Blog Tour & Giveaway: By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery
By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery was released this week and is available now. We are thrilled to be a part of this blog tour & we asked author Candice Montgomery about upper YA college books, check it out below, and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a finished copy!
By Any Means Necessaryby Candice Montgomery
Published by: Page Street Kids
on October 8, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, New Adult
Bookshop, IndieBound, Audiobook through LibroFM, iTunes
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.
I have been loving the resurgence of books set in college but are written for the upper YA audience, what made you want to set your story in college?
This is a really great question. I honestly think the New Adult category could have been so much more than what it was. I’m not alone in that. And it’s worth mentioning that I’m an avid reader of NA still to this day. But I feel like Young Adult for an upper YA audience has taken on the responsibility of that. When I started this project, having it be college-set was the only detail I was 100% certain of. Being a college freshman was the most difficult transition of my life, in all 30 years. And with all the op-eds from people who DON’T read YA and feel like they’re qualified to drag it through the mud, I kind of wanted to middle finger those people’s opinions with BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. I wanted to show people what Young Adult lit really is and really CAN BE.
College-set YA is being spearheaded right now by a small-ish number of authors, but Mary HK Choi is one whose record with college YA is going on to be undefeated in greatness. I love seeing a woman of color take that lead. I mean, just three years ago, college-set YAs weren’t a thing. Like, it was totally a question people (other than Dahlia Adler, author of JUST VISITING) didn’t know the answer to.
College, for me, was a time when I had the most freedom in my life. There’s a scene in BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY where the love interest, Gabriel, tries to coerce our main character into joining a campus Undie Run. This is a thing I pulled from my own college experience. A bunch of students of all ages, genders, orientations and levels of nudity participated. There was a donation bin where we all threw our minimal dollars and coins and we ended up raising money for all the displaced families of color who’d been affected by the local LA fires.
College was a time when I could explore parts of who I was within my gender and sexuality and my Blackness. College was the time when I found family that went beyond blood. And that’s the sort of thing I really wanted to showcase for Torrey, my main character. There’s so much room to explore the dichotomy of childhood and adulthood. There are parts of Torrey’s life that belong solely to adulthood, like living on his own and making sure his college tuition gets paid on time. And then there are parts that still belong to childhood, like calling his aunt to figure out what to do when he’s got a head cold. But also, there are some thing that don’t in either. Or maybe they belong in both. And that, in my opinion, is what upper YA, be it college-set or otherwise, should be. Should showcase, should help its teen and college-aged readers understand. These are not individualized experiences. They’re common. Only, YA doesn’t have these conversations. But we’re starting to. And it’s brilliant and beautiful and nuanced and there’s so much room for more of that to take place. I personally can’t wait to see it happen.
I love what Candice has to say…when we created our blog, we always said it was a YA & NA book blog, but then New Adult fell off really quick, and I always missed that really important coming-of-age-college book! I am so glad this is coming back!!
Win a copy of By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery (US/CAN Only) – Open: October 8th – 22nd.a Rafflecopter giveaway