I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I started this book yesterday. The title intrigued me, and the synopsis even more. I started reading between classes yesterday, and less than 24 hours later, I was done.
Now, Butter kind of reads like a John Green novel. There’s wit, lessons, sass, and a good blend of light and dark scenes. With this book being about an obese teenager who plans on killing himself on New Years Eve, a blend of those ideas is important to keep the novel from being to light or too heavy on the topic.
Now, here we have Butter, our protagonist. All he wants is to play his saxophone, get his dream girl and lose a bit of weight (he’s tired of being the weird kid with the handicap parking spot, the custom desk, and the lonely bench at the lunch table without any friends.) Certain events lead him to create a website about his suicide plan, which is to eat himself to death on a live feed on New Years, which is a major part of this novel.
One thing that shocked me as I read this was just [ how the people that knew about the website didn’t actually tell anyone until it was almost too late. The only person that came close was Butter’s friend Tucker from the FitFab weight loss camp, and even he didn’t tell, but only because Butter convinced him that he actually wasn’t going to kill himself. A majority of the school knew about the site, and online, people were fueling the fire beneath Butter and almost pushing him toward his suicide, which a counselor in the book later describes as bullying, which it is. There was even a viewing party for the live stream of his binge-eating suicide, which was disturbing. Instead of celebrating the New Year, they were watching a classmate kill himself, which is when they finally had the sense to call 911.
I actually found myself growing quite anxious near the end, and I could barely bring myself to put it down when I had to go to class. Some characters were a bit generic, and a few sort of blended together, but Butter is our shining character here. He’s a likable guy, but with a bad idea. Over the course of the book, you start to learn more about him and his family and where his problems started. I like that there wasn’t an intro dump right at the beginning, and that everything is progressively given. 🙂
I would recommend this book to fans of John Green, or really any contemporary young adult fan. 🙂