Author: Erin Lange
Genre: YA Contemporary
Summary (from Goodreads)
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?
There are books that are just uncomfortable to read. Books that crawl under your skin and sink their claws into your tender parts. In a good way. Books that challenge you to think and face up to ugliness. Books that pose difficult questions without easy answers.
Butter is one of those books. And for a book about suicide, the irony is that most of the discomforting stuff actually doesn’t have to do with that.
My favourite part about this story was the spare, but telling way Lange portrayed Butter’s family. You could totally understand how he got to the size he was, how he developed the issues he did, just from how his parents behaved and responded to him. It seemed like a very realistic – and troubling – portrait.
I don’t really want to say much more than that – it’s a book that really needs to be read. It’s powerful and moving, and I think one that will be remembered as a classic in years to come.
This book has been shortlisted for the Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Awards