Title: Butter written by Erin Jade Lange
Genre: YA – Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Published by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers
Page count: 217
Format: Ebook (Read on Barnes and Noble HD+)
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #40
Although everyone knows him by his nickname, Butter, no one really knows exactly how he got the nickname except himself and the person who gave it to him. Faced with many of the daily worries that a normal teen is faced with, Marshall a.k.a. Butter, is also dealing with being extremely overweight. At 423 pounds, his health is teetering on the brink of no return and his confidence in himself is almost nonexistent. While he finds release from daily life through losing himself in the music he makes when playing saxophone, his true release comes in the form of his online friendship with the popular girl he is in love with at school.
As he steadily gains more and more weight and loses himself in his music and ever growing amounts of food, Butter starts to feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed at his size, his feelings for Anna and the fact that he will never be able to reveal himself as her online boyfriend for fear of rejection, as well as his lack of social interaction at school. After suffering another humiliation at the hands of his previous tormentor, Butter decides that enough is enough and decides to take matters into his own hands. He sets up a website called Butterslastmeal.com and is resolved to eat himself to death while the whole school watches.
This was a really great book albeit sometimes sad. I found myself really hurting for Butter throughout the book and immensely mad at the characters that surround him. This books deals with a few different “difficult” topics like teen obesity and bullying. I found the part where he is forced to eat an entire stick of butter just so heartbreaking. It was an emotional book for me to read and I think the fact that it drew on my emotions so strongly is one of the reasons why I decided to give this book a 5 out of 5 rating.
I love contemporary realistic fiction books that deal with difficult issues. I think they are so valuable for us to read, especially for teens and children as books like these can help them see a different side to certain issues and give ideas on how to handle situations likes these. It definitely puts us in Butter’s (I really hate to call him that) shoes and feel what he is going through. I definitely loved experiencing his journey and how he evolves from the beginning of the story to their very end not just in physical aspects but mentally as well.
I think this book was written excellently and I really feel as though I got a really deep sense of Butter’s character and his inner struggles as well as his struggles with the physical world. Although this book dealt with difficult issues, I really like that it ended with a really positive note. There is a moment when you think things will never get any better but they do and it’s not a cheesy resolution either, it’s definitely fitting and seems “real”. I really feel as though this book taught me something and I definitely recommend giving this book a read. It reminded me of other realistic fiction books that I have read that deal with bullying like Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Blubber by Judy Blume (which is more for older children than teens), all of which are fantastic books and make my heart ache. I’m really glad I read this book!