Book Talk: "If This Gets Out" by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich | December 2021
Picture this: you're one of the stars of America's most popular boy band, and you've got a massive crush on one of your bandmates. The only problem is you're pressured by management to stay in the closet, so not only are you floundering in potentially unrequited love, you're also stifled and unable to be your truest self.
In their upcoming co-written novel If This Gets Out, Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich have told a truly remarkable love story. In alternating perspectives between Ruben and Zach, readers are taken on a whirlwind trip across multiple European countries (mainly through the view of hotel rooms and massive stages) as the boys fall in love and battle a management that doesn't want them to express themselves truly and live their best lives.
There's so much to love about this book. I absolutely fell head over heels for all four members of the fictional band Saturday, not just Zach and Ruben. Each of the four boys was incredibly well-developed, and by the end of the book I felt like I really had gotten to know each of them — not just their public persona.
It was also a fascinating look at the music industry and fame and the way it looks from the other side of the table. Many of us might hunger for the type of fame the boys know (okay, fine, maybe you don't; but I definitely do). Gonzales and Dietrich do an excellent job of showing the human cost of astronomical fame. Of course there's a good side to it, from the money to the independence to the ability to pursue your dreams, but it's not all fun and games.
The dark side isn't limited to the management's pressure, either. The book touches on fame culture and its negative effects on those we're worshipping.
There's just so much in this book. Like, yes, it's absolutely a love story but it also dives super deep and unflinchingly into issues like drug addiction, homophobia and forced closetdness, and overbearing parents.
As for the romance, well...let's just say I'm a fan. I really believed the relationship between the two boys, I was sold on it. Not just because they had chemistry, but because we saw their friend foundation as well.
There were some parts of this book that were hard to handle, just because I wanted nothing but sunshine and daisies for these boys. But life isn't smooth sailing all the time, and neither are books. I really believe If This Gets Out is stunning on so many accounts, from the romance to the deep topics the book touches on.
On a scale of dry-eyed to weeping the whole way through, I definitely teared up more than once. This is an emotional, beautiful read that I highly recommend.