Sunday, 11 August 2013

Butter - Erin Lange

Blurb:

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: 

So it's been a while since I read this book, so I'll do my best to try and remember it accurately. Leaving the issue of obesity aside,this book is probably the most accurate description of bullying I've ever read. Butter is a thoroughly unhappy person, and the treatment he suffers from his classmates is truly horrific.  But after Butter decides to eat himself to death live online, he starts to receive a morbid following from the other kids at school. Despite his new found popularity, Butter knows that if he doesn't go through with his plan his new friends will abandon and hate him for being a "fraud". 
The surprising thing about 'Butter' is that most of the characters are unlikeable and some are down right horrible. But these realistic characters, in my opinion, make the story a lot more interesting than a troupe of perfect people. While Butter is portrayed as a victim, he like every other character is painted in various shades of grey. In other books I've read, Butter-like characters remain innocent and pure, Lang shows how someone can be changed by bullying, for the worse, and for the better. While Butter's new 'cool-kid' friends treat him badly , they're not all bad.
While this book is kind of preachy, I think it works. It talks about how online, or any type of bullying is bad, and how suicide is never the only answer, no matter how much it looks like it could be.

Four Stars ****



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