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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 forec 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.


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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 forec 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.

30 review for By Any Means Necessary

  1. 5 out of 5

    anna (½ of readsrainbow)

    rep: Black gay mc, Afro-Latino bi li, almost all Black side characters Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher. I have so much love for this book, I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s just make a list and get through it step by step. 1) The writing style is really cool. It’s first person pov, which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it works perfectly here. It’s clear that Montgomery knows how teenagers think, so it’s never awkward in that particular way only some YA books can rep: Black gay mc, Afro-Latino bi li, almost all Black side characters Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher. I have so much love for this book, I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s just make a list and get through it step by step. 1) The writing style is really cool. It’s first person pov, which I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it works perfectly here. It’s clear that Montgomery knows how teenagers think, so it’s never awkward in that particular way only some YA books can be. Instead, it’s fresh & funny & casual. It’s like hanging out with a friend, basically. And then you get treated with a beautiful sentence here and there & it becomes magical. 2) From the first word to the very last, this book is just unapologetically Black. You can feel that pride in the culture seeping out of every paragraph, but it also doesn’t shy away from dealing with some uncomfortable parts of belonging to the community. It’s actually a whole arc, with Torrey trying to save the apiary and not always getting the support he’s looking for from members of that community. 3) At the same time, there are still a lot of people who are willing to help him. And the majority of them are women, which Torrey is very much aware of in his narration. It basically feels like a love letter to Black women & it doesn’t just stop with that one arc or just one generation of women – Torrey appreciates the friends he made at college just as much as the women he grew up around. It’s woven into the whole book, into the very essence of Torrey even – this deep appreciation of all the work that Black women do. 4) This social awareness he displays doesn’t stop there, either. The book full-on calls out white people on all the little (and big) ways we exhibit racism in our day to day lives. Personally, I appreciated that a lot. It always worked perfectly well the topic at hand, too. Actually, one of the main topics of the book is pretty much a call-out of white, western culture: gentrification. The book shows how this “trend” destroys whole communities, while also saying “hey, you can fight back”. 5) The romance is kind of central to the plot, only by central I don’t mean that it’s the tired “will they, won’t they” dance. The opposite, really. Torrey and Gabriel get together pretty soon in the book and it’s their love that helps Torrey to push forward. The romance is central in a way that it acts as an anchor for Torrey. It’s central in a way that it’s a big part of Torrey’s life and focuses him. It’s never the magical cure for all his problems & actually causes some of its own, but it’s important. It’s shown as the complex thing that it should be. I’m not trying very hard, but I just can’t find any faults in this book. If you’re Black, I’m pretty sure reading it would feel like a warm hug, like someone is looking out for you, but also like a push to action. If you’re not, like me, you might just learn something. In any case, it’s a really well written book about a Black gay freshman in college trying to balance all the things in his life & you don’t wanna miss out on that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is a breezy, college-age YA about a Afro-Latino boy named Torrey. It explores his struggle to keep his apiary (bee farm) from being foreclosed on, the negative aspects of gentrification, and also his coming of age romance with the bisexual love interest, Gabriel, a hot Portuguese guy who was the first boy Torrey ever kissed. There were some things I really liked about BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. I think it has an authen Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is a breezy, college-age YA about a Afro-Latino boy named Torrey. It explores his struggle to keep his apiary (bee farm) from being foreclosed on, the negative aspects of gentrification, and also his coming of age romance with the bisexual love interest, Gabriel, a hot Portuguese guy who was the first boy Torrey ever kissed. There were some things I really liked about BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. I think it has an authentic YA voice. The romance was great. It does an excellent job focusing on some of the elements that make California such a unique and diverse place to live, while also showing how racially-charged class disparities can be harmful to cities and the people who live and work in them, especially people of color. I loved all of that. The downside was that this book took me a long time to get into, and sometimes I almost felt like it was trying too hard to get me to think that the main character was cool. Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate some of the teen ridiculousness, but at times it felt like Torrey's "humor" was too forced and over the top, which often had me rolling my eyes. There isn't really a "solid" plot. This is largely a character-driven story and while it works here, that isn't really my favorite method of story-telling, which did impact how much I liked this book. If you're looking for diverse YA with a great romance and some real world issues, though, I think you would do well to pick up BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, especially if you don't mind a meandering and character-driven storyline. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!   3 to 3.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Candice Montgomery

