There are no spoilers in this review.
By Any Means Necessary, Candice Montgomery
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 is set in college! I can’t tell you how much I need these kind of books set in college. We see Torrey, our main character, getting to college and settling in, finding his classes and trying to figure it all out while having left a big part of him behind, too. It’s such a great storyline…
- that is beautifully told, too. The writing and Torrey’s voice is really unique, inclusive to the reader, witty and fun to read and I had such a great time reading it, too. It made it easy to feel involved in the story and to care even more for the main character.
- I loved the originality of it, too. Torrey has an apiary and is really, really passionate about his bees back home and I loved seeing that.
- Overall, Torrey was such a great main character, too. I loved how passionate, caring, a little lost and confused he was just as well. It was so easy to root for him and to fall in love with him.
- By Any Means Necessary gives a big place to family and friendships, too, something I really loved. The close friendship with Emery was lovely to read about and Torrey’s closeness with his aunt made me happy, too.
- This book did such a great job at juggling in between everything without making it feel too… crowded, somehow. It included friendships and romance, complex family relationships. Torrey is juggling between the past and present as he’s about to lose his bee farm, between what he feels like he’s expected to do and his own self-care. The book dealt with important social issues, gentrification, being a black gay guy and more. I loved that.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- As much as I loved the friendships, I feel like they could have been explored a little more. I felt like, from the writing, we were already supposed to know everything about Emery and I would have wanted to know even more about her. Same thing goes for the love interest in the story, which I appreciated a whole lot, but feel like I wanted to know more, too.
By Any Means Necessary was my first Candice Montgomery book, but it certainly won’t be my last. From the writing to the endearing main character, to the important issues of gentrification… this book seems to pack a punch, yet you never feel like it’s too crowded. A beautiful book and certainly the kind of book we need more of in young adult reads.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Thank you to Page Street & NetGalley for sending me an e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: drinking, depression, homophobic remarks, police brutality, panic attack.
Diversity: gay black main character, almost all-black side characters, afro-latino and bisexual love interest.
Did you read By Any Means Necessary? Do you want to?
What was the last contemporary book you read and enjoyed? Let me know in comments!