Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Young adult graphic novel
Goodreads | Amazon
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.
Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…
I’ve been a fan of Alice Oseman’s writing for a long time. I first read Solitaire when I was sixteen, and I remember Charlie’s story standing out to me because I could relate to a lot of the same mental health issues he had. Radio Silence is one of my favourite books of all time. When I was on Tumblr, I was also an avid follower of her art blog. So I don’t know why I put Heartstopper off so long. I’m so glad I finally read it, because Heartstopper is the cutest thing I’ve read in a long time.
The story focuses around Nick and Charlie and how they first met and fall for each other. Simple, but wholeheartedly adorable, and I think the word that describes this entire comic is wholesome. Nick and Charlie are just so soft and lovely. I couldn’t stop smiling while I was reading because they were so cute. There’s also not a whole lot of miscommunication, which was nice to see in a rom-com. I honestly don’t know what to say except to squeal over how cute they are for each other? Nick having his Bisexual Crisis was hilarious, and relatable.
Eventually, I’m sure it’ll go into Charlie’s mental health issues eventually, which I’m really interested in–up to where I read, it’s been touched on, but not in-depth. I remember relating heavily to Charlie, so as much as I don’t want to see Charlie go through what I know he goes through, I do want to read about it, and I trust Alice Oseman when it comes to mental health issues because she gets it.
I love Alice Oseman’s art so much–it’s so soft-looking and adorable, and Nick’s grin just brings light to my life every time I see it?? Her art is so wholesome (there it is again), and expressive. And I know this might sound really weird, but I really love how she draws clothes and fashion? It’s just so visually pleasing.
And there are cameos from all of her books, too! Tori Spring and her *sip* gives me life, I love it so much. And Aled!!!! I got so excited when I first saw Aled, because he’s definitely my favourite of the Oseman!verse (is that a thing?). It’s just … so nice to see familiar faces in this world. I know they’re book characters, but I feel so close to them and love them so much?? Is that weird??
I’ll definitely be keeping up with Heartstopper and I’ll probably end up buying the volumes as they come out. I really truly love these characters and the world Alice Oseman has created, and Heartstopper is another great addition.
content warnings | bullying, mild homophobia (challenged)
representation | gay MC, bi MC, trans side character
have you read heartstopper??