Thursday 17 February 2022

REVIEW: If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Genre:  Contemporary
Release Date: January 6th 2022
Buy the Book: Book Depository

Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.

On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

Over the past few years, I have fallen down the rabbit hole that is boyband books. I never used to enjoy them very much, but ever since I discovered KPOP, I’ve been interested in reading books that focus on musical artists and fandom, both the good and ugly side of the industry. So it’s a surprise to absolutely no one that from the second I read the blurb for If This Gets Out, I was desperate to read it.

The book is a split POV between two members of the band Saturday, Ruben and Zack. Ruben is out to his family and friends, but management for the band won’t allow him to be out publicly. He’s dealing with that decision in his own way until his friendship with Zack develops into an unexpected romance, and the two of them are forced to think about their futures as public figures, and how it affects their personal lives.

My favourite character in this book switched every few chapters. I JUST LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH. I appreciated the contrast in each member’s personality and experiences. Ruben has known he’s gay for a long time and is confident in his sexuality. But Zack has always believed himself to be straight, so his story revolved more around him coming to terms with the fact that he’s attracted to Ruben and might label himself bisexual.

Our other and members, Angel and Jon, are just as loveable in their different ways. Getting to know more about Angel’s troubles and feeling increasingly worried for him was one of the more heartbreaking aspects of the story that had me dreading yet eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

  • FICTIONAL BOY BAND. Need I say more?
  • Discussions about the industry. Saturday is a fictional band, but there are plenty of harsh truths to be found within the pages of this book. The entertainment industry still has a lot of changes to make when it comes to diversity and allowing artists to be true to themselves.
  • Fandom positivity. I’ve read plenty of stories about bands, and a lot of them tend to focus on the negative side of fans. Whilst it’s obviously important to discuss the toxic mindset that can exist amongst a fanbase, it was refreshing to see that the fans within this story weren’t painted in a completely bad light.

This book was such an enjoyable and wholesome read, and I loved getting to know the characters. It also gave us a darker look into the industry and common problems that artists in the public eye must face. I was swept away by Saturday and I loved every second of it!

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