If This Gets Out, by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: December 7, 2022
Length: 416 pages
Times Read: Twice
Rating: 400 #Anjons/5
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?
What did I do to deserve an ARC of this book, don’t know don’t care I love it so much I just want to read it over and over and over again.
♥ There is a lot of chatter about this being 1D fanfic. I missed the boat on One Direction, but if you told me that Saturday was a fictionalized account of a relationship between Angel and Jacob from these O-Town bad boys?
I’d totally get it then.
♥ If This Gets Out is about a cute m/m boy band romance on the surface, but it goes so much deeper than that. It’s no surprise that Ruben and Zach wind up together, so it’s nice that WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY isn’t a big plot point. And neither is either of them rebelling at the thought of not being straight. Instead, it’s the same sort of quiet contemplation that we saw in Red, White, and Royal Blue. There’s a similar inner conversation, going over things that maybe now they view a different way or wondering if huh….
“I could be bi.”
But it’s not, like, a whole thing. Everyone is just generally very accepting of themselves and each other.
♥ Aside from the romance, here’s the big thing that I couldn’t stop thinking about: who is looking out for these kids? They may be 18, they may be legal adults, but make no mistakes, they are kids. And they’re surrounded by adults who are not looking out for their best interests. They are out for themselves, and always pushing for what will make the head of the label happy (which is Jon’s father, by the way, making this whole thing even more twisted). The boys are forced to wear clothing they hate, put on personas that are nothing like their own personalities, given little comments here and there to suggest someone’s dancing could use some work when really it’s perfectly fine. Or ignore a burgeoning drug problem because they’re still turning in performances. And good god, the disordered eating. They worry so much about calories, about food, about making sure they get enough extra exercise to burn off something like eating the smallest sliver of cake with your mom.
The adult in me couldn’t help screaming the whole time: WHO IS LOOKING OUT FOR THESE KIDS?I
The writing was impeccable. Sophie and Cale are great on their own, but together they are just fantastic. Ruben and Zach’s voices are totally different and even though it’s a lot of pages, I wanted so many more by the time I got to the end.
♥ Also! My BFF Kasee over at Longhand Pencils made a set for the book that is just delicious. I was actually able to help choose the quotes this time, so I have a particular affinity for these and they have a special place in my collection.
P.S. the shop is closed for the holidays right now and I’m not sure if any of these are left. If there are, buy ’em quick! There’s usually just one drop and then the set is never seen again because Kasee stamps every single pencil by hand (I HAVE MISSED SO MANY DROPS I NEED A LONGHAND BUZZER).
I’m gonna do something I don’t usually do and update this review before posting it. But I read this as an ARC, back when there were just some quiet murmurings of it being 1D inspired and no one was throwing flames. It was a lovely time.
But as soon as it actually released, there has been some real bullshit going on. The authors were left off the NYT Bestseller list despite being number 6 on Bookscan, and the only ones from Bookscan’s top ten not to make it (if you didn’t already know that the NYT Bestseller list is, in essence, a popularity contest. People like Snooki from the goddamn Jersey Shore have made the NYT Bestseller list. It is just a ranking of how many copies of a book sold. And we are a nation of idiots. We are the same people that elected the Orange Cheeto to be our president. A person is smart. People are stupid. I am sorry to burst your bubble if you enjoy choosing your reading material from this list, but dear god please stop).
But beyond that, I have not liked what I’ve been seeing popping up on Twitter about the book and its authors. I’m not sure if Sophie got it worse or if Cale just didn’t really post about it, but I will never forget some of the shit people said to her, and some of the implied threats from 1D “fans”? Jesus Christ. It is just not okay.
You are not required to like a book. You are not required to finish a book. Y’all know that I DNF all the time. You are not even required to START a book. If you think something sounds like 1D fanfic trash, WHY WOULD YOU READ IT? Why would you waste your own time? But if you do, it doesn’t give you the right to try to make the author’s life hell because you didn’t like their book.
It’s one thing if a book is dangerous. There are some that have unacceptable language for no reason, there are problematic books that slip through (and this is why we have ARCs, by the way. We try to catch stuff like this before it’s even published). BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Not liking something is not a reason to trash the book, to trash the writers online.
Look, I know none of you reading this are the ones who are doing this and that I’m just shouting into the void, but thanks for being here anyway. And if you’re on the fence about reading, here’s what mine looked like after a single pass, for reference.
All quotes are taken from an uncorrected proof of the book