Review & Giveaway: Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski

April 3, 2017 Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 3 ★★★½

I received this book for free from Publisher at ALA Midwinter in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Meg & LinusMeg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Published by Swoon Reads on April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher at ALA Midwinter
Buy the Book
Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They're pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn't quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.

Praise for Meg and Linus, from the Swoon Reads community:

"I also love that friendship takes center stage in this story. . . . I didn't want the story to end! Such a beautiful story." —Rita, reader on SwoonReads.com

"I liked that both characters are queer, and while it is a part of the story, it's not the story itself. . . . It's delightfully refreshing." —Tammy Wanzer, reader on SwoonReads.com

"What made this unique was the strong friendship between the two narrators (who were not romantically interested in each other), and how that friendship influenced their romances with their partners. It was also refreshing to haveLGBT representation that was beyond stereotypes." —Julia Durrant, reader on SwoonReads.com

"This book is a really lovely story about young love and being true to yourself despite the pressures to conform." —Jill Watkins, reader on SwoonReads.com

"Get ready to fall in love with two oddball nerdy best friends. . . . This adorable, warm hearted contemporary YA is tremendously funny, and full of some seriously swoony moments. . . . The world needs more diverse love stories, whether that be long time girlfriends working through some issues, first crushes or friendships." —Charlie, reader on SwoonReads.com

If I had to describe Meg & Linus in one word it would be – CUTE! Above all else, this is a story about friendship and Meg and Linus are major friend goals. They have that sort of friendship people strive to have in their life and it was a joy to read. They study together, join clubs, and set up movie marathons to watch. They have a deep compassion for each other and it showed on every page. When Meg’s girlfriend breaks up with her suddenly before the new school year, she has a tough time dealing with it and basically suppresses her feelings and distracts herself by trying to set up Linus with a cute new boy he has a crush on. And this is the backbone of the story.

The chapters flop back and forth in points of view between Meg and Linus. We get to see both characters sort of transform and come of age. Both characters are extremely smart and have a passion for learning. They love coffee, and Star Trek and I definitely noticed a reference to Lord of the Rings and Lembas bread thrown in. Meg is a little more outgoing and is determined to try new things and distract herself from the breakup. Her number one distraction comes in the form of trying to push Linus towards his new crush, Danny. Linus is the definition of adorkable. He is incredibly adorable but oh so nerdy and I loved him. His social awkwardness was so cute and man did I resonate with him on that. His chapters were my favorite. Unfortunately, Meg gets a little too pushy in her quest at times and I think I felt just as uncomfortable as Linus as I remembered my experiences with that in high school. But the thing was, it was never done maliciously. It always came from a place in her heart with the best intentions and that is exactly why this friendship worked so well for me. Even when the characters made mistakes, they always genuinely wanted happiness for each other and could realize their mistakes themselves.

Something else to love about Meg & Linus is the progression of friendship for Linus and Danny. Linus was crushing hard on the new boy before school even started but lacked the confidence to talk to him, feeling himself too nerdy and not so sure Danny was interested in boys romantically. Their interactions were so adorable as they formed a friendship that got Linus out of his comfort zone. It was slow goings for Linus to come around and be a little more himself (holy awkward convos, Batman!) around Danny but I did love this part of the story a great deal and had a big ol’ smile on my face whenever they graced the pages together.

There were a few little things that didn’t work for me as well as I hoped. It lacked somewhat in believability for teenage characters. Everything- conversations, inner dialogue, actions- seemed just a little too clean. I wish the characters felt a little more like teenagers and had that bit of edge to them. The plot is on the simpler side and focuses on the evolution of the characters but I would have liked to have seen a little more conflict thrown in to help the pacing.

I love reading a novel that represents the LGBTQ in such a normalized way like Meg & Linus. There was so much to enjoy with this read –  learning to step outside your comfort zone to make new friends and opportunities, learning from mistakes, the art of moving on, supportive family, strong friendships, adorkable characters, and embracing your nerdiness. If you are looking for a cute coming of age novel than this is one to check out.

3.5_stars

 

GIVEAWAY BANNER

I would love to pass along my ARC of Meg & Linus to one lucky reader! (US/CAN only)

Giveaway Rules:

1. Giveaway is US/CAN only! (So sorry International followers but I do have something for you tomorrow!)
2. Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
3. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.
4. I am not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items.
5. Please follow the entry directions in the rafflecopter. (I do check and will delete entries that do not follow the directions. If you have any questions on how to enter, please ask!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Hanna Nowinski

Sometimes I write things. Specifically queer YA. My first novel ‘Meg & Linus’ will be published by Swoon Reads (Macmillan) early 2017.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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