Release Date: December 7th, 2021
Genre: Romance – Contemporary
Rating: 5/5 Stars
If This Gets Out is the story of Saturday, a boy-band, one of the biggest acts in America. Four boys, each with a carefully curated image meant to appeal to broad sections of their target audience. Ruben, Zach, Angel and Jon have the roles management want them to play, but while on tour in Europe, the pressures, constrictions and overbearing management start to press down on all four.
The novel focuses on Ruben and Zach, in alternating POVs, and though their story is the focus, we get quite a bit of how the boy-band lifestyle is impacting both Angel and Jon, too. It’s a thoughtful look at being incredibly famous, and the constraints that come along with it. Everything these boys post to social media has to be checked by their team, they can’t leave their hotels without security, and despite travelling around Europe, they don’t get to see much beyond their rooms.
In some ways, it touches on similar aspects as Stars Collide, including the lack of freedom and the desire to meet fans while maintaining privacy. Ruben feels forced into the closet by their management, while Zach wants to write songs that mean something to him, which the company won’t allow. Jon is very much forced to often play peacekeeper, at times distrusted by the others because his dad is the manager. And Angel is going through his own issues, relying more on drinks and drugs which constantly gets overlooked by those who could help.
The romance aspects are wonderfully written, with the boys’ insecurities and worries causing some issues between them, and there’s a sense of coming-of-age to this, too, as they are each trying to work out who they are and what they want beyond what has been forced onto them.
There’s definitely real-world parallels in the treatment of various girl- and boy-bands throughout the last few decades (not to mention mixed groups), the heavy control on both public and private lives, the damaging effects of fame and celebrity on younger performers, and the way fans can both be the strongest supporters and most fierce critics.
This is a wonderfully written book, with real warmth and heart at its centre.
The Disney Reading Challenge
Prompt: The Lion King – Can you feel the love tonight? – friends to lovers trope
Progress: 4/40 Completed