Thank you so much, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books, for the chance to read one of my most anticipated reads of 2021!
Careful of spoilers!
TW: drugs, drug abuse, closeting
Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturdays and along with their bandmates, Jon Braxton and Angel Phan are teen heartbreakers in front of the camera and best friends in the real life. But behind the scene all of them are suffering from the pressure of their management and fame, above all for Ruben, forced to be closeted. During an intense tour through Europe, Ruben and Zach start to rely more and more on one other, until their already close friendship develops in a wonderful romance. Wanting to live free and to tell their fans, Ruben and Zach right away realize their management will do anything in their power to keep their love secret and separate them. With the support of Jon and Angel, Ruben and Zach fight to be free to love one other and from the management homophobic rules and chains.
I LOVED reading this book, it was such a pleasure and a privilege to have gotten the chance to read before the release date and I can’t wait to have the physical copy in my hands. A queer love in a boy-band? Sign me in!
Told by two POVs, Ruben’s and Zach it’s a journey, physical and emotionally, a journey that involves all the member of the band. The characterization is brilliant and even though the story is told by Zach and Ruben, so the reader gets to know them better, their fears, doubts, love and passions, Jon and Angel are not side characters. They are also skillfully written and complex, with their doubts and pressures, fears and desires.
The friendship between Zach, Ruben, Angel and Jon is beautifully written, with its ups and downs and fights, between friends who truly love and care about one other and who would do anything in their power to keep each other safe and happy.
Zach and Ruben are best friends and even though Ruben has ever had feelings for Zach, he has never told anyone (he was sure Zach was straight), but when something wonderful happens between them during the tour, their relationship changes, with cracks and tension, fear and confusion.
It was really intense, heartbreaking reading how Zach starts to understand his own sexuality, Ruben’s fear to have lost his best friend, Jon and Angel trying to solve their tension and understand what happened between them.
I had to admit I feared misunderstandings and unnecessary dramas, but this book is perfect!
Zach’s and Ruben’s relationship changes and evolves in a romance and, after a moment of “crisis”, silence treatment, tears and confusion, they emerge more strong and together than ever.
Their romance is adorable, I loved how they first feared to have lost one other, until they decided to finally talk and admit their own feelings. It was so beautiful, moving and satisfying and I loved how they were supported right away by Jon and Angel.
The romance is amazing, it made my heart sings and I love Zach and Ruben so much, I was squealing and swooning all the time, they are adorable together and I loved the way the author talked about their relationship, how it grew in something so beautiful and powerful, how they love, support and help one other, facing the world, the parents’, the management together.
Through If this gets out and through Zach’s and Ruben’s romance, the authors talk about the awful pressure placed on artists, queer above all, within the entertainment industry, the invasion of privacy, the exhausting working conditions, the abuse of power, the closeting, documented by many other real artists in the world. If this gets out explores this pressure, how someone can lose sense of oneself when forced to play a role they never choose, how they are abused and controlled by people in power and, also, in Ruben’s case, how the pressure and abuse can come from one’s family too.
It was clear in every member of Saturday how they were forced by the management to be four different heartbreakers in front of the camera, to play a specific role, even though they were very different from it, how Jon was forced to dress and act agains his own feelings and morality, how Angel was struggling to escape the pressure and control through substances, how being forced to be closeted for so many years weighed down on Ruben, how Zach, who discovers his own sexuality, was separated by his best friend and love.
If this gets out is a book about love and friendships, about fighting against abuse of power, control and bindings, about fighting to be oneself and not to caged anymore by pressure and people.
I loved everything in this book. The romance is to die for, Ruben and Zach are the cutest boyfriends ever, Angel and Jon are amazing characters and the story is amazing, full of cute and funny moments, flirting, jokes, adorable, while tackling important issues and problems.
I definitely recommend this book to those who love queer love and the power of love and friendship.