    SOMEBODY GIVE THIS AUTHOR A GD PULITZER! 🍯🐝💫 (idk, entirely objectively, I think the book’s pretty ok, ijs)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    I do not remember the last time I fell so hard, so fast for a voice. (Honestly, might've been the author's last book. Voice is a clear common-thread skill here.) There's so much happening here and I'm too tired to write something coherent, so, the important bullet points: 1) This is set in college! YAY COLLEGE YA 2) The MC is a QPoC! Gay Black MC, bi Afro-Latinx (Brazilian) LI, to be exact 3) I loooove when MCs have awesome hobbies/occupations that they're really passionate about, and running an ap I do not remember the last time I fell so hard, so fast for a voice. (Honestly, might've been the author's last book. Voice is a clear common-thread skill here.) There's so much happening here and I'm too tired to write something coherent, so, the important bullet points: 1) This is set in college! YAY COLLEGE YA 2) The MC is a QPoC! Gay Black MC, bi Afro-Latinx (Brazilian) LI, to be exact 3) I loooove when MCs have awesome hobbies/occupations that they're really passionate about, and running an apiary was definitely a new one of me 4) The things discussed in this book are so powerful on both micro and macro levels - gentrification and self-care and family and that horribly delicate balance of saving and advancing yourself when the people you were born into caring about are the ones who threaten to keep you back, for better or for worse. And, of course, the intersection of queerness and Blackness and how all of these things are interconnected. It's just...brilliant. Also, there is a reference to me in this book that is just one of the best things I have ever read in my entire life. 69 points to anyone who gets it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) By Any Means Necessary is a story of family, friendship, and our past. It is a emotional book that examines racism, homophobia, and our difficulty in leaving behind the past. I am struggling to put words to my feelings about By Any Means Necessary. Featuring a black gay main character, Torrey is always conscious of the way the world and his family sees him. Montgomery examines the (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) By Any Means Necessary is a story of family, friendship, and our past. It is a emotional book that examines racism, homophobia, and our difficulty in leaving behind the past. I am struggling to put words to my feelings about By Any Means Necessary. Featuring a black gay main character, Torrey is always conscious of the way the world and his family sees him. Montgomery examines the experience of being the first generation in his family to go to college and his race with both humor and weight. But even more than who Torrey is, By Any Means Necessary is a story with complex layers: toxic relationships versus friendship, the struggle of gentrification versus the economic inequality of people of color, and more. By Any Means Necessary is also a story based in friendship and found family. There's such a fantastic core of side characters that you find yourself reading not only for Torrey but his friends. There are about a billion ways you can get lost in By Any Means Necessary. You might have heard about this book because of its college setting, or its bisexual Afro-Latinx love interest or black gay MC representation. By Any Means Necessary examines Torrey's identity and the way his blackness and sexuality intersect and effect his relationships. But there's even discussion of self-care, when we have to move on from what we think, toxic family members, the balance between moving forwards and walking away. Or you might just love bees. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    When a book features an adorable second chance m/m romance, has a college setting, honestly discusses gentrification, race, poverty, sexuality and the undeniable intersections between them, explores family dynamics, including found family and the need for self care, you know you’re in for something great but when there are also BEES , there’s no escaping that greatness. TW: homophobia, police violence

