Only on the Weekends
by Dean Atta
YA Verse, Romance, LGBTQ
Mack. Karim. Finlay. Mack never thought he’d find love, let alone with two people. Will he make the right choice? And can love last for ever? A must-read queer love story for fans of Sex Education, written in verse by Dean Atta.
Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic – he blames the films he’s grown up watching. He has liked Karim for as long as he can remember, and is ecstatic when Karim becomes his boyfriend – it feels like love.
But when Mack’s dad gets a job on a film in Scotland, Mack has to move, and soon hediscovers how painful love can be. It’s horrible being so far away from Karim, but the worst part is that Karim doesn’t make the effort to visit. Love shouldn’t be only on the weekends.
Then, when Mack meets actor Finlay on a film set, he experiences something powerful, a feeling like love at first sight. How long until he tells Karim – and when will his old life and new life collide?
Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Although Dean Atta only has one novel published, I knew that I could put my total trust in him to deliver another beautiful, gorgeous story and I was not wrong at all. Only on the Weekends feels like a celebration of family, queer identity and queer love. I don’t think I could’ve loved it any more than I did.
Only On The Weekends is a gorgeous verse novel that explores the romance between three boys – our main, totally lovable character Mack, and his two love interests – the closeted Karim, and the actor from his dad’s film, Finlay. When he’s forced to move to Scotland and leave Karim at home, he meets Finlay and sparks instantly fly. But where does his heart lie? And who will he choose? You’ll just have to read to find out…
This has everything I love in a book, and I knew I could place my trust firmly in Atta. A boy coming to terms with his identity, a family dynamic, friendships, gorgeous romances, beautiful poetry. Love triangles are done to death and I am often weary of whether they can be pulled off, but Dean Atta did a fantastic job at making each relationship feel so real and so authentic that it was so hard for me as a reader to decide which way I was leaning.
Just to show queer love so proudly and openly on the page is still so important in this day, and I especially loved the relationship that Mack had with his dad throughout the book. It was complicated, complex, flawed, but it all came from a place of love and I loved seeing how layered Mack’s relationship was with the different characters in this book, from his friends, to his dad, and to the two love interests. Sometimes Mack was annoying and made some questionable choices, but that’s what made him such a great and unforgettable character.
The poetry in this was just divine and some of the lines I had to take a minute and sit with. If you love your romance, particularly your queer romance, then this book is 100% for you.