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?
Sophie Gonzales had a hand in writing this book, so of course I wanted to read it. And it’s also queer. And about a boy band. And about two boys in that boy band who fall for each other and want to come out, but their management won’t let them. Yes, I was completely intrigued by this and I was incredibly eager to read it. Trigger warnings: emotional abuse, addiction, homophobia
This is such a good book. It’s everything that the synopsis promises it will be. It’s messy and it’s queer and it’s painful and it’s adorable and it’s really, really good.
This book is really freaking queer. I know that is obvious because of the synopsis, but I loved the conversations surrounding and of queerness. One boy, Zach, is figuring out his sexuality, how he wants to define it, how he feels comfortable with it. And just, the denial and the pushing down, that is something that I have done. I loved, loved seeing Zach come to terms with and explore his identity.
I honestly loved Zach as a whole character. The way he is so kind and so sweet. And how he struggles with wanting to please everybody around him. He wants everybody to be happy. He is a people pleaser to the max.
And Ruben, I adored him too. I loved seeing how confident and sure he was in his identity, how he wanted to badly to claim it publicly. He also deals with familial pain, and the weight of wanting to perform to the very best of his ability. He puts so much pressure of himself, and just, watching him deal with that was amazing to witness.
Plus, the other members for the band were all around incredible too! Jon, with his steadiness and Angel with his ball to the walls wildness were just incredible. The whole band was freaking adorable together, and I loved the comradery they shared. Plus, they are genuinely love each other, and it was super cool to see guys caring about each other platonically (and non-platonically too haha).
The whole boy band aspect was incredibly amazing haha. I loved the music part to it, the way that all the boys were so into what they are doing. They all handle it in different ways, and they all have their own struggles, but they are so passionate about what they do.
This book is adorable, and super sweet, but it also stings. It deals with the stress of being such a public figure, under the thumb of a big corporation who wants as many profits as possible. It explores queerness in this, it explores the pains that it brings, and the limits that it can push people to. And it does messy so, so well. Emotions run high, callus things are said, and drastic actions are taken. And there is no perfect solution, but there ways to figure it out, to talk about it, to find the people to figure it out with. I’ve gushed about how well Sophie deals with messy emotions, and combined with Cale, this book does it so incredibly well.
There were also moments in this book were the emotional beats were just spot on, and completely top notch. I wanted to scream during some of them, because they worked so well. They way it came together, the way the characters felt, what they did, oh I could gush about them so much.
The one not completely positive comment that I have is that Zach and Ruben sort of blended together for me in the beginning. But, as the book went on, their distinct personalities started coming out more and they started shaping themselves into themselves.
Overall, I adored this book. I punched my straight down into my heart, but it was also sweet and amazing and spectacular. If you’re wanting everything that the synopsis promises, I can tell you that this book delivers. It so queer, and so amazing.