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    What a lovely surprise. I loved the main character's voice and the writing, witty and unique and the strong friendships in this. I also adored the complex feelings between letting go of the past and just letting to and do what's best for you, too. Overall such a strong read, I had a lot of fun with this and can't wait to read more from the author :) Full review coming soon! Thank you to the publisher & NetGalleyfor the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating What a lovely surprise. I loved the main character's voice and the writing, witty and unique and the strong friendships in this. I also adored the complex feelings between letting go of the past and just letting to and do what's best for you, too. Overall such a strong read, I had a lot of fun with this and can't wait to read more from the author :) Full review coming soon! Thank you to the publisher & NetGalleyfor the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating. My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    DNF @100 Story touches on gentrification and how they come into the lower income neighborhoods, increase the prices and force people to leave. I’ve seen it happen and it’s horrible. Torrey deceased Uncle Miles, leaves him an apiary but it’s about to be seized in 30 days. Torrey just started college and is trying to deal with both life changing events at the same time. This is my first time reading this author and even though the book isn’t written badly I’m having a hard time getting into the sto DNF @100 Story touches on gentrification and how they come into the lower income neighborhoods, increase the prices and force people to leave. I’ve seen it happen and it’s horrible. Torrey deceased Uncle Miles, leaves him an apiary but it’s about to be seized in 30 days. Torrey just started college and is trying to deal with both life changing events at the same time. This is my first time reading this author and even though the book isn’t written badly I’m having a hard time getting into the story and connecting to Torrey. Even though I am not the intended audience, I have read YA books that I have enjoyed but this book wasn't for me, so I felt it was best to stop reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kazen

    This is a voice-driven book and sadly, my brain is not in a place to enjoy that kind of story at the moment. A regretful, it's-not-you-it's-me DNF. This is a voice-driven book and sadly, my brain is not in a place to enjoy that kind of story at the moment. A regretful, it's-not-you-it's-me DNF.

  10. 5 out of 5

    jocelyn

    4.5 stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    bookishly_sweety

    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 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 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. <3 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Keeana

    I don't have words for how much I love this book! asnjjbj Just read it! I don't have words for how much I love this book! asnjjbj Just read it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    M

    Oh, this book. If you know me you probably know how much I loved this author's previous work. Montgomery's writing is fantastic, I could get lost in their clear and sharp prose forever. This is their second novel and while it is very different in style and tone from their first one, HOME AND AWAY, it is just as much a love letter to Black women and if anything it got even more enjoyable for me. If this were a play, Torr as a character would break the 4th wall constantly. I know some people will Oh, this book. If you know me you probably know how much I loved this author's previous work. Montgomery's writing is fantastic, I could get lost in their clear and sharp prose forever. This is their second novel and while it is very different in style and tone from their first one, HOME AND AWAY, it is just as much a love letter to Black women and if anything it got even more enjoyable for me. If this were a play, Torr as a character would break the 4th wall constantly. I know some people will love it, others will struggle with being addressed by the MC a lot. I belong to the first group, I absolutely adored Torr and him talking to me as a reader was not only fun and *funny*, but also deeply moving and made this novel personal on a level I have a hard time describing. The plot is not a huge, interwoven structure of story arcs, it's rather quiet and character driven, the end never really clear and yet almost always tangible in its significance. Torr goes through a lot in the relatively short time we spend with him, and the decisions he has to make are important and not easy. Read my full review on Small Queer, Big Opinions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)

