Two Book Tuesday

Haven’t had one of these in some time…

Title: If This Gets Out
Author: Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich
Genre: YA Contemporary  
Publication Date: December 7th, 2021
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Goodreads Summary:

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?

This was so lovely!

You never know what you’re going to get with a book written by multiple authors—sometimes it’s seamless like Christina Lauren and other times it is much more distinct. It was very obvious that one author took Zach’s perspective and the other took Ruben’s, but it actually worked. The writing was different enough to form two really clear characters and not feel disjointed at all. I’ve read books in the past where the authors were not so successful.

Friends-to-lovers is such a great trope, but adding the forbidden love aspect along with it was *chef’s kiss*—especially with such high stakes, being one of the biggest bands in the world. I loved the care and respect Ruben has for Zach and his choices about when he wants to come out. That is such a personal journey and to have the support of your partner is one of the most important things. I was already a big fan of Sophie Gonzales, but I’m really excited to read more from Cale Dietrich in the future.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Ballerinas
Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Genre: Mystery/Thriller  
Publication Date: December 7th, 2021
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Summary:

Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever. 

Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, The Ballerinas explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside––all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.

I struggled between giving 3.5 and 4 stars.

Give me all the ballet books you have!

I wouldn’t call this a mystery or a thriller, so I find those genre labels to be a little misleading. I enjoyed jumping from the girls’ early years in the company to present day. The reader is able to not only a clear picture as to who these three very different dancers are, but also what the ballet world has done to their lives. I thought it was really interesting how this book addresses the real life stories from the New York ballet scene—the allegations of former artistic director Peter Martins and the photo scandal at New York City Ballet. This book was a little long; probably could have been condensed down a bit. I feel that the major twist kind of came out of nowhere and then BAM! end of the book. If there was going to be such a major twist, there needed to be some more story after.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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