Book Review: Butter


Butter by Erin Lange – Paperback, 352 pages – Published March 7th 2013 by Faber and Faber

I remember my friend talking about this book a while ago, but I didn’t know anything about it. But then I saw it on Goodreads and decided to check it out of my library.

‘Butter’ is big. Like, 423 pounds big. He has no friends, unless you count Doc Bean or the Professor.

Despite spending many summers at FitFab – a summer camp for the slightly -ahem- larger population of kids – he just can’t seem to shed the excess weight. In fact, all he ever seems to do is gain more.

Butter also has a crush. But he knows he doesn’t have a shot with the gorgeously skinny Anna, so he talks to her anonymously via the internet. Under the handle “SaxMan” and with the alias of JP, Butter promises Anna that they’ll get to meet each other on New Year’s Eve. Little does she know, Butter has a more deadly plan ready for the last day of the year.

After launching, Butter is swamped with new friends, asking what’s on the menu for Butter’s last night on earth. The popular kids are suddenly inviting him to parties every weekend, and even Anna is talking to him in real life.

But as the deadline draws closer, Butter can’t decide whether to go through with his plan or not. Is he really ready to leave this life behind? Is he really willing to stay?

This novel is written in a very accurate teenage voice. As an incredibly obese teenager, Butter suffers in the social department. A lot of his problems are relatable to those of us who aren’t quite society’s idea of perfect. I can’t say I know much about this, but I’m sure there are lost of people who could also relate to his weight and dieting issues.

Butter’s real name isn’t revealed until the last page, which I thought was a great touch. I didn’t even notice at first; he was just Butter. But it makes a big point about how he decides to shed his old identity and move on, making a positive change to his lifestyle.

This could be a bit triggering to some people, with mentions of weight problems, dieting, eating disorders, and suicide. I did find it a bit hard to read at times because of these aspects, but none of it was talked about too much.

I raced through this, reading half of it just this morning. It’s a really good read, and although it hasn’t quite made its way into my favourites, I think Butter deserves 4.5 stars.



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