My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I’ve seen other reviews that contend If This Gets Out is a One Direction fanfic. While I can see how that connection can be made, because I am way beyond the age range of 1D fans I had the benefit of enjoying this book without getting bogged down with comparing the real-life defunct boy band with the fictional Saturday.
There are so many facets to this story beyond the slow burn romance between Ruben and Zach. While these two band members are a major focus, Angel and Jon are given a sizable chunk of page time, as well.
Zach’s initial denial and eventual acceptance of his sexuality felt authentic given the strict parameters in which the label allows each band member to exist. Ruben struggles with the label constantly squashing his attempts to come out, Jon has unique challenges as the son of the band manager, biracial, and more conservative than the label crafts him to be. His polar opposite, He and Angel could switch positions and each would be his authentic self.
The dichotomy of each band member’s public persona and their true, private self is the major theme and the center of each conflict. The authors did an excellent job of conveying the struggles each member had to manage while maintain their contractual facades. If This Gets Out is a sprawling, emotional journey about growth and change. Come for the romance, stay for the journey.
***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.***