Butter

Erin Jade Lange, Author
Erin Jade Lange. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-59990-780-2
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-61963-121-2
Open Ebook - 978-1-59990-926-4
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-571-29441-1
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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.)
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