Review of Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Read: 22nd October 2016 – 24th October 2016

Rating: ⭐

Spoilers in review: Yes.

‘I fought the urge to puke. That’s right, I fought it. I was a binge eater, not a bulimic. That shit is for girls.’

‘Butter’, the protagonist and narrator, had pissed me off with some of his thoughts/actions already, but that was the point, on just page 34, at which I actually put the book down in disgust. Literally the only reason why I picked it back up was because I was on NCS and the only other book I had with me was the one I’d just finished. And that one wasn’t good enough to want to read again.

So I picked it back up. It was something to do in my free time. But I wish I’d taken a different book with me.

This novel is about a boy known as ‘Butter’, due to an incident of bullying a year or two prior. He’s obese. One day he decides that it would be a good idea to livestream him committing suicide-by-binge. He plans to eat himself to death. He makes a website for it and posts the link where people at his school will see it. This stunt makes him weirdly popular. Will he or will he not go through with it????

Reviews on the back of the book imply that it’s all morally grey, and that you’ll see the bullies as being people too and you’ll start to see yourself in them. I feel that this is misleading. The only character who isn’t entirely two-dimensional was ‘Butter’ himself, so there was definitely no identifying with anyone. But if I knew ‘Butter’ in real life, I’d exclude him too. Not because of his weight or his appearance. But because he is selfish and an arsehole.

He doesn’t think about anyone but himself. When his friend tries to make a change that should positively impact his own life, ‘Butter’ just gets really pissy about how it’s inconvenient for him. And he professes to the reader that he loves this girl Anna, but his treatment of her and attitude towards her are inexcusable. She has her own life, things she cares about, and is her own person. Whenever she shows anything less than total joy towards his presence, he gets angry about how she’s such a terrible person. He’s imagined her to be so wonderful that only the worst Mary Sue could actually achieve it. Plus it’s revealed pretty early on that he’s pretending to be someone else online in order to be her internet boyfriend. The only way I can describe that course of action is cruel.

This novel is also anticlimactic. A little bit of build up for not very much pay off.

I’ve been harsh with this review. I know I have. But I was pissed off nearly from page one and by page 34 a lack of other books was the only thing keeping me reading. And I hate not finishing books.

Review originally written in 2016

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