If This Gets Out

Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. Wednesday, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-80580-5

For the four members of popular boy band Saturday, life is one big performance: their management company controls their actions onstage and off, and they’re tired of the grind of touring. But during their first sold-out European tour, 18-year-old Ruben Montez, who’s Spanish American, and Zach Knight, who’s white, grow even closer. While traveling with bandmates Angel Phan, who’s cued as of Asian descent, and biracial (Black/white) Jon Braxton, whose father runs the band’s label, Ruben and Zach bond over their frustrations. The management company has told Ruben to hold off on coming out publicly, and aspiring songwriter Zach is told that his work doesn’t jibe with the band’s pop sound. When Ruben and Zach’s friendship takes a turn toward romance, they contemplate what they should be expected to give up for their success. Through the alternating voices of introspective Ruben and people pleaser Zach, Gonzales (Only Mostly Devastated) and Dietrich (The Friend Scheme) craft a believable novel filled with backstage detail and flawed characters trying to figure out who they are under the spotlight’s glare. Ages 13–up. Agent (for Gonzales and Dietrich): Moe Ferrara, BookEnds Literary. (Dec.)