Title: If This Gets Out
Author(s): Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
Narrator: Ramón de Ocampo
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Coming-of-age, LGBTQIA+
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?
Do you ever read a book that feels like it’s been pulled from your very imagination, only it’s better than you could’ve imagined and you can’t believe that it exists?
Some version of this has been in my head for longer than I would care to admit. Let’s just say I remember the rise and fall of a few boybands, and the manager they ended up suing for his complete and utter mistreatment. I remember the feelings of sympathy for the members of those bands, and one member’s subsequent coming out, talking about how he was discouraged not to because it would make him unavailable to the fans.
This book reminded me of those years when some of us spent time wondering what the pressures of fame would be, and what you would need to give up to be famous.
The answer to that is a whole damn lot.
If you’re expecting complete romance out of this, or scenes of a more adult nature you’re not going to be finding that here, though it borders on the cusp of it.
If you’re looking for a discussion of the price of fame, and what you have to give up to be in the game to speak you will discover that here.
It’s not the happiest of happily ever afters but there is something magical about how this book is written, and how it’s narrated if you’re listening via audiobook that draws you in. I found myself wanting to shut the world away and slide into it, with descriptions so lustrous I was easily able to paint pictures of the characters and their circumstances in my mind.
This book is not perfect, and being from two different points of view, it can be completely and utterly frustrating, but in the way, it’s what makes it seem more human?
After all, aren’t we all flawed, and don’t we all have issues communicating and expressing who we are and what our identities might hold?