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Saving Montgomery Sole

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,188 ratings  ·  281 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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 ·  1,188 ratings  ·  281 reviews

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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Saving Montgomery Sole could have been an incredibly important book... if the narrator hadn't sounded 12 instead of 16. Montgomery Sole thinks she is a much better person than everyone else she goes to school with, besides her two best friends. It promotes the worst kind of girl hate which I found sometimes difficult to read because it went so much in line with the "I'm not like other girls" trope that I abhor. She was immature, and written far younger than we were supposed to believe she was. A ...more
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
DNF. I just can't get into this.
1. the audiobook narrator is SUPER monotone and it made me get lost in thought rather than paying attention to what was happening in the story.
2. the character's are strange (which I LOVED), but I lost interest in the story really quickly.


17-year-old Montgomery Sole lives with her sister, Tesla, and her two moms in a small town in Northern California. She attends school and runs the “mystery club” with her two best friends, Thomas, a very out gay guy, and Naoki, another girl whose family, like Monty’s, is partly Canadian. Monty’s life is shaken, however, when a new boy, the son of a virulent anti-gay preacher, comes to her school and Naoki befriends him. At the same time, Monty gets “The Eye of Know,” an amulet advertised as havi
First Second Books
One of the things I thought was cool about this book was that the title character, Montgomery Sole, was really angry. And she was angry about mostly a lot of logical things to be angry about (though some were slight misapprehensions), and at the end, she didn't learn some sort of moral lesson about how to be kind and forgiving in her heart -- because there are some things it's pretty okay to be angry about.

I think that's pretty great.

(and this book has a cover by the amaz
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5*

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 (som
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on Xpresso Reads

When I found out that Mariko Tamaki had a book coming out, I was so excited! I was curious to see how Tamaki’s storytelling style would differ from This One Summer and it helped that the book had a stunning cover.

Montgomery Sole’s voice is truly unique and stands out. She is angsty like many young adults (in YA novels and in real life) but her way of dealing with her angst is usually not dealing with it at all which explains the title
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book because I think it tackled a teenager tantrum in a realistic way, but part of me was also disappointed that some of the rhetoric was that Montgomery is "not that kind of girl" compared to the other teenagers in the book. And I get it, because I felt like an outcast when I was in high school because of my looks or my hobbies or my interests. And I know that sometimes, teenagers are just flat out mean. So maybe there isn't really a way around it if your protagonist is not a t ...more
Faith Hicks
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was lovely! I particularly enjoyed the thoughtful look at the clash between queer families and fundamentalist Christianity. That part made me tear up a bit. Mariko Tamaki is a treasure.
This was really underwhelming and I felt Montgomery's voice was middle grade, not 16 at all.
At first I started reading this and thinking that Montgomery Sole was intentionally supposed to be unlikable and petty and insufferable. After finishing, I'm not so sure. We were definitely supposed to see her go on an arc and grow, but I'm not sure she realized just how much of a dick she was being throughout the entirety of the book.

Montgomery Sole is a 16-year-old girl living in Aunty, California, which as far as I can tell, is not a real city. The city is sort of ill-defined. We
Mrs. Reed
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidbooks
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.

When I read YA books, I of course try to think of not only my reaction as an adult, but how I would have felt about it as a teenager and how the teenagers I know would feel about it. In this book's case, I just couldn't separate my opinions from how I would have felt about it and how "most" teens would feel about it.

I think that this would have been a great book for me to have read as a teenager, because I think that our prota
This is a smart, funny, sad, frustrating, and cool book. It started off a little slow, and then picked up speed from there. I wavered between 3 stars and 4 for the slow beginning, but settled on 4 for how it picked up as it went along.

The story follows a typical teenager, who has two moms and a little sister and is living in a small town somewhere in California. [see not below] She has a two friends that she hangs out with, at the Mystery Club, and she is OK with her life. (the Myste
Admittedly this book had to grow on me as in the first sections the age of the main character's voice confused me. I still feel like the first chapters were a bit off in that way; it just really did not feel like Monty was 16. But after that it felt settled into a young YA and was a lovely realistic story of a girl with gay moms and a gay friend and sexist boys at school and feeling angry for lots of legit reasons about hate and discrimination. The book doesn't try to solve any problems or prese ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Montgomery Sole has found her comfort zone. She's always felt like an outsider, as the only person in her small town with two moms, but she has found two people who get her. And they've even started a club at their school! The Mystery Club, they call it. Where they investigate unexplained phenomena - basically just hang out, watching movies and geeking out over stuff they find fascinating.
Then, a notorious evangelist moves into town. And some people seem to be picking up what he's putting
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Don't know if I would have liked this as much if it wasn't on audio, but as my current gardening listen, it kept me outside with my hands in the dirt long enough to get a little sunburned, so it did its job.
Full thoughts to come.
3.5 stars, rounded up because this book made me happy. Yes, it's a bit unrealistic and oversimplified. It's rare that things come together so neatly. And I was disappointed that the critical pieces of Montgomery's history were revealed so slowly. But overall, I liked the message of the book. It was a uplifting and solid read. If it sounds interesting, give it a go!
Cassia Schaar
I'll commend the author for tackling a really controversial subject: the rocky relationship between the queer community and Christians. But as you can tell in my rating, I wasn't a fan on the delivery. It had potential and I'll admit, had a very good end message about hate (view spoiler).
That said, the writing felt really yo
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure what I expected from this one based on the summary included in the book. I picked it up twice and wasn't engaged, but something changed today. Although there is a feeling that the book lacks focus, everything comes together in the end.
Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
2.75 stars

This book was really mixed for me.

