By Erin Jade Lange
Knowing Anna’s waiting for him online is nice, but doesn’t help when Butter’s dealing with bullies, jerks and anyone’s snide comments at school. He snaps. And decides to eat himself to death. Live on the Internet. On New Year’s. For all to see. And judge.
So, Butter. An interesting one. I want to put this out there from the get go: Lange can write. And the premise is incredibly fascinating.
Unsurprisingly in this day and age of reality tv, Butter’s (aka JP) popularity soars when his website goes live. And he’s suddenly grappling with liking the attention, but understanding the attention is still to do with his weight – not his personality.
Like I said, lots of interesting things happening in this book. And the story is engaging and maintains a pretty even pace – all things I like.
I had to say all of that first because the ending RUINED the book for me. Entirely. Massive spoilers ahead, guys.
So, when JP is in the hospital after trying to kill himself with food, he is weighed and realizes he’s lost a lot of weight. The reason he lost the weight? He was STARVING himself while he hung out with the popular kids. Luckily, he acknowledges the fact this is a really, really bad and unhealthy way to lose weight. But it’s that initial starved weight loss that encourages him to continue. SUCH a mixed message. Do not like. At all.
Also – and this is the thing that got me REALLY fired up – JP is friends-with-a-possibility-of-more with Anna online. When he gets popular, Butter also becomes friends with Anna – but never tells Anna he and JP are one in the same. However, Anna finds out (which leads to other things I will not spoil) and, unsurprisingly is upset. BUT. At the end of the book, she let’s him off the hook! She tells him that she’s mad (at him, but not the online him – shwha?), but that they can continue to possibly pursue something! What?!? He gets what he wants even though he lied and deceived to get it? Because he’s a nice guy? That is NOT the definition of nice I would use! Ugh. Anger.
So, yeah. I had problems with Butter. But it was a highly thought-provoking book. Would lead to some interesting discussions in a book club, I would think. It certainly exposes some scary truths about high school.
So, read it for yourself and see what you think!