Today’s my stop in the blog tour of Candice Montgomery’s amazing book – By any means necessary and so today I get to share what are the things I loved in this book along with a few quotes.
Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and Page Street Publishing for providing me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
About the book
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.
Firstly I would like to say that this book was not at all what I expected it to be. At first, I found it hard to get into the book, because its told only in first person and from Torrey’s POV. So I was beginning to get bored thinking it’s going to be the voice of a person who is only going to keep grumbling about the situation he is in. But the story evolved and with it, Torrey too.
To say life’s been tough for Torrey wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The kid is Black and poor and gay in a homophobic society that still treats persons of colour differently.
I text Lisa again, because I need somebody. You know that feeling, right? Where you just need somebody, anybody really, to care about you down to your marrow. Someone who’ll make you their Number One.
I liked the cutesy way Gabriel and Torrey become a couple. No beating around the bush, or pushing and pulling each other till the end of the book. And totally loved how Gabe calls Torrey his Principe (Spanish for Prince) *insert heart-eyes*
Gabriel is all risk and wild decisions. But me? I am hesitation. I am Gabriel’s antonym. The Taurus to his Pisces.
And when I was beginning to get antsy about the lack of strong females, Candice blesses us with Emery. I loved her so much. Together with the CAKE ( Clarke, Auburn, Kennedy, Emery) or alone with Torrey, she just rocks and I loved her so much. Even Torrey is amazed by her. I loved the below quote from the book because its so beautifully written about a girl, from a guy’s point of view. A guy who is not a boyfriend !!
Girl’s a poem in the boxing ring. She’s breathless. She’s gorgeous. she’s moving — dancing. She’s a fire blazing in a rainstorm, a strike of lightning across a cornfield. She’s everything.
And ooh who wouldn’t love the scene where Torrey takes her to the apiary and they harvest honey together!! The imagery in itself was so much pleasing and I loved it. And Torrey leaves you surprised by the random bee facts he throws in and I did not know most of them.
Most people don’t know that there are more than twenty thousand species of bees, only four of which are honey bees. And why should they? I mean, did you know that?
Not only bees, Torrey also lets you know what is really happening in the Black ‘hoods. How gentrification is affecting their livelihood and displacing them. I love how through him, the author is trying to bring attention to how silently the society is replacing the Hoods and white-washing them. Also loved how so MUCH importance is given to their community, the women and their ways, the dialect, the habits, standing for each other, being your own support system. From the college professor who makes Torrey learn punctuality to Emery who provides him all the support he can get, I say Torrey is blessed with all these women in his life. ❤
I had very few problems with a book – like Torrey digressing a lot from his point and jumping randomly from one thought to another and Torrey’s spiral into vandalism. But they teeny tiny minor things that I’m willing to overlook because overall, this is such a powerful book. Having read books by Ibi Zoboi, Elizabeth Acevedo, Angie Thomas, I know where all this anger comes from and I get it – I get how every single oppressed soul feels like, through these wonderful authors. I’m so glad I got this chance to read Candace’s second book and I very much recommend it.
Leaving you with few other favourite quotes from the book.
I like thinking that we loved like the seasons changed for nothing, because we were everything that couldn’t exist during the little showers of rain that didn’t get along with the sparks lit between us — and yet, still we did.
It’s everywhere, this gentrification shit. It’s careless and it escapes me how people – white people who have never been and will never be affected by this – would fail to explore all avenues and future points of downfall. I know, I know. I’m not being naive here. They don’t give a shit, and if it keeps Blacks and brown folks under a shoe then their work has been done.
Systemic Oppression. Google it.
My rating 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Candice “Cam” Montgomery is an LA transplant now living in the woods of Seattle, where she writes YoungAdult 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.”
Prize: Win a copy of By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery (US/CAN Only)
Starts: October 8th2019Ends: October 22nd2019
Also, show some love and do visit the other tour stops. You can find the tour schedule here.