A twisty-turny romance filled with fun and shenanigans.
Ashley Kingston is a genderfluid university student with a major crush on attractive and charming Nolan. He seems just too perfect to be true. What happens when Ash meets Nolan while dressed as both a man, and a woman? And even more confusing, what happens when Nolan seems enamoured of both versions of Ash?13
Ashley Kingston sat in the bustling Davie Street cafe staring into his—Wait!
Their cup. Their.
They had managed to misgender themself again, and honestly, it was getting old. Realizing they might not be a cis dude was like trying to find a bra that would fit their frame—sometimes it poked them in places not meant to be poked.
Speaking of bras, Ash had two new ones in their bag on the floor next to their feet. Normally, Ash wouldn’t have gone to a store to purchase clothes not meant for men, but their friend Bei Bei had gotten Ash’s measurements and pretended the bras were for her. One was a perfectly sensible beige number, but the other was fire-engine red, at Bei Bei’s insistence. Ash was nervous about trying them on, even when no one else was around, but what were they to do? Progress was progress.
They glanced over at their friend from the corner of their eye. Bei Bei was on her phone texting someone, running her hand through the short hair on one side of her head. Her undercut was brand spanking new.
Still not used to it? Ash frowned. The two of them were both trying something on for size. Bei Bei said she wanted to be the butchest of butch lesbians. She’d gone into the salon and had all of her long black hair cut off just that morning. Ash had watched as Bei Bei transformed before their eyes. What was it like to have long hair?
Ash ran a hand through their own dark-brown hair and sighed. Maybe one day.
“What are you moping for?” Bei Bei demanded. “We just had shopping therapy. I thought for sure you’d be happier now.”
“I’m not unhappy,” Ash started.
“But you are,” Bei Bei finished.
“I was just thinking—” Ash sighed again. “—what it might be like to have long hair, and I just…” They shrugged.
“Is that all?” Bei Bei said. “We can get you a wig.”
“I’m a starving student! As if I could afford a quality wig!”
“It doesn’t have to be expensive,” Bei Bei said. “I’ll help you find something nice but affordable online.”
“Okay,” Ash said, somewhat mollified. “I guess I was just blowing things out of proportion—again.”
“You really need to chill.” Bei Bei patted their arm. “I know, anxiety sucks.”
“At least my meds are somewhat stable. I have a mate back home who can hardly go outside some days.”
Bei Bei nodded sympathetically. The two sat in silence for a few moments, and Ash took a sip of their now-lukewarm London Fog. They licked a bit of foam off their lip. The world went on by outside the cafe window, and Ash watched from their place perched atop a bar-style stool, elbows resting on the counter running along the inside of the window.
“Ooh,” Bei Bei said. “She’s hot.”
A very tall Black girl with bantu knots and long legs walked by outside. Ash nodded. She was very attractive, and her barely there black shorts hugged her hips. Ash, who had known they were pansexual long before they figured out their gender, considered themself an equal-opportunity lover.
That is, when they even had a lover. Ash struggled to keep relationships, and they could never figure out why. It wasn’t a lack of attraction, and Ash enjoyed dating. But something always made the situation go sour.
The girl stopped for the traffic light on Davie and Granville, and Bei Bei and Ash looked on with interest. A loud group of tourists passed by the window, and when the group cleared, the girl looked back at them. Ash pretended to be very interested in the dregs of their drink.
Of course, Bei Bei kept on staring.
The girl turned and came towards them. Ash didn’t know what to do, so it was lucky their attention was on Bei Bei. The girl came into the cafe, making her way to where Ash and Bei Bei were sitting.
“Can I help you?” the Black girl asked.
Bei Bei’s eyes sparkled. “I’ve lost my phone. Do you mind calling it for me?”
The girl’s mouth twitched. “That the best you got?”
“Not by a long shot,” Bei Bei replied.
Bei Bei and the girl, who eventually introduced herself as Ouma, flirted away beside Ash. Ash pretended they had no idea who Bei Bei was, in spite of the fact she was sitting right there next to them.
Bei Bei kept running her hand through her newly shorn hair and biting her lip in obvious signs of attraction. Ouma was standing beside them with her hip cocked, head tilted. Ash looked at their phone and their Twitter page for a bit, waiting for Bei Bei and Ouma to finish with their flirting.
