Blogtober (#12) By Any Means Necessary is One of the Best Books of the Year | Review: By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery

7:00 AM

Fun fact: me and my two brain cells, when taking photos of By Any Means Necessary for Instagram and my photo journal, almost got stung by a bee. Because my BRILLIANT, possibly allergic (runs in the family, but has never been stung by a bee) self was like, "Oh, these flowers are lovely. And look! There's a bee! I should take a picture of this book in front of the flowers and bee." Which is fair and all, but also... not great. Story time is over, let's get to the goods! (And believe me, this book is good.)

About

An honest reflection on cultural identify, class, and gentrification. Fans of Nic Stone and Elizabeth Acevedo will eagerly anticipate Torrey.

On the day Torrey officially becomes a college freshman, he gets a call that might force him to drop out before he’s even made it through orientation: the bee farm his beloved uncle Miles left him after his tragic death is being foreclosed on.

Torrey would love nothing more than to leave behind the family and neighborhood that’s bleeding him dry. But he still feels compelled to care for the project of his uncle’s heart. As the farm heads for auction, Torrey precariously balances choosing a major and texting Gabriel—the first boy he ever kissed—with the fight to stop his uncle’s legacy from being demolished. But as notice letters pile up and lawyers appear at his dorm, dividing himself between family and future becomes impossible unless he sacrifices a part of himself.
 


By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5) 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

A brief nod to trigger warnings: homophobia and death of relative.

By Any Means Necessary is one of my favourite books of the year, end sentence. I know, I know, I can't write my review simply as, "this is one of my favourite books of the year." If I could, I would, because in all honesty? That is the very first thought that popped into my head upon finishing this one.

(The second being wow, the third being I've never seen an apiary but suddenly want to.)

Needless to say, I was smitten from the very start. I think each of you will be, too. Because the most important thing you can know, ahead of time, about By Any Means Necessary is that it's extraordinary and real. Candice Montgomery's writing is stunning, and she captures the essence of life very beautifully.

At its core, By Any Means Necessary is magical in all of its coming of age glory. Most importantly, it is honest and true to life. It will give readers all the feelings imaginable because it is THAT book. The type of novel that burrows in your veins. The type of book who's characters stay on your mind for days after finishing. It is truly a book that you pick up and within a couple of pages, you know that it's special. If you know, you know. And I promise you, you will know.

Let's talk plotlines and what not: Candice Montgomery welcomes us into the life of Torrey, a college freshmen, and is quick to let us in on all that is happening in his world. He is passionate, full of life, a POC and gay. He is the type of character that we all long to read about because he is undeniably full of sparks and life. He is also the type of character that I positively love. The other characters are just as lively and well-developed, featuring an array of diversity in many ways. (Torrey's love interest is bisexual. 10/10, I'm here for it.)

Montgomery explores many topics through him (that I'm trying to be vague on, solely because By Any Means Necessary is a triumph that must be experienced first hand by you all as readers; not merely from my review) that include, but aren't limited to, gentrification, sexuality and homophobia, what it means to keep on moving forward in life, and letting go, racism and more.

Montgomery touches on these topics with grace, frankness and a whole lot of wit. Every word she pens is one that compels us further.

She crafts a beautiful story, that feels intimate due to its format, about growing up LGBT, family, and falling in love. Following the tradition of so many YA and NA books, she grips her readers instantly and allows us the privilege of growing up with her characters. It doesn't matter how old you are, By Any Means Necessary is an absolute must read.


About the Author 

Candice “Cam” Montgomery is an LA transplant now living in the woods of Seattle, where she writes Young Adult novels. Her debut novel, HOME AND AWAY can be found online and in stores now, and her sophomore novel, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY will be released October of 2019. By day, Cam writes about Black teens across all their intersections. By night, she bartends at a tiny place nestled inside one of Washington’s greenest trees. She is an avid Studio Ghibli fan and will make you watch at least one episode of Sailor Moon and listen to one Beyoncé record before she’ll call you “friend.”

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