17 Jun 2016

#Review: SAVING MONTGOMERY SOLE by Mariko Tamaki

Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for


I have a review of the book for you today so you can read that. But first let's learn more about the book...


Author: Mariko Tamaki
Source: Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

In sight not see
black light not be

This is the curious instruction that comes with the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet that Montgomery Sole buys online for $5.99. It’s also the next topic of discussion at Mystery Club (members: Monty and her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki), dedicated to the exploration of the strange and unexplained.

When Monty wears the Eye of Know, strange things happen, all targeted at people she despises. Maybe it will help Monty take down her newest enemy, a preacher who has come to save her town from so-called sinners—sinners like Monty’s moms. Or will its mysterious powers mean the end of the friendships Monty cherishes most?

Mariko Tamaki has created a thoughtful, funny, and painfully honest story about family, religion, ignorance, and other unsolved high school mysteries.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a quick and easy read and I really enjoyed it. I thought Monty was a really great character and super relatable. I really liked that she had a diverse friend group and that we got to see from her perspective all the things that were affecting them - slurs, people in general, religion, etc. etc. - because I feel like a lot of allies don't realize that instead of getting weighed down and burdened by these things, most LGBTQ+ people try to roll with the punches (sometimes quite literally).

I did, however, think that this was way too short. I wanted there to be a bit more development of the Eye and the Reverend -- or to delete one of those plot points. I felt like neither was given the right amount of attention and space to come to fruition and because of this they both fell flat.

But, the characters were FANTASTIC. I loved reading about them and their emotions became my emotions. I was laughing and crying with this one and could really get a feel for what the characters were thinking and why they were acting a certain way. I thought it was great to have Monty be the lead for this reason tbh. I would have liked much more of Naoki though as well! I think she is a really interesting character and we just scraped the surface of her character (spin-off?)

I really liked the character growth in this one and how that evolved but I think more time (and therefore more pages) in this one would have really helped. I really enjoyed Tamaki's writing style and definitely will be picking up more by her (I have read (YOU) SET ME ON FIRE and enjoyed that one). Plus, Canadians!
Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto writer, playwright, activist and performer. She works and performs with fat activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off and the theatre troupe TOA, whose recent play, A vs. B, was staged at the 2004 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her well-received novel, Cover Me (McGilligan Books) was followed by a short fiction collection, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice (Women's Press). Mariko's third book, FAKE ID, is due out in spring 2005.

Mariko Tamaki has performed her work across Canada and through the States, recently appearing at the Calgary Folkfest 2004, Vancouver Writer's Festival 2003, Spatial III, and the Perpetual Motion/Girls Bite Back Tour, which circled though Ottawa, Montreal, Brooklyn and Chicago. She has appeared widely on radio and television including First Person Singular on CBC radio and Imprint on TVO. Mariko Tamaki is currently attending York University working a Masters degree in Women's Studies.

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1 comment:

  1. Characterization is so important and i'm so happy to read that you cared about these characters and could relate to them.


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