Only on the weekends
Book - 2022
The son of a film director, Mack grows up on set and into a hopeless romantic -- one who falls hard for the handsome and popular Karim, who eventually notices him back, right before Mack has to relocate to Scotland. Not wanting to lose his first love, Mack asks Karim to be long-distance, but while they're trying, fearless and confident Finlay shows up on set, and Mack's world turns upside down yet again.
*Starred Review* Mack is an openly gay teenager whose father is a renowned filmmaker. He has privilege in his wealth, but he still experiences the ups and downs of high school—he's not sure whether his close groups of friends are using him for his material wealth, and though he has a decent relationship with his father, he's never met his deceased mother's family. After he finally snags his dream guy, K, Mack is surprised to learn that his father is uprooting them for three months to shoot a film in Glasgow, Scotland. Mack's relationship with K seems fragile, and he is worried that this sudden move will add more strain to their relationship. Further complicating Mack's situation is meeting movie star and trans activist Finlay while on the shoot. Stonewall winner Atta's novel in verse is an exquisite and detailed look at friendship, compromises, family, and love, deftly capturing Mack's insecurities in a voice authentic to the high-school experience. Readers will easily relate to Mack's complex feelings about his plight while empathizing with his friends and family as they try to negotiate their own relationships. Text exchanges included in the novel reveal even more vulnerability in the characters. While most of Mack's conflicts are interpersonal, Atta also seamlessly examines intersectionality as the teen explores English, Scottish, and Yoruba cultures throughout his travels. The vivid, multifaceted depiction of teenage emotions makes this highly recommended. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
In an emotional free verse novel, Atta (The Black Flamingo) follows the tumultuous love life of a gay Londoner of Nigerian Yoruba descent. Nearly 16 and self-conscious about the fatphobia he experiences, narrator Mackintosh "Mack" Fadayomi is shocked when his schoolmate, Black British basketball star Karim, of Egyptian descent, expresses romantic interest in Mack. Karim is closeted, preferring "to do things quietly," and his inconsistent attention confuses Mack. Just as they start finding a balance, Mack's film director father announces a temporary move for the family, to Glasgow. There, Mack meets the white Scottish star of his dad's project, transmasculine teen Finlay, whose flirting (in a voice conveyed in Scottish dialect) excites him. While Mack and Karim struggle to make their way forward, Mack justifies a growing emotional affair with Fin, until forced to make a decision. Prose-like verse traces a slow-burn love triangle that avoids excusing Mack's actions, centering a protagonist whose emotional arc unpacks themes of young love and self-acceptance alongside intersections of body image, gender identity, race, and sexuality. Ages 14–up. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.
"Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic...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...Then Mack meets actor Finlay on set, and the world turns upside down again. Fin seems fearless--and his confidence could just be infectious"--Review by Publisher Summary 2
From the Stonewall Award–winning author of The Black Flamingo comes a romantic coming-of-age novel in verse about the beautiful—and sometimes painful—fallout of pursuing the love we deserve. The ideal next read for fans of Kacen Callender, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Becky Albertalli.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. Award-winning author Dean Atta crafts a beautifully nuanced and revelatory story in verse about the exquisite highs and lows of first love and self-discovery.