    TW: homophobia, police brutality, drug addiction What I Liked: Torrey – Torrey is the kind of person who wants to do too much and doesn’t realize until it’s too late that he can’t. Often a ball of anxiety, Torrey internalizes his problems, has a hard time letting go, and places too much on his own shoulders. The bee farm his uncle left for him after he died isn’t a fun hobby he takes care of during his free time, it’s a way to remember Uncle Miles, one last connection he has with the man who gave TW: homophobia, police brutality, drug addiction What I Liked: Torrey – Torrey is the kind of person who wants to do too much and doesn’t realize until it’s too late that he can’t. Often a ball of anxiety, Torrey internalizes his problems, has a hard time letting go, and places too much on his own shoulders. The bee farm his uncle left for him after he died isn’t a fun hobby he takes care of during his free time, it’s a way to remember Uncle Miles, one last connection he has with the man who gave him so much. Losing the apiary would be like losing Uncle Miles all over again and Torrey isn’t sure he could survive that level of trauma again. The writing – Candice Montgomery’s writing is exemplary. One of the reasons I fell so easily in love with By Any Means Necessary is Torrey’s distinct voice. He’s cynical and sarcastic and funny. He is equal parts strong and vulnerable. Each of these characteristics come through so clearly. I can’t think of a book I read recently whose narrator feels so authentic. Family (both the supportive and the toxic) – Much of Torrey’s motivation for wanting to keep the apiary stems from his relationship with his Uncle Miles, but it also hinders on his relationship with other relatives. His mother is currently in hospice because of her drug addiction and so Miles became his parental figure. Every since he died, Torrey has been under the care of his grandfather Theo and his uncle’s widow, Aunt Lisa. Lisa is one of the few bright spots he has at home, but it is his relationship with his grandfather that has defined much of his teen years. Theo is homophobic and would rather see the apiary go under than make any effort to save it. He represents the parts of home that Torrey would rather leave behind. Friendship – One of my favorite parts about this book is the friend group Torrey ends up forming with a group of young women who are STEM majors. They are a large part of Torrey’s support group that he isn’t used to having. I especially appreciated Torrey’s relationship with Emery, who gives him that extra push he sometimes needs. Romance – Torrey has an unexpected reunion with Gabriel, his first boyfriend in middle school and first kiss. These two made me heart feel so full. Their chemistry is off the charts and you can feel the magnetic pull between the two leap off the pages. Where Torrey is cautious, Gabriel is a free-spirit. They bring a balance to one another that I don’t think either of them knew they needed. College YA – I would love to see more college-set YA. One of the most compelling things about Torrey’s story is his continued struggle to determine whether or not attending college is the right move for him. There are so many things working against him that activitely choosing something like college as a poor student or as a Black student in a largely white town feels like setting himself up for failure one way or another. Final Verdict: Candice Montgomery’s By Any Means Necessary explores various subjects from gentrification to toxic familial relationships while introducing one of the most memorable main characters I’ve ever come across.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    Thanks to FFBC and the publisher for the beautiful ARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own. Ok, first of all- this book should be a must read because it provided such a unique point of view on white privilege, truths of the ‘hood’, and gentrification. My Likes: When I say unique, I mean UNIQUE. Terry’s voice is so present and it catches your attention immediately. And of course, you either love it or hate it. He breaks the fourth wall so many times that it’s actually funny! But this book discussed Thanks to FFBC and the publisher for the beautiful ARC! All thoughts and opinions are my own. Ok, first of all- this book should be a must read because it provided such a unique point of view on white privilege, truths of the ‘hood’, and gentrification. My Likes: When I say unique, I mean UNIQUE. Terry’s voice is so present and it catches your attention immediately. And of course, you either love it or hate it. He breaks the fourth wall so many times that it’s actually funny! But this book discussed so many important points. Terry kinda vehemently dislikes white people in general, but before you get all worked up, listen: he hates those who don’t acknowledge privilege and knowingly hurt POC with their actions. Besides all the tough-tough-tough, I loved Emery (and the rest of CAKE)! Emery is definitely not a love interest, but she’s probably Terry’s closest friend depicted in the book. She’s so refreshing and honest and boss and honestly, I’m copying a bunch of Goodreads’ reviewers now, but this whole book was basically a tribute to black women. And I loved it! Most of the characters were Black and Terry’s love interest is Afro-Latino, and I really found it interesting the way this book explored poverty and privilege. My Dislikes: When I read this book, sometimes I felt… genuinely uncomfortable, and hear me out. I felt like I was intruding on something. There were so many amazing references to blackness and subtle digs on whites, and it made me feel… surprisingly content yet uncomfortable?? It felt like I did something wrong, or that I was intruding on something I shouldn’t be hearing or shouldn’t be part of the conversation for. Or maybe that’s just because I’m not a huge fan of all the cursing haha. I’m not -squeaky- clean, but I don’t curse. So for my innocent mind, that’s a li’l bit oof. Terry’s voice (like he was speaking to me) felt like he was almost accusing me of gentrification. I’m a POC, but I’m lucky enough to live with privilege, and at one point, when he literally said that he hated Black and brown people that didn’t care or sympathize with their brothers and sisters in the hood. Ok, I was shook. I felt so bad and this is the epitome of privilege- I’m not white, yet I feel it too. We all have it, if we’re able to write on a laptop and send our writing out to the world. Also, it made me uncomfortable because there was… a lot of cursing. A lot. Terry’s bf, Gabriel, was also interesting, but I felt like something was missing?? I didn’t connect with the romance like I usually do, and I think it needed more angst and chemistry. Recommend or No? YES YES YES, I RECOMMEND IT. It’s a delightful read, and it’s so important. Just… read it. I think it would be a huge eye-opener even if you already know your privilege, and even more if you’re skeptical. cropped-blog-feather.pngcropped-blog-feather.pngcropped-blog-feather.pngcropped-blog-feather.png 4 BEAUTIFUL FEATHER-STARS ❤

