Butter is a High School student who weights over 400 pounds. One day, he gets this great idea of creating a website where he’d stream live his death by over eating on New Year’s Eve.
Suddenly, this website makes Butter a popular kid; fat, but popular. I enjoyed reading how Butter deals with his new popularity by keeping it real and, most of all, keeping it focus: must still kill himself on New Year’s Eve.
Butter also has an online girlfriend, Anna, who goes to the same school he goes but who doesn’t know that “that fat kid” who sits at the oversize table in the back of the cafeteria is her online love interest. Nope, Butter has never sent his picture to Anna claiming it to be more romantic that way. And obviously, he uses a nickname online. But he can’t be an online boyfriend forever and Anna’s pressure to meet in person makes him set a date for such meeting: New Year’s Eve, the same night he plans to over eat to death. How is he planning to accomplish both? What would happen when Anna finds out that the guy she likes weights more than 400 pounds? Think about for a moment. Would you forgo his physical appearance? Right.
Butter reminds me of Playground (both overweight kids) but unlike Playground, Butter is a rich kid. Yes, you read that right; in fact, Butter drives a BMW to go to school. I find it interesting reading about being bullied and overweight being a rich kid. Why, rich kids have the means to better nutrition, exercise, therapy and so on. And Butter’s home is not broken. On the contrary, his mother loves him dearly and takes good care of him.
I liked that Butter kept it real and knew that his new found popularity had to do with the fact that he was planning to kill himself (even if at times his subconscious chose to forget that). In other words, his highs and lows were real, credible. I also liked that Jeremy the jerk (every book has one) didn’t become a saint at the end. Lange kept Jeremy’s character true (hateable) to the end. And I also liked that the rest of Butter’s new “friends” didn’t have a turn of heart and became all mushy and good boys.
I didn’t like though, that Anna, Butter’s love interest ended up being Butter’s friend after all. I really don’t see the point of changing a character at the very end for no other reason than giving the book a happy ending. I think that is why I liked Cracked so much: the characters hated each other from the beginning and they didn’t end up being best friends.
The book has many vital messages such as cyber bullying is bad, suicide is not the answer, and physical appearance doesn’t matter. And the messages come out strong. I give it 3-stars because these are all messages that I have read before and I’d like to read about a different take on them. For instance, if Anna wouldn’t be friends with Butter because he is fat, why change at the end? Just because she discovered he is a nice guy? BUT she discovered this not knowing that the nice kid she was chatting online with was no other than the fat one they made fun of at school. Why not get to know him in school instead? Do you see my point here?