Book Review: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Reviewed: June 1st, 2022
Released: February 7th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary YA LGBTQ+ Graphic novel

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re 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 Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

This is the first graphic novel I have read, and I must admit it would never have crossed my path if my daughter hadn’t ordered all four books because she wants the UK cover, and had them delivered to me. And then she said I had to read them and watch the netflix series.

So as the dutiful mother that I am, I did! And I am so glad I did. They do say a picture can tell a thousand words, and this novel does just that. Oseman picks out those important moments, the tells, the slightest of movements, the emotional uncertainties, and captures them in a series of images and they just tug at your heartstrings.

My daughter called these books a warm hug. And they are, they are beautiful and reassuring, and although deal with bullying and homophobia, the core friendships are so strong and supportive that it is heartwarming. Oseman deals with the confusion of teenagers exploring their sexuality with great sensitivity and care and I am sure many teens and even older men and women would have wished for a book like this when they were growing up.

Absolutely brilliant, and I loved the netflix series. It is definitely a warm hug and I hope it opens the eyes of those who are institutionally prejudiced to the new world where love can be found by everyone, no matter there persuasion or gender. As Nick says, just because Charlie is gay, doesn’t mean he or any gay person should have to deal with all the crap of other people’s opinions. Treating each other with kindness is not so difficult, it is so sad that human nature prefers to be mean.

About the author:

Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She completed a degree in English at Durham University in 2016 and is currently a full-time writer and illustrator. Alice can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job.

Alice’s first book, SOLITAIRE, was published when she was nineteen. Her second, RADIO SILENCE, was released in early 2016, and her third, I WAS BORN FOR THIS, in 2018. She is also the creator of online webcomic HEARTSTOPPER, which is to be published in 2019.

Purchase via Amazon

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook | Paperback | Hardcover

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