Review: Pipeliner

Pipeliner by Shawn Hartje
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the cusp of becoming a man, Jason is directionless in his life. He has below average grades and only seems to really care about playing his guitar. Although Jason’s parents think he can never live up to his intelligent brother’s standards, he will impress them with his dedication to his guitar. After attending a bonfire and meeting Betsy, Allen and bunch of older guys who work as pipeliners, Jason has a new direction. What follows is a whirlwind summer of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Jason seems like a pretty typical middle class teenager, growing up in the mid-90’s. He has crushes on girls, problems with his parents, and a couple good friends that he has a band with. His relationship with Betsy is what finally breaks him out of his shell and makes the story more interesting. She helps open his eyes to other people’s problems and that this world is a lot different than he thought.

When I began this book I felt like I was bombarded with characters and immediately became confused as to who was who. Even by the middle of the book Jason would mention a character’s name and I would have no idea who them were. This made it hard to really enjoy the book to it’s fullest. I also felt that there was a lot left open ended by the end of the book, and not much changed. Jason’s attitude and ideas for his future changed somewhat, but not much. I wanted to see more progress in his relationship with his parents and brother. Overall I found Jason not that likable of a character, but maybe that’s because I’m reading it as an adult. I was mad at how he treated his family, especially his mother, and he came off as very spoiled. I think if I had read this book as a teenager I might have sided with him more. I gave this book three stars, and warn there is quite a bit of drug use in this book.

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