Review: Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta

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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 he discovers 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? 

I really enjoyed The Black Flamingo by this author when I read it a while ago, so I was super excited to find out he was releasing a new book – Only on the Weekends.

However, I knew I might struggle with this one. The bottom line is, I really dislike cheating storylines, so I was hesitant knowing this was following a character who started crushing on a boy when he was already in a relationship. But I must say, I feel like for the most part that aspect of the book was handled really well. It still gave me the ick in places, but didn’t detract from the story itself as much as I expected.

So you get to feel invincible

I enjoyed the verse narrative yet again, which is definitely where Atta shines. The Black Flamingo was beautifully written, and Only on the Weekends was no different. This book is pretty chunky, clocking in at 521 pages, but I still felt like I connected well with Mack in pretty few words.

Although this one discusses coming out and coming to terms with identity less than The Black Flamingo did, it still makes up a part of the story and leaves room for new explorations, such as non-monogamy. Although this isn’t often discussed in black-and-white terms, there are some definite emerging themes that I found interesting to read about, if not exactly relatable on a personal level.

but I’ve got to stay invisible?

Overall, this didn’t blow me away like The Black Flamingo did. But I reckon that would be a pretty difficult achievement at this rate. This still made for an enjoyable read, and Atta definitely works wonders with verse.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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