginning to understand that he messes up his life. Is there a way back?

I could understand that Butter snapped at one moment. Being lonely and ignored all the time is hard. When Butter starts his website in a whim, he doesn't know where it will lead him. In the beginning, he likes the attention. People are noticing him as a person, not just as 'that big guy', but it's also naive from him. He clearly gets all these "friends," because there is something exciting is going on. I think this is even lonelier.
He is tangled up in his website and he feels like there is no returning. The cheering is so morbid. How could you possible support such a thing? To me, it's strange that nobody told their parents about it. They try to keep the website private by putting up a password, but there are so much rumors going on! How is it possible that not one teacher notices that something is wrong?

Even his favorite teacher, just called 'Professor', is clearly blind. Butters sudden popularity doesn't ring a bell. His mother is too ignorant and I don't understand why she didn't handled his obesity before? His father hardly talks to him - better yet, totally ignores Butter. But there comes the part that makes me wonder the most: why is Butter this way? Why did he started to eat this much? He describes his mother as a tiny, frail woman and his father has a normal posture. I wished there was more explanation about this past. We only get to know that he eats way too much and that he has a lousy attitude. He doesn't want to change. It's clearly that he needs a good smack in the face!

It's just hard for me to relate to him, since he is so filled with self pity. When one of his friends lost a lot of weight, the only thing he can think about is "we were supposed to lose weight together." Then stop whining and do something about it! He blames everybody around him for his own failures and I couldn't buy that. I can understand that he feels miserable, but I can't feel any pity for someone who is too lazy to do anything about it. I don't want to sound harsh. It's clearly a difficult subject, since obesity is in the news all the time and I know what it is if you feel like you don't fit in; to feel alone.

The writing was good.The writer kept me fascinated and I wanted to find out what would happen to Butter. In a certain way, he grew on me. I wish I could help him, but if you weren't interested in this book in the first place: skip it, because you're not going to like it.


  1. The premise for this is quite horrifying... and probably not something I would want to read about to be honest. It's interesting to see your reaction though. Great review, Mel! :)

  2. Oh God, this poor Butter boy and his story sounds absolutely heart-wrenching >_< My face is in a horrified expression right now, I applaud you for your bravery on reading this book Mel! But it's great that Butter at least grew on you. Still....I'm not sure if I'd be able to handle this story >_< Great review, though!

  3. Well... not that I was excited about this one before, but thanks for your honest thoughts. XDDD

  4. When I saw this synopsis a while back I was like O_o haha. It sounds like it could have been great though if only he was more relatable/likeable. I'm not much for overly self pitied characters either. At least it didn't make it a miss for you it does sound very unique and fascinating in a way! Great review!

  5. I didn't think this one sounded quite to my taste, so i'll take your advice and skip it. It sounds like an interesting topic, but a bit too unrealistic in some ways.


  6. Don't think I've heard of this book before but the title is interesting! But I completely understand how hard it is to enjoy a book when you can't connect with the character. But I'm glad to hear that the writing was good!

    Thank you for the awesome and honest review, Mel! ♥

  7. I just finished this one and will review later this week. It was a hard book to read.
    Thanks so much for linking your review :)


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