  16. 4 out of 5

    Enne

    4 stars This is a book that does so many things and I absolutely loved that about it. It’s a story about family trauma and finding yourself, it’s also a cute romance, it’s also a story about gentrification and the way it affects communities of color. I loved the main character so much?? From this day forward, I am a Torrey stan account and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about. He’s written as such a complex and multi-faceted person and I have to commend Candice Montgomery for her excellent 4 stars This is a book that does so many things and I absolutely loved that about it. It’s a story about family trauma and finding yourself, it’s also a cute romance, it’s also a story about gentrification and the way it affects communities of color. I loved the main character so much?? From this day forward, I am a Torrey stan account and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about. He’s written as such a complex and multi-faceted person and I have to commend Candice Montgomery for her excellent character work!! I also loved his development over the course of the story because it’s just!! done so well!! I also really loved the romance in this book?? It was just so cute and so well-developed?? And it was between two characters who reconnect in college after one of them moves away in elementary school and I just?? love that trope so much?? It’s truly one of the best tropes and Montgomery writes it beautifully!! I thought the main character’s relationship with his aunt and his grandfather was explored really well, too, and I loved the resolution with both of those relationships!! On a related note, the friendships in this book are also to die for. In conclusion, Candice Montgomery simply excels at writing characters. Last, but not least, I really appreciated how this focused on gentrification because we really don’t see that in books often and I feel like this did a really good job of exploring how it can affect both, a single person and also the entire community. I loved the way activism was written in this book. I loved the way the plot around Torrey’s apiary was structured. I also loved that he owns an apiary?? That was so cool to read about!! I really think that there’s something in this book for everyone. While it’s definitely heavy at parts, there’s also a light-hearted romance to balance it out. Highly recommend this one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vanellope

    Actual Rating: 3.8 ish? This was probably the first fiction book I've read that deals with gentrification so head-on, and I really liked that. I had a shaky relationship with the writing, though-- sometimes I wanted to highlight entire pages, other times I found it to be jumping around too much, or trying too hard to be How The Kids Talk. The plot was kind of slow, especially at the beginning, but there were some scenes that really got to me. While I liked the relationship between Torrey and Gabe Actual Rating: 3.8 ish? This was probably the first fiction book I've read that deals with gentrification so head-on, and I really liked that. I had a shaky relationship with the writing, though-- sometimes I wanted to highlight entire pages, other times I found it to be jumping around too much, or trying too hard to be How The Kids Talk. The plot was kind of slow, especially at the beginning, but there were some scenes that really got to me. While I liked the relationship between Torrey and Gabe, I also found it a bit forgettable, though some of that might be my own lukewarmness to realistic fiction books in general. But Torrey was a great character, and I really liked the discussions and explorations of the intersection between his different identities. It was also a really quick read, and definitely one I'd recommend. Also, I always like seeing college-aged characters-- we really don't get enough of those.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mari Johnston

