Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich’s “If This Gets Out is an absolute showstopper! Equal parts edgy and adorable, this bright, joyful book has everything I look for in a queer YA romance.” —Phil Stamper, bestselling author of The Gravity of Us
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 heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage.
But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach.
On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two 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 realize they will never truly have the support they need.
How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?
Boy bands have been a cultural phenomenon for generations, inspiring legions of screaming fans who flock into sold-out stadiums hoping to catch a glimpse of the object(s) of their teenage crush. The members of the band usually have prescribed roles— rebel, sporty, etc.—and they embody the “boy next door” approachability.
This book takes us behind the scenes of fictional boy band Saturday, allowing the reader to see what goes on behind the scenes. Specifically, what happens when two members of the group—
Ruben and Zach—develop feelings for each other. This is a slow process, which unfolds over the course of their European tour, and there are a lot of feelings to unpack and process, especially for Zach, who is first discovering his bisexuality. The two boys have to maintain a delicate balance between not acting like they’re fighting with each other and conversely, not appearing to be *too* close to each other. Although fictional, this is not an unrealistic examination of the price of fame, as well as how much work goes into maintaining the illusion of the product the management company is selling. It wasn’t exactly revelatory that the boys in the band are real people, but this book drives that point home.
The narrative is split between the two protagonists. From what I understand, each author took control of one character and wrote from that boy’s perspective. The end result is a cohesive story with two protagonists with noticeably different personalities whose traits remain consistent when switching perspectives.
I was never a superfan of any of my generation’s boy bands, but their influence was so widespread that it’s impossible not to appreciate their music. I’ve read most of both authors’ previous books, and I have been excited about this collaboration ever since hearing about the premise. This book exceeded my expectations, and I would absolutely recommend it to others.
I received a digital ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press/NetGalley.