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Only on the Weekends

Written by Dean Atta

Key Stage 4 Funny Poetry Romance / Relationship Stories

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An LGBTQ+ love story that has it all- the pain of first love, the trials of separation, the dreaded love triangle and a dramatic showdown

The highly anticipated second novel from Carnegie shortlisted Dean Atta will not disappoint fans of his unmistakeably authentic and honest #ownvoices debut verse novel The Black Flamingo. Once again drawing on his own experiences, in this case of moving from London to Scotland, this novel revolves around Mack, who is forced to accompany his film maker father and sole parent to Glasgow, leaving behind his slowly blossoming relationship with his first love Karim, a basketball star and the hottest boy in school. Mack is a true romantic, openly and unashamedly gay but with low self esteem and high levels of anxiety. He doubts his busy father’s feelings for him and wonders if his two lifelong friends like him for more than his home cinema. K is very much still in the closet and can offer little reassurance especially at a distance. Meeting Finlay, the super confident gay star of his Dad’s film, and feeling an immediate connection creates a real moral dilemma for Mack.

This is a wonderfully multi-layered depiction of complex characters and the verse novel format shows again that it is so well suited to capturing emotions. There is not just a beautiful economy of language but the spacing and layout on the page recreates the drama of each moment perfectly. There is warmth, humour, a real love for Glasgow and a positive celebration of love, diversity and inclusivity in this memorable and hugely engaging novel. A real must have for library collections.

Joy Court

Only on the Weekends Synopsis

Mack never thought he'd find love, but now two boys want to be with him. Will he choose Karim or Finlay? And can true love last for ever?

A must-read queer love story for fans of Sarah Crossan and 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?

Book Information

ISBN: 9781444960563
Publication date: 24th May 2022
Author: Dean Atta
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 4
Topics: Funny, Poetry, Romance / Relationship Stories, Sexuality / Relationships

About Dean Atta

Dean Atta's debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody's Nigger, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. His poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One's The One Show and several times on BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Dean was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. He regularly performs across the UK and internationally. Photo credit Thomas Sammut.

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