I picked up the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman as my reading choice for the Pride month. Though I ALWAYS read the book before watching them on TV/movies, this was an exception. I watched the series first (I know blasphemous!) and absolutely loved it! Heartstopper: Volume 1 is part of 4 book series of graphic novels.
This classic friends-to-lovers series revolves around two boys, Charlie and Nick. Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. He is openly gay, having come out to everyone the past year. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. Even though he has heard of Charlie, he is not friends with him. Things change pretty soon as they quickly become friends. Charlie develops a huge crush on Nick, knowing he doesn’t stand a chance because Nick is straight.
This is an adorable fluffy romance. The characters are absolutely cute and lovable. Their internal struggles and the pressure to conform to societal rules are well depicted.
Even though, as a reader, one knows the lead pair will be romantically paired, the romance takes time to build, and thus feels more endearing and genuine. It was lovely witnessing the friendship blossom to love. It doesn’t feel forced at any point.
Oseman has handled the sexuality, confusion, and fears of the characters sensitively. She highlights the oppression faced by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, but does not narrate the story from the viewpoint of oppression. Rather, the entire story has a very positive and encouraging feel.
Volume 1 ended at a cliff-hanger (which felt more like a chapter break because of this being a graphic novel), and now I am on my way to grab Volume 2. I can’t wait to see Nick and Charlie’s romance progressing to the next level!
The author has illustrated the book as well, and I have to say, the illustrations are TOO GOOD! It has an old-world charm to it. I loved the manner in which the pictures depict much more than words ever can…
Heartstopper: Volume 1 is a quick and enjoyable coming-of-age story. I absolutely recommend this wholesome romance to all readers above 13. It has the awkwardness of first love, the warmth of comfort, no melodrama, and is not risqué at all!
Trigger warnings—bullying, homophobia, sexual assault.
Wordsopedia Rating 5/5
|Title: Heartstopper: Volume One
|Author: Alice Oseman
|Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
|Publication date: February 7th, 2019
|Genre: Fiction—Graphic Novel
|No. of Pages: 288
Buy your copy here on Amazon
About the author
Alice Oseman is an award-winning author, illustrator, and screenwriter, and was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She has written four YA contemporary novels about teenage disasters: Solitaire, Radio Silence, I Was Born for This, and Loveless. She is the creator of LGBTQ+ YA romance webcomic Heartstopper, which is now published in physical form by Hachette Children’s Group, and she is the writer, creator, and executive producer for the television adaptation of Heartstopper, which is set to be released on Netflix.
Alice’s first novel, Solitaire, was published when she was nineteen. Her YA novels have been nominated for the YA Book Prize, the Inky Awards, the Carnegie Medal, and the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Get in touch with the author on her website.