Oh my goodness, y’all. THIS BOOK. I am so happy I had the pleasure to be part of this blog tour, because this book was SO WONDERFUL. I’m going to get into it, but first – welcome to the Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour for By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery!
In By Any Means Necessary, Torrey is starting college – and the first in his family to ever do so – at San Francisco State University. That’s the day he finds out the apiary that he inherited from his uncle is in default and is going to auction. It’s the day he starts getting pulled in two very different directions – on the one hand, he’s in college, a place he earned a place at, a place where he has friends and a network already the day he arrived; on the other hand, he’s from a rough part of LA where gentrification is starting in abundance, and that’s where his bees are too. He’s so sure he’s going to bail on college, on everything new, so he can save his bees. But then he reconnects with Gabriel, a boy from his past who kissed him one day in 8th grade and then was suddenly just gone. And suddenly, Torrey realizes that yes, the bees that his uncle left him, and his uncle’s legacy, are important. But Torrey’s life is important too.
*Heart eyes for days*
3 Things I Loved (Plus a Bonus!)
- Torrey’s voice. I generally try to avoid a lot of plot points when I’m about to start a book – I like to be surprised – but one of the few things I saw about this book before I started reading it was Dahlia Adler’s review, which was mostly about how much she fell in love with Torrey’s voice. In the first couple pages, I knew I was going to agree whole-heartedly. It’s like Torrey is talking to the readers, but not really, and it’s done so flawlessly. I adored it.
- CAKE. CAKE are the four STEM girls who Torrey befriends before the semester even starts, and they are glorious. They’re smart and black and complicated and unique and their characterization is so so so wonderful. They were the perfect larger-than-life side characters for Torrey’s story.
- Gabriel. Oh. Oh my. I have read books about… well, basically everything, but I’m not sure I’ve ever read about falling in love like I did in this book. The way that Torrey describes and feels about Gabriel is real and young and fresh and heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time, somehow. I want more book that are capable of writing young love like this. I wish I could write young love like this.
- THE REP. This is the book I’ve been wanting to find this summer! This is it! Pretty much the whole book, almost every single character, is black. Torrey, our main character, is gay and out and proud and dating another gay and out and proud young black boy. Racism, and everything that goes with it – it’s all discussed ON THE PAGE. I loved everything about this. Everything everything everything.
You know what else I loved about this book? Everything problematic is addressed head-on. So I’ve got nothing to write in this section, and I’m just tickled by that.
In terms of triggers, there are some things to be aware of. There’s an encounter with police that Torrey has that isn’t super great to read about, but it’s real life, and that sucks. There’s a lot of verbal abuse that Torrey endures from his grandfather, including some truly terrible homophobic things that I wish people could be protected from, but they can’t. There’s a lot of talk of gentrification, of white people moving into black and brown spaces and kicking out the people who have lived there forever. That sucks to read a lot too.
As always, just take care of yourselves.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Y’all. I can’t remember the last time I rated a book as high as my feelings for this one. But here we go. I’m giving By Any Means Necessary a PURPLE rating. Please read it! Please!
A HUGE thank you to the publisher, to Fantastic Flying Book Club tours, and to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. By Any Means Necessary is out now!
Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy of the book!