See, that’s the great thing of being a fantasy reader. If I start to get bored or in a reading slump, I know I can easily turn to a sweet contemporary, like this one!
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. The featured image is my own. The summary is taken from Goodreads. All opinions expressed are my own.
Title: If This Gets Out
Authors: Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
Year Published: 2021
Audio Hours/Number of Pages: 12 hours and 57 minutes/404 pages
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Cover Art/Designer: Olga Grlic (cover design), Sophie Gonzales (cover illustration)
Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Romance ~ LGBTQ+ characters
Links: Goodreads || The Storygraph
Format read in: E-arc (Netgalley)
CW/TW: (Taken from The Storygraph) Drug abuse, Homophobia, Emotional abuse, Alcohol, Addiction. Body/self-esteem issues.
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?
This was absolutely such a cute read. My first book from both authors so now that I’ve read this I’ll definitely read their other books – I believe Dietrich has like two YA mystery/thrillers that are very appealing to me. Which is great! I love when you read books that have two authors or even anthologies that have a lot of authors and then you can find more authors to read from! I recently reviewed two anthologies with new-to-me authors that I’ll definitely be reading from their backlists or looking at their upcoming books!
I spent most of this book grinning like a total fool because it just was so cute! Literally in the first few minutes of the first chapter I know it would be a 5 star read. And that I would read it quickly – which was a relief as some of my reads lately have been taking long 😐
It didn’t take me long to love all four members of Saturday, the fictional band in If This Gets Out. Ruben Montez quickly established himself as the one who isn’t allowed to be himself (although you could argue that the whole band isn’t allowed to be themselves). He isn’t allowed to show his theatre background. He’s not allowed to come out or even sing the higher notes – which he definitely can hit (which I still don’t really understand why he isn’t allowed).
Zach Knight, whom Ruben says he’s like a puppy – and that’s true – but the band’s marketing team makes him out to be dark and twisty.
Even though the novel does focus on Zach and Ruben we get to know the other two band members very well. It’s like Jon Braxton and Angel Phan switched personalities. Angel’s pushed into outfits that make the fans think he’s the fun and innocent when he’s more like how Jon is shown as. Even though Jon definitely doesn’t want to dress in really tight clothing.
Knowing all of that and seeing it in action – telling the boys to act this way or to not act that way – all to keep that perfect image, was really sad. They’re teens and they’re taken advantage by adults who want to make money off of their talent. And you know this will have consequences for them later in their lives! You always see the child actors going rogue after they turn 18 or even before and it’s like yeah! You wonder why?
Zach and Ruben were so, so cute together. I loved seeing their budding relationship – which is interesting as I’m not really a fan of friends-to-lovers. I’d read every friends-to-lovers there is if it were written like this. They had so many cute moments together – even before they actually got together. I’m definitely a big supporter of them two because they’re just so cute!
Like I said, we get to know Angel and Jon pretty well (there’s a scene with Angel’s parents that I chuckled so hard at 😂). There’s a strong friendship between the boys – difficult not to when they’re around each other basically 24/7. And even when there’s issues within the band, there’s still that feeling that they’ll remain friends.
Most of the plot is tied to Zach and Ruben so I won’t go too much into it – other than to shake my fists at the management that decided to force these boys into personas and reprimand them for acting like themselves anywhere near a camera! What I will say is that I loved there was a good balance between plot and characters. Neither seemed to play a bigger role, one didn’t overshadow the other one – all well-balanced!
I very much recommend this if you’re in the mood for something sweet and characters who’ll give you a toothache. Or if you want something quick to take your mind off of a difficult or long read.
Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? Do you also want to listen to all the band’s songs like they’re real? I’m so late on reviewing this arc but here it is finally!
4 thoughts on “If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich (BOOK REVIEW) || Utterly wholesome and cute”
*pushes this higher up the TBR*
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