Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Title: Shotgun Lovesongs
Author: Nickolas Butler
Genre: Fiction

Rating: 2-2.5 / 5


Why I picked it up: I was trying to find something to read to Peter. This was in my school library, I heard good things, so I texted him a picture of the jacket copy and he okayed it to try. We made it through like 10 pages of the first chapter before he wanted to throw the towel in. I didn’t really have anything else lined up for reading for myself so I just continued it.

What it’s about: A small town in Wisconsin. A bunch of dudes, and one chick. One of them (one of the dudes) is a cool famous singer. Other of the dudes are rich pricks, poor farmers, or recovering alcoholic(?) former rodeo stars who are treated like simpletons by their friends.

What I liked: I guess…the drama? That’s kind of what kept me going. Also, you can tell Butler loves Wisconsin, and it kind of made me miss the Midwest a bit, as well as my own dwindling and financially declining small hometown. Small towns are awesome. You kind of get a feel for that in this book, and it was a high point.

What I didn’t like: Kind of contrived and reminded me kind of chick lit. It seemed kind of high on sensationalism and certain specific events and kind of low on real character development and depth. That’s not always a bad thing and it can be fun and make for an enjoyable read. But I wasn’t really in the mood for it, I guess. I think I was just expecting something more.

Overall / recommended: This is a light read with some family/friend drama (it’s pretty good). It’s mainly focused on male friendship and is set in the “heartland” and feels pretty white American. It is good at what it does, and if those things sound appealing to you, you will probably really like it. I think I would have liked it better if I’d been in the mood for that.

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