Both Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich are authors who each have a book that I adore and another that didn’t work for me. But this first project they’ve worked on together? I loved it! If you’re looking for a fun contemporary about two boyband members falling in love, then this will be the book for you.
Ruben and Zach are two members of the band Saturday. Ruben is gay but hasn’t been allowed to come out, and when things start to happen between him and Zach, it seems unlikely that things will change. As well as their blossoming romance, they have their bandmates to contend with, and the path to success has never been rougher. This was a super fun book but one that deals with darker elements. So if you’re looking for a new queer contemporary that you won’t be able to put down? This is the book for you.
Each of the characters in this book is written by one of the authors. Zach has Dietrich’s love of pop-punk, whilst Ruben has the sass I expect from Gonzales. I enjoyed both characters, but I liked Zach a little more. He could be frustrating with his people-pleasing ways, but I appreciated that he was trying to be positive and deal with things in his own way. I also obviously appreciated his taste in music, even if the boyband he was in wasn’t me.
I did enjoy the romance. Both Zach and Ruben were good for each other. They helped each other through things, and it was nice to see the growth. Despite the touring scenario meaning that they were stuck together a lot, they didn’t move too fast. They took their time, and when they made mistakes, they worked through them. It didn’t feel like there was any ridiculous drama within their romance once they were actually together. To me, the main drama was in the beginning, so that was pretty good.
There was obviously a lot of fandom in this book. I’ve not really been that involved in bandom in the past. As someone who finds real person shipping creepy, some of their fans did make me pull faces. But the fandom aspects did feel real. We’ve all seen how involved fans can be, pushing their idols’ music and discussing their personal lives. Some of what they comment on is real, but more often or not, it’s just an assumption. We obviously don’t really know much about these celebrities we idolise as we only see what they or their management team wants us to see. Reading this book made me think about that a lot, and it’s something that I think we should all be a little more aware of when putting celebrities on a pedestal.
As I said, there are some darker issues in this book that you would expect within the world of celebrity. There is fear of homophobia and biphobia, but the biggest issue was alcohol and drug abuse. Neither of our main characters was involved in it, but it was an emotional side plot. There are also abusive parents, so if you’re triggered by any of these aspects, then be warned.
I really enjoyed this book overall. There were a lot of funny moments as well as emotional scenes. I loved the band’s friendship with each other more than anything. I wish there had been more after the ending, as I want to see what happens to them next. But I get why the book ended there. The main purpose of the story was over, and dragging it on may have been a little pointless.
If you’re looking for a fun new contemporary by two wonderful authors, then I highly recommend you check this one out.
Title: If This Gets Out
Author: Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Books
Release Date: 6/1/22