Book Review,  Reviews

Butter – Erin Lange

“You think I eat a lot now? That’s nothing. Tune in December 31st, when I will stream a live webcast of my last meal, Death row inmates get one. Why shouldn’t i? I can’t take another year in this fat suit, but I can end this year with a bang. If you can stomach it, you’re invited to watch… as I eat myself to death. 
– Butter.” 

Butter is so fat he considers himself past the point of bullying, his classmates just ignore the lump of lard sat on the specially made table at the back of the classroom. That is most of them do, some of them stick stick a jibe in here and there. When the schools most well known gossip blogger posts a ‘most likely’ list and Butter is voted ‘most likely to have a heart attack’ it reminds him of the lengths people will go to to laugh at him. That teamed with a variety of other things give Butter the idea that there is only one way out now – and that is with a bang. 

This book is incredible. Seriously, I thought Erin Lange’s latest book, Dead Ends, was brilliant but Butter, for its subject matter and story at least, blew that out of the water. A terrible tale of bullying, running with the crowds and not looking out for yourself, Butter really is a must read for all youngsters. 
The whole book was soooo good but I would seriously hesitate if someone was to ask if I liked it. There is nothing likeable about Butter as a story, or Butter as a character. What was great was the writing and how engrossed I got into the whole thing. This book is dark, its content is in drastic contrast with its cover but it is brilliant. The story is all about bullying, about how there are different forms of bullying, including encouragement and how, no matter how much of a cliche it sounds, you have to learn to love yourself before anyone else can. 
Butter as a character is a it of a tool. I really didn’t like him, the way he let the blame for his situation fall on everyone but him, the way he went out of his way to be a martyr and how he didn’t ever think things through. His attitude sucked and I really just wanted to slap him for most of the book. Even when people extended an olive branch to him he chucked it away and I really didn’t like that about him. I also go very annoyed with his mum and her reaction to his lifestyle and everything and yet his dad and his dad reaction to everything barely annoyed me at all. Butter’s dad was seriously struggling with Butter and seeing him do what he was doing to himself was making his dad so angry and feel so defensless, and I understood that. He didn’t go about things in the right way but I can imagine its very hard to see someone you love become as large as Butter was. 
The story was so hard to love because it did focus on someone being so morbidly obese they could barely move without getting out of breath. That to me is crazy and how someone could let themselves get to that size, or how someones family could let them get so big, just baffles me. I’m not a skinny person and according to my BMI I am on the boarder of becoming obese, but at well under 15 stone I don’t think I’ve got that much to really worry about yet. I know I don’t want to hit that milestone but if I did I’d know that it was beyond time I did something about it. This character, Butter, was 423 pounds at the beginning of the book, which equates to just over 30 stone, that seems insane to me and I couldn’t understand how he got to that kind of size, it just doesn’t compute in my brain. 
The bullying was the major factor in this book and I really like how it made you rethink what counts as bullying, and what triggers the mental state of someone like Butter. Once his blog post goes live and people hear about his live webcast, he suddenly becomes popular but the popular kids only like him because they are taking bets on whether or not he will go through with his claims. Theres a romance element to the book that was also really interesting and I have to say I loved where Erin left that right at the end, it was what I hoped. 
Theres a lot that is not ‘likeable’ about this book but due to the way it makes you think, and how brilliant the writing is, you will love it anyway. Its a must read and it will change the way you think about people and their motives. Like I say, I don’t want to say I liked this book but it will be sticking with me for a very long time to come.
Butter was published on March 7th 2013 by Faber and Faber. I purchased my copy of the book personally.

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