    This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. Content Warnings: addiction, underage drinking, gentrification, racism, police brutality, death of family Candice Montgomery has given us an astounding and culturally important novel with By Any Means Necessary. the writing and voice These were both so authentic. I loved the writing style and how it felt as if the main character was talking to the reader. It actually isn’t often that I enjoy this because it can feel really di This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. Content Warnings: addiction, underage drinking, gentrification, racism, police brutality, death of family Candice Montgomery has given us an astounding and culturally important novel with By Any Means Necessary. the writing and voice These were both so authentic. I loved the writing style and how it felt as if the main character was talking to the reader. It actually isn’t often that I enjoy this because it can feel really distracting and completely take me out of the story but Montgomery did it so flawlessly. The humor was also spot on. So many funny things were sprinkled throughout and I appreciated a ton of the references. the story I’ll be the first to admit my privilege and say that I didn’t 100% understand gentrification. Until now. By Any Means necessary was a complete eye-opener. This story held nothing back and plainly showed how harmful gentrification really is. This book has the ability to open so many eyes. What is even more important is how many teens will see themselves in this story. Countless lives are negatively affected by gentrification. Like we see in the story, so many adults are giving up and letting it happen – leaving young people to stand up and fight. Their stories need to be told so they can see they aren’t alone. the characters Did I love them all? I really think I did. Sweet sweet Gabriel. He was just so soft and perfect. I love how unabashedly he would just start doing dance spins no matter where he was at. Emery! All her sass and loving friendship gave me life. I really enjoyed every single interaction between her and Torrey. Honestly, I think I need a book that focuses mainly on her. Desh! Can you find a more perfect roommate? He had the most fun personality traits. It was really great to see how he helped take care of Torrey sometimes in his own way. the feels This book had them all. So many sweet lines between Torry and Gabriel. Their relationship gave me the warm fuzzies. Seeing them learn each other and become more attached throughout the book was the best thing. Y’all seriously just need to read the damn book. I don’t care who you are – just read it. A physical ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a stream-of-conscientiousness style through which we follow the main character, Torrey, very closely. Torrey is about to begin his freshman year of college at SFSU. He had been mainly raised by his aunt, after his mother entered into a coma due to brain injuries of a fall compounded by drug abuse and his uncle was killed by police. His uncle left him an apiary in a gentrifying area of tow BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a stream-of-conscientiousness style through which we follow the main character, Torrey, very closely. Torrey is about to begin his freshman year of college at SFSU. He had been mainly raised by his aunt, after his mother entered into a coma due to brain injuries of a fall compounded by drug abuse and his uncle was killed by police. His uncle left him an apiary in a gentrifying area of town, which has kept making money, and which he loves. However, as he is beginning college, he learns that due to unpaid property taxes (a job a relative had taken on as he was not of age), the apiary is going to be auctioned off. Considering the area, it is desirable for businesses to acquire it in this gentrifying part of town- part of what made the property taxes get so high after they owned it. Torrey must also balance his personal life into the mix- college and navigating classes as a first generation student, homophobia from others (even relatives), a crush that he had an intense relationship with when he was younger, and new friendships. The best part of this book is the presentation of social issues that give the reader something to think about, and there are a lot that a black, LGBT teen would have to deal with. They are all presented in a way that really makes the reader think and consider, and this was really strong. However, I had a hard time getting into the style of the writing as a lot of the past/facts are glossed over. I actually would have liked a more in-depth introduction to Torrey's world and the characters in it. There's a lot to unpack, and it was pretty fast-paced, which also holds its own appeal. Overall, this is a strong YA contemporary fiction with some great romance and important issues raised. I would recommend for fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)

    *3,7 stars* - The voice of the main character is really strong in this book, it was engaging and funny and very real from the very first page. - This book addresses some serious topics like racism, gentrification, and homophobia within the Black community. Also, the importance of self-care always. - I really liked the friendships in this book and I wish we so more of them. - I don't know exactly how to put this but I think I would have liked to see a little less of the main character's internal *3,7 stars* - The voice of the main character is really strong in this book, it was engaging and funny and very real from the very first page. - This book addresses some serious topics like racism, gentrification, and homophobia within the Black community. Also, the importance of self-care always. - I really liked the friendships in this book and I wish we so more of them. - I don't know exactly how to put this but I think I would have liked to see a little less of the main character's internal monologue and a bit more of him interacting with others. It just seemed like in the end, he had developed some strong relationships with some people throughout the book, but we didn't really get to witness that, we were just told that it had happened (like with Coco and with some of the girls from CAKE).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hanson

    OH MY GOODNESS. I love so much about this book. The voice. The characters. The rep. I love everything. All the heart eyes in the world!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I reiceved this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Author: Candice Montgomery Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Publication Date: October 8, 2019 Diversity: Gay MC and a M/M relationship Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: 15+ (romance, bees, and idenity) Publisher: Page Street Synopsis: 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 Disclaimer: I reiceved this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Author: Candice Montgomery Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Publication Date: October 8, 2019 Diversity: Gay MC and a M/M relationship Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: 15+ (romance, bees, and idenity) Publisher: Page Street Synopsis: 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. Review:I absolutely loved this book! It was damn cute and so unapologetic. I loved the writing, I loved the character development, I loved how the main character had mostly female help. Also I loved how the romance was helpful and not hindering to the main character and how it helped the main character grow instead of delay it. My only complaint is that sometimes the pacing is a bit slow and I think I could have used a bit more world building but that's just for my personal taste. Verdict: This was a truly magnificent book and I can't recommend it enough!

