Only on the Weekends

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. May 2022. 560p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063157989.
Gr 9 Up–Mackintosh “Mack” Fadayomi is the neglected, gay, Nigerian son of a famous film director. With a home movie theater, all the latest game consoles, and unlimited good snacks, his life is the envy of all of his friends. But with his father always gone, and his friends always taking from him, naturally he feels alone and taken advantage of. He ventures out of his bubble and takes Food Tech at school, where he befriends Maz, the cousin of his hopeless crush, K, the star of the basketball team. K, as it turns out, is also gay and very closeted. Their romance begins, which, from Mack’s side, is incredibly confusing and insecure. He struggles with body image, jealousy, and feeling “hidden” by K’s being closeted. More challenges hit their relationship when Mack’s dad moves them to Scotland and Mack enters a maybe more than friendship with Finn, the trans lead actor in his dad’s film. This lengthy, slow-burn novel in verse is a raw, real, deep dive into the messy internal world of its relatable main character. Readers will become attached to Mack and will want to know exactly how this love triangle plays out. Nigerian, Yoruba, and Scottish cultural influences appear throughout.
VERDICT Purchase where realistic fiction and novels in verse are popular.

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