Book Reviews

Review: Only on the Weekends by Dean Atta

After The Black Flamingo, I knew I had to add Dean Atta to my read list. And so when I heard about Only on the Weekends, this book rocketed to the top of my TBR. Also in verse, this story is about the messiness of love, queer identities, and friendship. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic–likely a hazard of growing up on film sets thanks to his father’s job. Mack has had a crush on Karim for as long as he can remember and he can’t believe it when gorgeous, popular Karim seems into him too.

But when Mack’s father takes on a new directing project in Scotland, Mack has to move away, and soon discovers how painful long-distance relationships can be. It’s awful to be so far away from Karim, and it’s made worse by the fact that Karim can be so hard to read.

Then Mack meets actor Finlay on set, and the world turns upside down again. Fin seems fearless–and his confidence could just be infectious.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: racism, homophobia

Only on the Weekends is a story where I just allowed myself to be swept away. So many times I wasn’t sure where it was going, but Atta always lead us in the right direction. It’s one of those books where the messiness of life, mistakes, and love are on display. For Mack, he has these expectations of what love will be like. What it will feel like for his crush to notice him. That when it happens, things don’t feel real or like he expected. And that’s the thing with expectations. They never happen like what we suspect.

In this world, for a black gay teen it is dangerous for them to exist. To have the racism of people following their movements in stores, or the homophobia which haunts their decisions. And everyone is at different stages of their own journey. Of life altering decisions we make and things about us we didn’t want to see. We can think we are being honest, and we can be trying to, but when we hide things also from ourselves, transparency becomes clouded.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Love never just suddenly becomes easy. It’s a series of conscious choices we make to stick together. To work at our own issues and guilt and communication mishaps. And we have to find someone who is willing to work with us. To have the same goals as us. Only on the Weekends is a story about friendship and making mistakes. It’s about love and family. If you love verse novels, this is a must read. But if you also love stories about protagonists who make mistakes, but ultimately end up finding pieces of themselves along the way, then this is for you. Find Only on the Weekends on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite in verse queer novel?

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