Author: Cale Dietrich and Sophie Gonzales
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
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 heartthrobs in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, the pressure to stay in the closet has Ruben confiding in Zach. On a whirlwind tour through Europe with an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, the two 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 realize they will never truly have the support they need. How can they hold tight to each other when their whole world is coming apart?
If you are looking for a cute, gay YA romance, then look no further. Once I read the synopsis, I was hooked. This is more than a story about first love, but finding your person, and yourself. The whole idea of a boy band and a romance that forms between two of it’s members, Zach and Ruben, sounds like a messy good time. And it definitely was.
The book was cute and heartwarming from the start. I was literally getting butterflies along with Zach and Ruben. Their relationship from friends to lovers did seem a little out of the blue, but as the story progressed, you could see that the feelings were there all along.
This book wasn’t steamy, but when you mix first love and teenage hormones, there is bound to be some spice in the relationship. There was a lot of focus on discovering yourself, and your sexuality. Also, the pressure to put a label on one’s self. Sometimes, all that’s needed are mutual feelings for each other, and the labels naturally become an afterthought. Often, they aren’t necessary at all.
It was interesting to see how the authors described being in the spotlight. Not every celebrity has a choice of how they appear to in the public eye. A lot of times you have to put on façade and play a part. Each of the band members were hiding who they were from their fans. Their management team made them feel as though if they were to truly be themselves they could lose everything. I don’t know if celebrities really have to deal with something like this, but if they do, fame must be pretty lonely at times.
I enjoyed getting to know all the bandmates, Zach, Ruben, Jon, and Angel. They were each every different, but when it came down to it, they were still brothers. The authors made a point to show the influence of drugs and drinking at a young age. Also, how celebrities can fall into unhealthy addictions because of bad influences and easy access to those things. I think most people know that celebrities, like all of us, aren’t a immune to addiction.
“The freedom to be ourselves, and express whatever truest version of ourselves we know of to the world as we see fit, is the most important freedom we have.”
There was the message of never letting fear stand in the way of trying something new. Things might take an unexpected turn, but every so often we find exactly what was missing from our lives. Ruben and Zach worked well as a couple, and they were truly there for each other. Ruben was more confident in his sexuality, and also someone the other band members could lean on.
That being said, Zach was my favorite of the two. I find that he had a lot of character development throughout the book. At the start, he was optimistic, and only wanted to make others happy (despite his wants and desires). It wasn’t until push came to shove that he fought for what he wanted, and broke out of his shell. I found, too, that Jon’s personality was one that I got attached to. I maybe had a mild crush on him. Don’t tell my husband.
In my opinion, Angel was definitely the funniest, but he struggled the most with having to be a fake version of himself. Still, his funny comments helped lighten the mood throughout the book. I appreciated the addition of humor, while still focusing on Ruben and Zach’s budding romance.
I do want to mention, one last time, that this book deals with more than just romance. Drug use, bi-phobia, underage drinking and even emotional abuse are present in this book. But I wouldn’t say that this is a heavy or traumatic read at all. Actually, I believe that the book is pretty underrated. Please leave me your thoughts on the book in the comments below. If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, then follow my blog to get notifications on new posts.
Until The Next Chapter,