I enjoyed all of the parts of the story about the main character's family and I thought the author did a good job of really bringing the family and all their different dynamic to life.

I also really enjoyed the discussion of religion and how it is addressed that, just because the main character's experience with religion have been negative, doesn't mean religion is negative as a whole.

However, I felt like the aspects of the sto
Chasia Lloyd
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This started off as a really fun, quirky read about some high schoolers and their paranormal mystery club. Then it shifted into something, hm, strange? But not unenjoyable. I liked it. I liked reading about a girl willing to lose herself in order to defend her family which happens to have two queer moms.

TWs: homophobia, r-word slur, some weird eating disorder comments that didn't gel well with me, brief sexual assault
Aditi ~ •A Thousand Words A Million Books

*I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts are entirely my own.*

When I’m reading a book to review it, at each particular stage in the book I look up and try to think of what I’m going to say about it. It has taken me a really long while to get through Saving Montgomery Sole, I even considered DNF’ing it the first time I picked it up. The only reason I didn’t though was the fact that the blurb promised some sort of danger with a mystical chain, and I hadn
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, ya
A pretty uneven story that didn't really seem to say very much. The book just didn't coalesce for me - it was like it was in concept form, but never was given much in the way of a setting, plot, or characters. It is set in Aunty, CA (that name really bugged me) which we know is a small town with "rolling green hills" and "crisp blue sky" and then in the last chapter it is implied that it is near a desert? But in another chapter it is implied that it is near the coast? I never got a real sense of ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm trying to write not mean reviews for these books but after so many bad ones the past month or so it's hard not to.

Main character was unbearable. I was hoping this would turn into a kind of Edge of Seventeen situation where she realizes she is a huge brat and apologized to everyone and makes some big revelation at the end. It was not. She just decides to be nice to one person and that's it.

Antagonists were flat and nothing much was done with them outside of Kenneth. It just gave
Mississippi Library Commission
Monty lives in small town Aunty, California, and sometimes it's just too small town for her. She's bullied because she has two moms and because she just plain doesn't fit in. School is excruciating--fellow classmates think foreshadowing means something dark, like night, and she's constantly teased by her ex-boyfriend of two days who calls her a dyke. Her younger sister is annoying (whose wasn't when they were a teen?) and her moms are always asking how she's doing (again, whose wasn't when they wer ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful! Less supernatural than it sounds, just a great, funny coming of age with perfect dialogue, diverse and distinct characters, and a fun hook for exploring issues of bigotry and belonging.

Update on reading other people's complaints that the voice sounds too middle grade: the book's first few pages are mega-MG, but it quickly settles into a lower YA voice that felt just right to me (Montgomery is billed as 16, but she seems 15. NOT 12). It's easy to forget how freaking young y
Ava Budavari
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was so fantastic. I really enjoyed the family aspect of it, and how diverse both the characters and their relationships were. The main character was very brave and full of life, yet also very flawed and relatable. This book really dealt with prejudice against the LGBT community very well, which is something that is often hard to find in young adult books. The experimentation with magical realism is the thing that really kept me on the edge of my seat. I recommend this book not only for ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Meh. The narrator was a bit too snarky for my taste for so much of the book, plus the reader seemed to add more snarkiness. Some YA readers might enjoy the book, but ultimately I wanted more out of the narrator’s change. If she would have drawn some more conclusions about her misbehavior and made more amends, I could have appreciated it more. Plus I found the gay characters to be very strong stereotypes.

A couple of lines I liked:
“You don’t know what you’re talking t
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, not-graphic, life
You know those times when you're angry, and you have very good reasons for being angry, and things keep piling on and piling on until you get pricklier and pricklier, and then you start angrily lashing out at all the wrong things confronting you until you finally get to a breaking point . . . and begin to realize that, despite the good reasons, you've had a skewed perspective and been quite unreasonable and turned into the mean one? Yeah. That's this story. It's a good one.
Sharyn L.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a free audio download from AudioBookSync. The narrators did an excellent job interpreting this title.

Saving Montgomery Sole brings to light the many ways we have preconceived ideas and biases while believing we don't. This book also made me thankful that my high school days were long ago!

Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqia, ya, library, audiobook
It was okay. I'm not mad I read it, but I'm not sure I would have continued listening if it had been much longer. I think Tamaki's writing style is just a bit too quiet for me. It's got a lot of merit, just not what I tend to enjoy in YA. The tone and the characterization also seemed a little young for a YA. I felt like I was reading a middle grade book and wasn't sure how to get that straight in my mind.
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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 ...more