  23. 5 out of 5

    N.G. Peltier

    CW: homophobic relative (grandfather), arrest of black teen by police Ok when i read Cam;s first book I just fell in love with Taze. And now here comes Cam stealing my heart again with these characters. This time it's Torrey, my precious bee son! His character was just so well crafted. He made me laugh, almost made me cry (how dare you) damn near broke my heart over here but I forgive him ! Torrey is trying to desperately save his apiary (i just learned from this book that's what a bee farm is ca CW: homophobic relative (grandfather), arrest of black teen by police Ok when i read Cam;s first book I just fell in love with Taze. And now here comes Cam stealing my heart again with these characters. This time it's Torrey, my precious bee son! His character was just so well crafted. He made me laugh, almost made me cry (how dare you) damn near broke my heart over here but I forgive him ! Torrey is trying to desperately save his apiary (i just learned from this book that's what a bee farm is called) while navigating college and rekindling something with an old flame Gabe. Truly, I was dazzled by this dude named Torrey. Being in his head was such a ride as he awkwardly fumbled around Gabe of the luscious hair, tried his damnedest to figure out the situation with the farm he's on the cusp of losing and dealing with a homophobic grandfather. The entire book is in his POV but his voice shone through so clearly to me, I felt like a buddy was telling me this story. This is a story about a boy trying to fight the gentrification that's been encroaching on his neighborhood and finding his way. When Torrey stood up to his awful grandfather, I mentally cheered. I almost cried when the police arrested him in that one scene. Considering what is sadly a constant situation of police brutality in the US, I feared for Torrey. He's a fictional character yes, but that moment of fear that the author captured felt so real and absolutely reflected that fear that black people have to live with every damn day. Torrey's friends felt so real to me as well. CAKE, the black STEM girls Clarke, Auburn, Kennedy and Emery. i loved them! We see a lot more of Emery than the others since she plays a major role in helping Torrey when he's trying to figure out what to do with the farm. I honestly want a book about each girl! The romance between Torrey and Gabe. so awkward in the beginning (on Torrey's part, i swear this child lol), so beautiful as it grew over the course of the book. these sweet boys. Loved them so much! I just loved this book. Can you tell? I need everyone to buy this book, read this, hype this. Shout to the stars about it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Owens

    4.5/5 stars It's not very often that a book literally makes me laugh out loud. Or that I desperately feel the need to read passages of a book aloud to my partner. But I did with this one. I am in awe of how many topics - both serious and heartwarming - were covered in this kind of short book. And it was done in a very relatable and realistic way. I wish we learned more about why London/Gabe was back in SF... Torrey asks him I think twice what happened to bring him back to the west coast, and an an 4.5/5 stars It's not very often that a book literally makes me laugh out loud. Or that I desperately feel the need to read passages of a book aloud to my partner. But I did with this one. I am in awe of how many topics - both serious and heartwarming - were covered in this kind of short book. And it was done in a very relatable and realistic way. I wish we learned more about why London/Gabe was back in SF... Torrey asks him I think twice what happened to bring him back to the west coast, and an answer is never given. I needed to know more about Gabriel, I got the gist of his personality, but it could have been deeper. Especially considering his history and chemistry with Torrey. So that's what knocked a half a star off of my rating. Other than that, I highly recommend it. The representation is excellent and accessible.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This book got me. The university setting, Torrey's gentrification fight, the Malcolm X references, Black girls in STEM, found family, queerness. Torrey felt so real to me and I just wanted him to have everything. This book got me. The university setting, Torrey's gentrification fight, the Malcolm X references, Black girls in STEM, found family, queerness. Torrey felt so real to me and I just wanted him to have everything.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Halle Kathleen

