Content/Trigger Warnings: Bullying, homophobia, sexuality struggles, anxiety
🌻 Heartstopper Vol. One (Heartstopper #1) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Last time on Heartstopper Vol. One… Charlie makes friends with Nick! And that friendship soon blossoms into a crush or possibly even bigger than just a mere crush. Now Nick knows Charlie is gay and Charlie is pretty sure Nick isn’t. But things soon get shaken up at a party both, Charlie and Nick, attended. Love works in mysterious ways and this is their story to tell!
Love works in surprising ways, mysterious ways, but after things seem to go down a strangely different path… Charlie thinks he blew it. Nick is soon swept into a storm of discovering things about his family, his friends, and even a few things he never knew about himself… until now. In a new bind up of the life of Charlie and Nick, we’ll encompass even more parts of Charlie’s and Nick’s life that Heartstopper Vol. One cut too short!
“I don’t want to lose you because I did something stupid.”
Chapterlings, I loved this book! When I read the first volume, I was an emotional mess and granted, I could have cleaned that review up, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. If I ever do a reread, I might post a review in further detail on here, but oh my heart ached just as bad in this volume and as it did the first. I’m emotional, in love, and completely soft about this whole graphic novel. Everyone needs to pick up this series because Charlie and Nick are too precious and their story deserves to be read!
If you haven’t read Hearstopper at this point, this whole graphic novel series is based off of the life of our main characters, Charlie and Nick. We follow how they become friends, navigate life, meet their friends, and learn how they come together. Along their journey you’ll read about the homophobia Charlie deals with every day, you’ll see how their mental health is affected by those around them, and even get into some detail of toxic and abusive relationships. But it’s not just those dark moments, there’s also many moments of love, light, and laughter. The innocence of one’s crush, the adoration of all the doggy photos and kisses, and moments that are almost too cute to process. It’s a insanely cute graphic novel series that offers so much from two very different main characters. It’s a series that will make any heart melt and have readers ‘awing’ over!
Volume Two is back with all the cuteness that we loved from Volume One if not more! Officially, Charlie and Nick are in love and it’s so stinking cute that my heart is going to burst from all the adorable moments that are about to unfold. However, things are never quite that simple. Nick has a few things he needs to work out with himself and along the way he’ll soon become more aware of the challenges Charlie has been facing every since he came out as gay. Not to mention, they have to come to terms with how, when, and who they want to come out to – if that even means at all. It’s going to be a struggle for the two of them, but just like the first one, they’ll figure everything out in the end!
Unlike the first volume where we were watching Charlie develop feelings for Nick, this time the roles are a bit reversed. I loved it and I still love it! Instead of us learning about Nick’s crush on Charlie, we watch Nick discovering his sexuality. And boy did this hit me like a ton of bricks. Being bisexual myself, I felt for Nick immensely. Even more so during one particular part in this comic more than anything. There’s a moment where Nick, Tara, and Tara’s girlfriend, Darcy are all talking and that whole entire scene, the whole conversation, it threw me for a loop. Just that part alone was just so much in one section and I all I could think was, “This. This is it. This is exactly what it felt like every day until you came out as bisexual.” Reading that section got me so emotional and just impacted my heart with waves of reminders, love, and a fierce fire of pride for my sexuality. Alice Oseman has a way of hitting you in all the soft parts of your heart and memory where you can’t help appreciating her work, but also getting really emotional about everything.
I will say this, that one scene where Nick finally loses his composure… that added five years onto my life. While I don’t fully approve of violence unless it’s absolutely necessary, I have been hoping someone would slap or punch Harry. I feel like Harry’s character has potential for redemption, but at this time, I still very much dislike Harry and having everything play out the way it did… I loved it. I loved the way Nick challenged his friends and I like how everything felt like a natural reaction for that moment in time. In retrospect to Harry, I actually have an appreciation for Tao. Now before you come at me, I don’t approve of a lot of the things Tao said to Charlie when it come to Nick. However, I definitely appreciate Tao’s side of things and where he was coming from. I think in his own way, Tao was trying to be a good friend and was coming from of a genuine place of love and concern for Charlie. And I loved that we got to see a bit more of Tao, his friendship with Charlie, and why he feels so strongly the way he does. I really loved that even though these two scenes felt a little cringe-worthy just based off of the conversations, everything felt natural and realistic in both of these moments. Both situations felt like they were being challenged and I loved that those situations were handled in Nick and Charlie’s own way.
“I wanna kiss you so bad right now”
I think the best thing to take away from this graphic novel series isn’t just the cute scenes or how hard topics are handled, but the way these characters communicate with one another. I find really good communications among characters has always been a weak spot of mine and it’s one of the many things that will keep me invested in the story-line. Granted, there are some misunderstandings between some of the characters, but the fact that the flaws are added in makes all the characters all that more human. I really love how Oseman add this small little bit, but it’s perfection and it’s these little bits that make a story marvelous.
Overall, I have never had any complaints with this graphic novel series! My only complaint would be that everything has ended far too soon and I need more now! But seriously, if you haven’t picked up this series, then what are you doing?! It’s so precious and I think many readers will feel connected to Charlie and Nick. Plus, there’s cute doggy moments and we all need more cute dog scenes! And I think we can all agree, we need more books with a little more love and cute moments to spread around!