Thursday, 17 October 2013

Book Review - Butter

Title: Butter
Author: Erin Lange
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Release Date: 7 Mar 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0571294404

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.
So starts Butter, the story of a lonely 423-pound boy everyone calls 'Butter'. Worse than being ridiculed for his size at high school, he is simply ignored. Desperate, he pledges to eat himself to death live on the Internet - and everyone will watch. When he makes this announcement online, he expects pity, insults, or possibly sheer indifference. Instead, his classmates become morbid cheerleaders for 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?
Readers will be surprised to find themselves identifying with both the bullied ... and the bullies.

My Review
This was the last book I had to read for book day at work. I actually looked at this on the shelves a few months back and thought it sounded different and interesting but I decided not to pick it up, so when I saw it on the list I was quite excited. 
This book follows 'Butter' a 423 pound teenager just trying to survive through school, so uncool he doesn't even get bullied, he spends most of his time alone. His Dad struggles to even look at him and his Mum tries to help by feeding him even more. After a bad day of arguments he creates a blog called 'Butter's Last Meal' where he promises to broadcast live on midnight - a stream of him eating himself to death. Is it even possible to die by eating too much? Butter is about to find out.

This book is very morbid and altogether quite miserable. It is the sort of book that makes you feel very uncomfortable whilst reading it. There were so many times I wanted to put it down, but I knew I had to finish it for Book Day, and part of me was slightly intrigued how it was going to end. But that didn't stop me from squirming and looking away. Warning - do not read whilst eating - really put me off my lunch!

I found myself alternating between feeling sorry for Butter and feeling frustrated by him, he makes himself a victim a lot of the time, and as his friend Tucker says to him, he looks for the worst in every situation and makes things worse for himself.

The book itself is well written and it's a very interesting concept, the characters are all well developed and the pacing is good, it didn't take me too long to read overall once I actually got into it. Luckily I had just over an hour to waste in a car garage waiting which gave me the perfect opportunity to read it. 

I personally didn't really like it, just because it made me feel so uneasy and uncomfortable, I had a bit of an issue about how easy it was to keep everyone quiet about what Butter was planning. Surely someone would speak out, or I would hope so, that just seemed a little bit too far fetched. But it is very different and in a way I am glad I can say I've read it.

My Rating

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