Kelly's Reviews > Butter

Butter by Erin Jade Lange
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's review
Sep 18, 12

liked it
bookshelves: ya-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from June 04 to 07, 2012


Butter's a fat kid. That's something no one would argue with and something he himself identifies with. But he's so alone, and he's sad about being alone. He hates knowing what it is that keeps him alone is that number. Over the last few months, he's made good friends with Anna online -- Anna goes to his school, fits in with the in crowd, and has absolutely no idea the boy she talks to online (who goes by the name JP) is really Butter.

Then one day, Butter decides he's going to stand up for himself. He's going to eat himself to death. Online. So everyone can watch. When word gets around about this, Butter finds himself suddenly in with the popular group. But only because they aren't sure he'll actually do it. And hell, Butter doesn't know if he'll do it either.

Until he's utterly hurt by Anna. That's when he decides what his plan of action will be.

Butter had a fantastic voice, and this was one of the rare instances where I felt like the tackling of a weight issue in a YA book was handled well. Butter knew who he was and he wasn't necessarily ashamed of it. (view spoiler) I felt Butter's emotional highs and lows throughout.

But he is so far from perfect. In fact, no one in this book is cut and dry. They're all shades of good and bad. Butter has his moments of being a real great, sympathetic character, but then he has his moments of being a real jerk. His new-found friends, who are stereotypical "cool kids," aren't necessarily horrible people. They definitely mistreat him, but at the same time, they're sort of necessary for Butter's development in a way he doesn't always understand. (view spoiler) The adults in this book are imperfect, too.

What didn't quite work for me was that at times, it felt a little too message-driven. Online bullying is bad, and it's bad to hate yourself and consider suicide your only way out or your only way of getting attention or proving yourself to other people. It's bad to misrepresent yourself and it's bad to hurt other people. Had some of this been cut back a little bit, I think the message would have come out stronger via the story itself.

Lange's writing is great, and she nails the male voice well. The premise and execution work with the characters. This'll appeal to both girl and guy readers who like realistic stories. It is relevant.

Full review here:
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Reading Progress

06/04/2012 page 115
42.0% "Really digging the voice so far."
06/05/2012 page 155
57.0% "One of the rare instances where the book is actually tackling the weight issue in a realistic (and at this point, painful) manner. Butter's voice is fantastic."
06/06/2012 page 230
85.0% "Yep, that's a huge WHOOPS right there. Didn't see it coming."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Catie (new)

Catie I'm so curious about that note on netgalley about "the language" being removed. What does that mean? Do you know?

Kelly Catie wrote: "I'm so curious about that note on netgalley about "the language" being removed. What does that mean? Do you know?"

I'm curious too. There's a little profanity but nothing big. I wonder if that was what was taken out.

message 3: by Catie (new)

Catie Hmm.

Off topic - great new picture!

Kelly I really don't remember language standing out (the writing, btw, is really great) so I am guessing they just took out the few instances. I don't think that would change the voice at all.

And thanks!

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