“Bye,” Ouma said, flashing a wave as she walked out the door.
“Oh my god, you are incorrigible,” said Ash as soon as Ouma was out of earshot.
“Got her number though,” Bei Bei smirked.
Ash rolled their eyes.
“You’ve got game, girl.”
“You just need more confidence, Ash,” Bei Bei said. “You’re plenty attractive to those who like enbies.”
The real problem was that Ash didn’t look non-binary. They looked like a cis guy. That could cause them trouble in the long run.
“I guess?” Ash said with another shrug. “I’m mostly worried that… Well. I’m trans. It’s a thing that gets a lot of people killed in a lot of places, especially when it comes to dating and sex.”
“Truth bomb time, I guess.” Bei Bei scratched the side of her head. “It’s hard enough being an Asian lesbian. Being trans is a whole other thing.”
Ash just nodded, tried to take another drink, and grimaced when they found their cup empty.
“I’d date a trans lesbian,” Bei Bei continued. “I know it doesn’t really make me special or anything. But I know of a ton of TERF lesbians who wouldn’t.”
Ash made a face at the mention of TERFs. They had enough to deal with at university without having to listen to some transphobe calling herself a feminist saying that trans people were gross. They felt gross a lot of the time anyway, but it got worse when people started calling trans people trash. Ash’s anxiety always skyrocketed if they saw people arguing on social media about it.
“I just want to find a person who would accept me for being genderfluid,” Ash said. “I’m always worried that anyone I’m interested in will turn out to be one of those binary sex-pushing assholes.”
It happened sometimes on Twitter. Somebody with a cute profile pic turned out to be awful, and it always made Ash angry, but also ashamed in a strange way. They hated that they felt ashamed sometimes of something like their identity, but it was still there sometimes, throbbing in their chest.
“I get it,” Bei Bei said. “I know you gotta be careful. But don’t shut yourself off completely.”
“I guess,” Ash said. “It’s not like I’m even used to thinking of myself as non-binary in the first place.”
“You have to start somewhere,” Bei Bei said.
Ash acknowledged this with a nod. Bei Bei got up to get another iced caramel macchiato, and Ash stared out the window at the people going by. Things were tough right now, so Ash had to be tougher.7
Weekend Girl plays like a teen rom-com. Alex Powell writes such cute and funny scenes. There is plenty of humor, awkwardness, and miscommunication to make Weekend Girl a true romantic comedy.
Powell deals head on with the issues of having to introduce a “new” modified version of you – that you don’t know yet if it is actually you. Powell then adds the mental health issue of panic attacks and anxiety to Ash’s character. Like they don’t have enough going on…oh wait(!) let’s add in a good-looking guy into the mix.
What follows is an exploration into the rainbow spectrum. Having to come out again.The fear of coming out as violence against transpersons has increased. Plus Ash still needs to pass Science.
(Bei Bei says,) “I’ve lost my phone. Do you mind calling it for me?”
The girl’s mouth twitched. “That the best you got?”
“Not by a long shot,” Bei Bei replied.
I love this interaction, and by the way I have never gotten that pick up line. (I wonder if it works…laugh).
Ash’s best friend Bei Bei is an interesting secondary character as she has as many issues as Ash. She is an Asian Butch lesbian who is a love them and leave them type of gal. Honest until it hurts, unless we are talking about her. She is a vibrant sidekick for Ashley.
The romance between Ash and Nolan is funny, sweet, and at times way hot.
My only issue with Weekend Girl is the message of acceptance is pounded into the pages. I can understand two or even three times, but it felt like the message was being shoved down my throat. This for me by the end of the story took away from the blossoming and self-acceptance of Ash and their romance.
Weekend Girl is a fun rom-com. Powell creates a couple to not only root for, but want to see again. Hopefully in Bei Bei’s story we will all be reunited again…hint, hint.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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Publisher: NineStar Press, 9781648903151, 21 June 2021
Series: Weekend Girl#1; Settings: Vancouver, Canada
SC: Butch, Asian, Agender, alloromantic, aromantic
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A An edited version was previously posted on Amazon on 23 June 2021.