    This book is filled with themes that can bring out the empathy in any reader. I hope Torrey and his bees come back again in a sequel!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I did, in fact, read this for the bees. bees are the best and I love them with all my heart. I really like how the writing in this book feels like a stream of consciousness because that's how I think in my head all the time. my brain is so loud every day. anyway, read this book its phenomenal I did, in fact, read this for the bees. bees are the best and I love them with all my heart. I really like how the writing in this book feels like a stream of consciousness because that's how I think in my head all the time. my brain is so loud every day. anyway, read this book its phenomenal

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    Just posted a review at my blog, Trish Talks Texts. I liked the MC A lot. He deserves all the good things. Just posted a review at my blog, Trish Talks Texts. I liked the MC A lot. He deserves all the good things.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)

    Read even more book reviews at: https://www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.... This novel follows the story of Torrey a black teenager who is a first generation college student in his family. His excitement for this new journey is dampened when he finds out the bee apiary back home is being sold. He took over it after Miles, his uncle, passed away and wants to keep the legacy while his grandfather, Theo, wants to get rid of it. Torrey grapples with what to do while trying to adjust to college life, mak Read even more book reviews at: https://www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.... This novel follows the story of Torrey a black teenager who is a first generation college student in his family. His excitement for this new journey is dampened when he finds out the bee apiary back home is being sold. He took over it after Miles, his uncle, passed away and wants to keep the legacy while his grandfather, Theo, wants to get rid of it. Torrey grapples with what to do while trying to adjust to college life, make new friends, and reconnect with a boy from the past. Torrey is torn between school and saving the apiary from being sold. Being in college is an opportunity for him to widen his horizons, but at the same time he doesn’t want to destroy his uncle’s legacy and hard work. Though he feels somewhat out of place as colleges freshman, he has a strong support system of friends and also a blossoming relationship with a former flame. He misses home but at the same time is glad be in a new place due the negative treatment he received from his grandfather. The book’s main theme focuses on gentrification as Torrey’s neighborhood is slowly being replaced little by little and low income people being pushed out of their homes and businesses. Torrey’s fight fiercely to save the apiary, and makes a stand against the bigger corporations buying up businesses: I think he (Miles) understood, better than I ever will, that sometimes the fight is necessary. It always gets you to the other side and at the end of it, you’ll always have picked up something new, regardless of the fight’s outcome: a couple new bruises or some bragging rights. Both of which can be valuable in the hands of a Black boy. I felt that Torrey’s character is not only complex but is relatable to a wide audience as well. He’s got a lot of growing up to do and he’s trying to process a lot of stuff. He’s vulnerable, feels conflicted, but also stands up for what he believes in. This was an engrossing read from start to finish and I enjoyed how it discussed multiple topics including sexuality, gentrification, college, and discovering yourself. Trigger Warnings: Homophobic/Racial Slurs FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    H. Taylor

    I have mixed feelings about this one. I thought the writing was okay, though there were some formatting and grammatical issues, which I don’t know whether they are limited to ARC copies. For instance, the first letter of the start of each chapter was missing. The plot itself was relatively interesting and I was really interested by the romance. However, it felt at times as though we were missing some information. For instance the introduction of the side characters and love interest didn’t really I have mixed feelings about this one. I thought the writing was okay, though there were some formatting and grammatical issues, which I don’t know whether they are limited to ARC copies. For instance, the first letter of the start of each chapter was missing. The plot itself was relatively interesting and I was really interested by the romance. However, it felt at times as though we were missing some information. For instance the introduction of the side characters and love interest didn’t really feel like an ‘introduction’, more like a second book introduction to them. And along with that the depiction of university life just didn’t seem real or accurate, like maybe there wasn’t enough research done? Now I didn’t attend an American uni but I did 4 years at university and I know for certain that no lecturer would A) know students at the beginning of term by name and B) call students out for being late and forcing them to arrive to lectures earlier. It just doesn’t happen. Lecturers and even tutors have too much on their plate to care about individual students like that. At a university level it becomes up to the student to do the work. If they’re not there, they aren’t there. Simple. So that was really quite annoying to read, a small thing but for me, an important setting aspect. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone looking for more queer, new adult romances. I was given an ARC copy of By any means necessary via Netgalley for an honest review.

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