Skip to main content

North of Montana

All over my paperback copy of April Smith’s North of Montana, there are reviews mentioning how “breathless” the novel is, how it “zips along”, and how it’s a “page-turner”.

What did I think?

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Ana Grey is an FBI agent dealing with a sexist boss. She makes a great bust, but the aforementioned boss curtails her much-deserved promotion. She ends up having to prove herself on a high-profile case about an iconic actress claiming she became addicted on prescription drugs because of a deviant doctor. (Quite the hot topic lately, isn’t it?)

But while investigating the case and trying to please all parties involved, Ana is faced with sudden questions of her childhood. Long faded memories begin to surface, and a woman claims that a recent shooting victim was her cousin. A woman she’s never met. A woman she is apparently supposed to be grieving. Juggling the two proves to make both more difficult.

Thing is, I can’t say I agree with the super-positive snippets all over the front and back cover.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually liked the book. The last page won me over with Ana’s character and her personal identity issues.

But was it a thrilling whodunit? Was it a fast-paced mystery? Was I breathless to turn the next pages?

None of those words really express, to me, what North of Montana was.

This was a character-driven story, very well done and thought out. Ana was made to be three-dimensional and certainly not perfect. Her family life and almost child-like need for approval from her grandfather was compelling, and her resurfacing recollections were sometimes disturbing, and always magnetic.

But her investigation felt like an afterthought to me. It was uninteresting and seemed almost like filler to me. I’m sure there are many people that found it gripping and a page-turner, but I didn’t. The parts focusing on her job and her case crept along at a slow pace, and I couldn’t help but begin to skim over those paragraphs and get to what I considered the “good parts”. Which was, in my opinion, a patiently plotted, slow reveal of Ana’s personal life.

Something those reviews didn’t really allude to, which could have possibly led me to wrong expectations. Who knows?

So, I’m left feeling mixed feelings. Ana is a compelling character, likable and smart, and where she was left in the novel was certainly alluring. But her work life? Yeah, I could go without. Except for very few exceptions, I found it tedious and far too monotonous.

Since at the top of the front cover it says “The First Ana Grey Mystery”, I can’t help but be interested in what comes next. However, I can’t help but hope that either there is no “mystery” in the traditional FBI sense, or it is written in a much faster paced, suspenseful manner – despite the reviews declaring this novel was written so!

But there ya go. We all have different opinions, don’t we?

Which is why I encourage you to read North of Montana for yourself!


Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.


When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:

Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!