Saturday 1 May 2021

Book Review: If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich (YA/LGTB/Contemporary)

Title: If This Gets Out
Author: Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 7 December 2021
eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA/LGBT/Contemporary
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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?


If This Gets Out was an excellent read on many levels. First of all, I loved the romance between Ruben and Zach, which felt natural and developed at a believable pace as the story progressed. I also appreciated the hard look the book gave to the entertainment industry, focusing on the behind-the-scenes pressures, deceptions and exploitation, rather than the in-front-of-the-camera glamour. That added to the sense of 'realism' about the piece and provided food for thought on matters of celebrities and their fans. From start to finish I was deeply engaged in the story and eager to see how both the romance and the band's future would play out. The only one minor niggle I had was not with the story or the characters but with the formatting. The font changed between chapters as we switched from Ruben to Zach's POV and back. I didn't find this helpful. Instead it was jarring, as my eyes had to adjust to the change each time, which jolted me out of the story. The chapters already noted the name of the POV character as a header, so it would have been clear enough we were changing POV without the font altering as well. But as I said, that gripe is with the formatting only, and it all other respects I really loved this book. As such, I am giving it 4.5 stars, which I would round up to a five, rather than down to a four.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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