Author: Alice Oseman
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…
Heartstopper is a graphic novel completely designed and written by author Alice Oseman. Alice has gained quite a lot of attention over the last couple of years but I haven’t read any of her books since I read Solitaire just after it was released. I hadn’t realised prior to reading it but Heartstopper is the story of Charlie and Nick who we meet in Solitaire.
Of course, it’s been a fair few years since I read it and I’ve read quite a lot of books in between but I like that Alice has done a prequel to Solitaire and given us the back story of these characters. I particularly like that she has done it such a visual way.
So without further ado, here are my 5 reasons to read Heartstopper…
1. The Art Style – The art throughout this graphic novel is simple but effective. All of the art is done using monotone colours but I don’t think that hindered the story at all. I think that the monotone colours helped to focus on the plot of the graphic novel more.
2. The Story – The plot was super cute. It was easy to follow and flowed really nicely from page to page. It mostly follows Charlie and Nick at school but it does stray away to over the holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Charlie and Nick and following this plot into the next volume that is coming out in July.
3. The Characters – Both Charlie and Nick were likeable characters. I liked that Alice was able to really show their personalities and that for example, even though Nick is a rugby player and so are his friends, they didn’t adhere to the stereotypical image of rugby players.
4. The LGBTQ+ rep – Heartstopper tackles quite a few issues throughout and has good representation. One of the issues that it dealt with was bullying and how this affected Charlie. It also dealt with unwanted attention from another character and characters hiding their sexuality. Heartstopper also dealt with Nick trying to work his way through his feelings and his sexuality.
5. The Pace – The pace of Heartstopper is very fast which means that you fly through it but it’s quite memorable. It read so quickly that my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough!
Bonus reason: Alice is currently putting out the comic on Tumblr too, so even after you finish it, you can carry on with Charlie and Nick’s story by reading the tumblr page.
I hope that if you were debating reading this, the above reasons have helped you to decide to read it. I personally enjoyed this graphic novel quite a bit and thought that the plot and art style was quite refreshing.