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?
What an utterly fab YA book!
Thoroughly enjoyed this one, it has some of my favourite elements, LGBTQ, YA, angst, drama, and turmoil, but is set within the backdrop of life in a boyband.
I have to say I immediately began making comparisons between 1D with Harry and Louis, but in a way (for me at least) it made it all the more enjoyable, taken with a pinch of salt and a lot of good humour.
The MCs are all loveable, I really did like Angel, even though he is the most troubled. Jon I felt had quite a background role, I would’ve liked to see a bit more of him, but of course, Ruben and Zach are the main duo. I found myself feeling like a piggy in the middle, I could understand both of their points of view and was rooting for them throughout (sometimes you just wanted to bang their heads together!).
Alongside the cutesy romance storyline, there are a lot of issues around drugs, toxic parenting, homophobia, coming to terms with identity and sexuality, the question of coming out if/when, and being controlled. Seeing these issues being addressed was brilliant, I am sure readers will find themselves relating and empathising with many of them. I particularly liked (although like is perhaps not the correct term) the toxic parent relationship, I’ve not seen this before in YA lit. With it being something I have experienced it was nice to see it acknowledged, and the effects it can have on a young person growing up and moving into adulthood shown.
I can easily see this being a smash with the target audience as well as us ‘older’ readers who enjoy YA books. Definitely one to be added to our school library!
Thank you so much to Netgalley and the Publisher St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books for the e-arc to review.
About the Author
SOPHIE GONZALES is a YA contemporary author. She graduated from the University of Adelaide and lives in Adelaide, Australia. When she isn’t writing, she can be found ice skating, performing in musical theatre, and practicing the piano.
Cale Dietrich is a YA devotee, lifelong gamer, and tragic pop punk enthusiast. He was born in Perth, grew up on the Gold Coast, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia.