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4.7 38
by Erin Jade Lange

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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


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?

With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At 423 pounds, 16-year-old "Butter" is sinking, both mentally and physically. Despite his sense of humor and musical talent, his classmates and parents can't see beyond his weight, and he's feeling the same way. Bullying incidents and being voted "most likely to have a heart attack" spark Butter's plan to commit suicide live online on New Year's Eve. It's the same night that he's agreed to reveal himself to Anna, his chat-room crush; although they know each other from school, he has lied to her about his identity. However, Butter's Web site, where students suggest foods to add to his last meal, brings him instant popularity and reasons to live. As the days count down, Butter has to choose between social and actual suicide. Lange's emotionally expansive first novel is dark, funny, painful, and powerful. Even at the height of Butter's mistreatment, his despair doesn't overshadow his awareness of the world's beauty. Layered supporting characters (readers will empathize with Anna, who suffers her own humiliation as a result of Butter's dishonesty) provide the novel the depth that the timely subject matter deserves. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)
VOYA - Sarah Phillips
When Butter announces his suicide, it is shocking to realize how many people give encouragement and do not try to stop him or tell an adult. The plot has a unique combination of real-life aspects that are compelling to read about, even though it is a gruesome topic. Many teens are in Butter's shoes by having social and weight issues. The lesson is: have faith and do the things you enjoy most in life to be successful. 5Q, 4P. Reviewer: Sarah Phillips, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Deborah Wenk
Butter is the nickname that stuck. Morbidly obese at sixteen, Butter battles severe diabetes, paternal disdain, maternal smothering, and the apathy of his classmates. Aside from the incident that produced his nickname, Butter is generally ignored by the bullies and the rest of his classmates—except for their fascination with the amount of food in his lunch each day. Playing his saxophone and talking online to Anna are his escapes. To Anna, he is JP, a jock from a nearby private school whose life has no resemblance to his real life. After a series of setbacks, Butter decides that the only control he can exert is choosing when he dies. He creates a website and announces that he will eat himself to death on New Year's Eve and it will be streamed live on the website. The reaction of his classmates stuns him: the "in" crowd pull him into their circle and befriend him. Their online comments, however, are all about encouraging his stunt. Readers are immediately pulled into Butter's life and made to care about him. He is funny, bright, talented—someone everyone would like to know. Or would we? He tips the scale at 423 pounds and readers must face their own prejudices about the obese around us. Butter's only friend is another fat camp teen; no one else takes the time to get to know him. This is an engrossing, tough, funny, honest, and in the end, hopeful tale that grabs the reader from the first page and does not let go. This one will not stay on your library shelves. Reviewer: Deborah Wenk
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Butter is a smart, funny high school junior who happens to weigh 423 pounds. His eating issues stem from multiple sources, but one day when the pressure becomes too much, he opens a website called Butterslastmeal.com. Here he invites his classmates to watch as he consumes his last meal on New Year's Eve, literally eating himself to death. The overwhelming reaction to his posting astonishes him, and he becomes an instant member of the in crowd. But even finding the friendship he craves doesn't help ease his internal pain. His mom still supplies him with high-calorie "comfort" foods; his dad still looks at him in disgust, and Anna, the most beautiful girl at school, won't give him a second glance. Playing his saxophone and spending time as his online alter ego, JP, a tall, athletic hunk who chats for hours online with Anna, provide the only real comforts in his life. Flashbacks show the relentless cruelty of other students that Butter has endured for years, and the story heads toward a frightening climax as he discovers that his newfound friends are just as cruel in their own way as those who abused him in the past. The ending avoids a quick solution, leaving Butter realistically examining his options for the future. Myriad realistic characters feel responsible for his actions-the music teacher who tries repeatedly to reach him; his friend Tucker, who also battles extreme weight, and even Anna, who rejects him in public. The first-person narration allows readers to feel Butter's pain along with the eventual insight into his problems. Using current, hot-button topics-cyberbullying, obesity, and teen suicide-the author weaves a compelling tale sure to draw teens in.—Diana Pierce, Leander High School, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Butter gets good grades and plays smooth-as-butter jazz sax, but he is defined by both himself and his peers by his weight. At 423 pounds, he sits by himself in the lunchroom, parks his Beemer (this is Scottsdale, Ariz., after all) in the handicapped space in the school parking lot and diligently keeps his diabetes in check. As SaxMan on the Internet, though, he has an intense relationship with Anna, a girl who doesn't look twice at him in school. When a school meme designates him "most likely to have a heart attack," he decides to "command the conversation online" by declaring that he will eat himself to death on a live video stream on New Year's Eve, four weeks away. Almost immediately, he finds his social stock soaring, the A crowd--which includes Anna--adopting him as a mascot of sorts. Butter's tale reads like the problem novel it is, his narration feeding itself to readers so they don't miss a thing: "Popularity was like a drug--one taste and I was hooked." But he is likable, in his wry, self-hating way, remarking that he is "a binge eater, not a bulimic. That shit is for girls." In the end, it is the vision of life in the "fat suit" that should hook readers, whatever their size. Rubbernecking the train wreck that is Butter's last meal makes for an uncomfortably thought-provoking read. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.10(d)
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

ERIN JADE LANGE is a news producer in Phoenix Arizona. Butter is her debut novel. www.butterslastmeal.com

