296p. Bloomsbury. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-780-2. LC 2011045509.
RedReviewStarGr 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 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

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