I’ve read other books by Sophie Gonzales and have enjoyed her writing, so I was excited when this book about a wildly popular boy band came to my attention. This novel paints an eye-opening portrait of what life in such a band is like, and it’s not as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. Our story focuses on Ruben Montez and Zach Knight, two members of a four-person band called Saturday whose friendship transforms into a slow-burn secret romance. The book then explores the reaction of the label as well as that of the other band members (Jon and Angel), and soon, cracks begin to form.
On the surface, this novel is about a romance between two band members, but it goes much deeper than that. At its core are hard-hitting issues such as the dark side of the music industry, drug abuse/addiction, emotional abuse, parental abuse, homophobia, toxic dynamics between the band and management, exploitation, the pressure of being famous, identity, and mental health, all of which are explored through the multiplicity of characters the author has created. Though this is an intense story in places, it’s also a hopeful, upbeat, and heartwarming story about love, coming together, following your dreams, and found family.
As for the romance, Zach and Rueben were absolutely adorable together. They are very much in sync, so much so that I had no trouble in seeing that they belonged together right from the beginning. I loved their chemistry, their concern for each other, and how they communicated their feelings. Though messy at times, theirs was a sweet and tender romance that was a joy to read. The author tells the story from the alternating POVs of Rueben and Zach, so it was nice to get into both of their heads to view the situation from their perspective.
Alongside this engaging story, the author gives us an incredible cast of characters. I loved the dynamics between all four band members — how much they cared for each other and how much they grew, not only as individuals but also as friends. Their connection was amazing, and I adored the way they supported each other and ultimately saved each other. The characters’ personalities shined through like a bright light that zinged right to my heart, and I couldn’t help but deeply care for each and every one of them by the end of this story. There’s magic in finding the people with whom you belong and making a home for them in your heart, and that is what we see in this novel. Thus, I feel that the character development in this story is phenomenal, and each character is relatable and engaging. Every character is well-fleshed out and necessary to the brilliant rendering of this story.
I loved the tantalizing glimpse into the day-to-day life of the band. It was a treat to get a behind-the-scenes glance at the life of a popular boy band, and I felt that this helped the reader identify and empathize with the characters.
I never thought I would gush over a book about a boy band, yet here we are. “If This Gets Out” brought a smile to my face and gave me all of the right “feels.” And though the plot is compelling, it’s the characters that make this book truly shine, and they all captured my heart. This emotive book explores so many different facets of love, be it familial, platonic, romantic, in all its aspects. Recommended!
A huge thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book. This book will be released on December 7, 2021 but it available now as a preorder.