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Butter 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
My first thought when I read the synopsis was that this book sounds really disturbing. Then came the intrigue, and the nagging in the back of my head that I needed to see what makes this boy want to literally eat himself to death. Not only eat himself to death, but do it for an audience online. Oh, and of course I had to know if he would really go through with it. This book was great. It really blew away my expectations. I honestly have to say I didn't know what to expect out of it. I didn't expect a story that would keep me turning pages until I was done and I certainly didn't expect how much depth there was to it. Butter is an obese boy in his junior year of high school. He is used to being a loner and fining solace in food, his saxophone and his chatting with his crush online. He doesn't really seem to care about how overweight he is. He has tried to lose weight, but it doesn't work, so he doesn't care to try anymore. He is a really nice, funny talented guy. The few people who actually know the real him know this, but mostly he's invisible, even being so large. He is beyond being picked on. When he makes the website it's totally on impulse. He doesn't really think about the repercussions of it. Now he is suddenly popular. If he doesn't go through with the plan though, he will lose all of the supposed friendships he has gotten. Watching as he blames everything else on his weight gain and pushes away the people who care just to impress people who could really care less about him as a person is very sad. People are all like, "Dude! he's Legendary!!" and stuff and I wanted to scream at them and tell them they are all jerks!! He is going to kill himself and they are all encouraging and enabling him. As this all goes on, he is hanging out with the cool kids, going to parties, and enjoying life despite the fact that his end is coming up soon. Through the story I was also very angry at his parents. His dad doesn't even talk to him. Like he's repulsed by him, and his mom keeps trying to feed him more "comfort foods". Not saying that it's their fault, but they could do a little more to help him instead of either totally ignoring him, or shoving food at him. They are two major extremes that only make it worse. This story was really more than just about a fat kid trying to kill himself. The book is from Butter's POV so we see how he perceives himself and the others around him, but also through his interactions, we hear things in a way he may not. All these people are suddenly noticing him and think he is cool just because he is a fat kid who has had enough and wants to end his life by eating. It's really sad. As much as he feels like he fits in now, he really doesn't. Deep down he knows that. As New Years comes these people won't be his friends anymore either way. This book broke my heart. Not in a bawl my eyes out sort of way, but the lingering affect it has left. Through so much of the book I couldn't make myself feel sorry for Butter at all because he gets mad when others are treating this all like a game, but he is the one who made the site. He is the one who keeps updating it and keeps it going. It wasn't until he slowly starts to grow as a character and open up his eyes to see what is really happening around him that my heart started to ache for him. Overall this was one of those books that slowly pulls out the emotions in you without you even realizing it. It was much more than I expected it to be.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Butter, both the character and the book. I feel like his character was done pretty realistically. He realizes that he's not going to be able to drop his excess weight overnight. He also realizes that while he's a pretty great guy, a lot of people won't ever know because they can't see past the weight. Because of all of this, Butter has built up walls and resigned himself to a nickname that he got from an incident with a fellow classmate. The story has both humorous and heartbreaking. The story and characters were well done and memorable. I believe teens (and others) that are overweight or have been bullied will really enjoy Butter's story. I know I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciate the accurate struggle of a depressed mind. Butter begins blaming genetics and everyone else for his weight, and admits that he finds it too exhausting to explore the solutions he knows he needs to get better. Eventually, he realizes that the causes (and the solutions) are more complex than he first thought. This book might be a trigger for those suffering from suicidal thoughts, but I think most would find it refreshing to have a complex, no-easy-answers character with whom they can identify. It's a compelling story for teens and adults, alike.
UtherFan More than 1 year ago
Interesting, timely story not just for young adults. Recommend!
paperbackjunkie59 More than 1 year ago
So the reason I bought this book was simple - I thought it looked really interesting. And I really wanted to know what would happen. That's all. It could have been a huge disappointment, but oh my goodness gracious, it was everything I hoped for and more. This author took a subject that was relatively morbid, but made it anything but a 'depressing' book. I hesitate to call this book funny, because of the serious matter it does deal with, but Butter's voice was just so darn great.  Butter (character) was funny, and smart, and witty and clever and quick and - one of my all time favourite male leads ever. As for the plot, this book had me ripping through pages.  I had no idea what decision Butter would at the end, and I could hardly stand the suspense. The rising action and climax, to use elementary language arts vocabulary, were the best I had read in a long time.  I fell in love with Butter throughout this book, and though maybe he was rude to some people at time, and wanted desperately to fit in, I don't think that invalidates him as a lovable character. He was lost, and the mistakes he made made him all the more real in my eyes. We all make mistakes sometimes, want to fit in with the wrong crowd, and Butter is no different.   SOOO overall I loved this book. A lot. I might even put it in my beloveds shelf. I wholeheartedly recommend it without reservation. 
Anonymous 10 months ago
224perweek More than 1 year ago
Awesome story. Pulled me right in and I could not put it down. Read it in 2 days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful! Recommended to everyone I know.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We captured alot f your members surrender or die.signed by ProfessorAidan,terror three commander
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
About that......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Butter is such a butter :)
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Go to relayed titlesan go to 3 one
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One can relate to feeling rejected and then compromising one's self to fit in
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I love my server!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very biased toward the bigger point of view, but hey, it makes a good story
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We don't want a summary, kinda ruins it for people. A spoiler alert would be perfect before your summary.