If This Gets Out By Sophie Gonzales

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If This Gets Out: A Novel By Sophie Gonzales

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Book/Novel Author: Sophie Gonzales

Book/Novel Title: If This Gets Out

 

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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 UsEighteen-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?
Growing up in the 90s I was a fan of some boy bands, which may be why these stories appeal to me. Not the band part, but the picking apart the problems and finding happy endings. Adding in some delightful teen angst and romance is just icing on the cake. Seriously, If This Gets Out touches on some heavy topics and does so quite well. There are four boys who care a lot about each other and how fame and contracts and control hurt them. It’s a great story.
It’s as good as it looks. Definitely worth the read. I finished it in less than a day because I was so engulfed.
I have been excited about this book from the first moment I heard of it. The first chapter, the first line even, re-established any possible waning interest. (Not that there was any) I cannot rave enough about the descriptions in this book, especially the first chapter. I work in live theatre and I absolutely love the descriptions from on stage. Following Ruben and Zach’s story was a joy, I’ve read plenty of great band love stories, between straight relationships, and this is tied for first place in that sub-genre with another series. What’s better, is that neither Angel or Jon were “forgotten” about. Both characters had their own mini story lines to keep them engaged. And on top of that there’s all of the drama with the management company, shedding some light on that part of the music industry. There are so many moving parts, and they fit so seamlessly together. I absolutely love it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This story had several faucets to it. At the center of it, is a romance between two bandmates, who have to hide, not only their relationship, but also the fact that they are gay. There is also a side story about a member’s addictions. Added to that, there is the evil workings behind the scenes coming from the record company. The boys in the band sure do have a lot on their plate and a lot riding on their shoulders. All this makes them contemplate whether or not they are even happy with this gig like they once were. The main characters (the boys in the band) are all good people who met and have been friends since a youth camp they all attended together. One of their fathers happened to be a huge record producer and saw potential in them after watching a little show they put on while at camp. Of course, as you may expect with boy bands, they each had a ‘character’ they had to play to gain the most fans, and in turn sell the most records… but not everyone liked their character. There are some side characters who bring the villainous side to the story. We get a little more background knowledge about the main two characters (the one in the relationship,) than we do with the other two, but they all bring something different to the story. And each of them has a different personality to keep things interesting. While the boys of the band are all pretty young (18-19 years old) they have a maturity about them that you see in their conversations and inner dialog. This is a M/M romance, but there is no sexual content (other than kissing and hugging/snuggling.) Any acts are behind closed doors, though it is eluded to. Safe for teens. There is however, a sensitive subject matter (drug/alcohol abuse) weaved in the story. The book has a bit of a heavier vibe due to their situation with the record company and their lack off freedom. Much of the storyline is them trying to come to terms with their limited say in anything going on in their lives or fighting to get more control. It does seem to be a slower read. Took me longer to read than usual. It wasn’t until the last 20-30% that it really got to the ‘can’t put down’ phase. It alternates between the two POVs.
Big fan of the movie “Love, Simon” and found out after reading this the same author wrote that book and just checked out Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda from my library. Even though I’m in my 50’s I read of all Alex Sanchez’s books in my 40’s and someone recommended this book and the writing style is similar. Great love story about two gay guys that are in love but can’t come out to the public. Was great they had supportive fans and the other band members were supportive. It also dealt with teen drug/alcohol abuse a little and I think the book should have focused a little more on Angel’s addiction issues. I think gay males or any age will enjoy this book.
What can I say? I am a boy band fan! I had to read this book and I was not disappointed. Ruben, Zach , Angel and Jon are all teen band members who are trying to manage the pressure of being in a band and enjoy life. Ruben is gay, Zach is bi, Angel had to change his name and Jon is the son of the band manager. Each one of these teen stars had to make some kind of sacrifice. Was it worth it? I think this book did a great job highlighting and bringing awareness to the struggles that celebrities face when it comes to privacy and pressures around having to appear straight so they wouldn’t not damage their career. It is really sad. Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the #gifted copy of the book.

 

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