Happy Monday ! Today’s review is a book that I was very excited to read and very grateful I got a chance to read it early. The book is If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. The book is coming out in hardcover and ebook on December 7, 2021. A huge thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books for the chance to read an ARC!
I’ll admit I’m no usually the biggest fan of contemporaries, I usually prefer when romance is the main plot if it’s a contemporary story, but I absolutely loved this book! I’d categorize this book as a contemporary with a romance side-plot - if the makes any sense. It is a bit of a heavier read but the slightly heavier feel to it really fit the story in this case. With that being said, I thought the romance aspect of the book was wonderful and gave some really fun and uplifting moments to the story. There was certainly a bit of a miscommunication trop at the beginning - *sigh* - but that got resolved fairly quickly. Overall I don’t think it would’ve been possible for a queer boy-band contemporary romance to be written any better. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read it again. The story had me hooked right from the first line and kept me captivated the entire time.
I absolutely loved Ruben and Zach’s romance and would honestly love reading about them more in the future if that’s ever a possibility. I loved seeing how their relationship changed throughout the book from band-mates/best friends to something more. I loved seeing the moments they had together with the other members of the band, especially at the beginning, that were lighthearted and fun with lots of laughs. Yet I also loved the more intimate moments Ruben and Zach got just with each other both when they were still just friends, to confused feelings, to more. It was an interesting evolvement that was far from perfect, but that’s just the way life is and I liked seeing the honesty in that. It truly was a slow-burn romance but honestly I thought it worked really well. It can be a scary thing coming to terms with knowing you’re in love with your best friend, and it can be even harder if you haven’t fully come to terms with your sexuality yet. I thought seeing Zach struggle with repressing his sexuality in the beginning was valuable to read about as I think it something a lot of queer people can go through.
I really loved that this book was written from a behind the scenes of the music industry perspective. I find books more enjoyable when they are more realistic and honest about things we only usually get to see from the outside. The music industry isn’t all fun and games and this book proved just that. might be a bit strange to say but i liked seeing the music industry being shown as not perfect because that’s the real truth to it. It made it easy to sympathize with all four of the boys in the band as you could tell their job wasn’t the easiest. Because the harder side of been in a band was a main point of the book it definitely made it a bit of a heavier read, but I found that I really didn’t mind that this time. Often I have a harder time reading contemporary romances that are on the heavier side but the way this one was written still made it easy and enjoyable to read. It was also really interesting to read about all of the different family dynamics each of the four band members had. No two family dynamics were the same and it was interesting to read about what the parents thought about their children being in a band, especially when that band is travelling halfway across the world for a tour.
I was surprised by all of the topics that were covered throughout the book. Like I mentioned before it was a heavier read at times, not that I thought it was a bad thing whatsoever. These topics included drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, being overly controlled by a management team, and unhealthy family relationships. Ruben was being pressured by management to stay closeted and had been for multiple years. Angel (one of the other members) dealt with a lot of mental health issues throughout the book that definitely shook me at points. Despite the heavier topic I thought the book had a wonderful and happy ending. I was really happy with the outcome of the story.
I thought that Sophie and Cale did an excellent job at co-writing this book. I honestly couldn’t tell at all that it was written by two people instead of one. It was seamless all the way through and overall I thought the writing was really well done. I would honestly love to see them write more together in the future!
Thanks again to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC. I can wait to get my final copy on Dec 7.