Synopsis: 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?
Review: The sad reality of childhood obesity and the kid that grows into a super obese teenager is the central story to this debut novel by Erin Jade Lange. Taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona, Butter is a high school junior who drives a BMW. An outsider, he watches and observes his peers at the upper class school. But, online he’s a whole different persona. He’s the SaxMan and he’s free to be whomever he wants, even if that is a made-up persona and flirting with one of his female classmates. Butter’s obesity is the tip of the iceberg of his problems. Like many who are obese, the weight is almost a symptom or an effect of deeper issues that exist within his personality and measure of self-worth. His mother enables him, his father dismisses him, he has no social world. So, instead he eats and binges, resulting in a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. But, when a “Most Likely” list hits the school website and includes Butter as the “Most Likely To Suffer a Heart Attack,” Butter has had enough and decides that he doesn’t want to live anymore. Devising a plan to eat himself to death and broadcast live on the Internet, Butter has no idea the effect that is plan will have. Instead of pity, or simply being ignored, Butter is suddenly thrust into super-stardom as the uber popular crowd embraces his quest for suicide and become an audience to an almost freakshow. As his pretend popularity grows, Butter starts to come out of his shell with some amazing results. It all sounds so depressing, but this story was written with incredibly realistic humor and quick wit. Erin Jade Lange created a very real story set in a very real world. Obesity is no laughing matter, and she was able to help Butter truly address the underlying issues at hand and how often we blame others for our own faults and misgivings. I applaud Ms. Lange for addressing this type of epidemic and bringing to light the larger (no pun intended) issues at hand. As a person on a weight loss journey, I related to this so much. As a person from Arizona, I related even more! If you want to read a very realistic story about a very real issue, yet is infused with humor, give BUTTER a try.
Reviewed by Espe
To order your copy of BUTTER, click HERE