Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more...?
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. 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.
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...
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 Books, 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.
Alongside writing and drawing, Alice enjoys playing the piano semi-proficiently, Pokémon games, and purchasing too many Converse.
Heartstopper started as a tiny passion project and now it's a whole book. WHAT. Nick and Charlie have been close to my heart ever since I wrote them into my first book SOLITAIRE in 2012, and I'm so, SO happy to be telling their story while also doing the thing I always said I wanted to do when I grew up - make comics.
I really enjoyed the Netflix adaptation but don’t think I’m the target demographic for these graphic novels. Reading the comics makes it a little too obvious this was written by someone who isn't a man, which is personally distracting to me, whereas the adaptation helped bring the characters to life with queer boys playing the roles. The comics aren’t for me, but I’m glad it’s led to more opportunities within mainstream media.
“You can't tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren't the only two options”.
¿Podemos hablar de que esta es la novela gráfica que ha surgido sobre la faz de la Tierra? Es absolutamente preciosa, pura y real.
En Heartstopper nos encontramos con Nick y Charlie, dos chicos británicos que van al mismo colegio y que, a pesar de que se conocen, nunca han hablado mucho. Sin embargo, en un momento algo cambia y se empiezan a volver los mejores amigos... y quizá algo más. Pero, para que algo suceda, uno tiene que dejar atrás cierta relación tormentosa y otro debe entender qué son las cosas que está sintiendo.
De verdad, creo que no me voy a cansar de decir lo linda y sencilla que es esta historia. Son dos chicos que se conocen, se hacen amigos y, poco a poco, se enamoran. No hay dramas enrevesados ni tramas complicadas, son sólo ellos dos tratando de entender qué sienten por el otro y por qué aman tanto el tiempo que pasan juntos.
Alice Osman logró plasmar en estas páginas una historia inolvidable y que nos deja queriendo muchísimo más.
Re-read 8/20/19: I still love this SO! DANG! MUCH! Charlie and Nick are too pure and my heart is positively soaring. ALSO: This (as well as Volume 2!) are the Sassy Book Club picks for the month of August! The live-show will be on Friday, August 30th at 7pm PST on Kassie's channel. We hope to see you there!
Original read 11/23/19: Uhm hello this is MY FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL EVER. I have never swooned so hard in my life omg
April 15th 2023: Reread with my boyfriend and was the most heartwarming reread ever for me to read one of my favs with someone I love so much!
April 23rd 2022: Reread before I watch the adaptation. Still love it just as much as before. This series just radiates happiness and I love it!
April 17th 2020: Reread and once again 5 stars! Loved it so much the second time around! I also read this during the Stay Home Reading Rush and talked about it in a vlog on my YouTube channel, you can watch the video here for more of my thoughts: https://youtu.be/JC-O73cVhfI
Ha sido recibirlo y leerlo. Me habían dicho lo rápido que se leía esta historia, pero no me lo he creído al cien por cien hasta que lo he hecho. Te introduce de manera brutal en la atmósfera, en la vida de los personajes, y eres incapaz de soltarlo hasta que lo terminas.
La historia de Charlie y Nick me ha llegado el corazoncito. No solo por lo que pasan ellos, sino por algunas de las subtramas. En todas ellas me he podido sentir identificado, en mayor o menor medida, pero algo se removía en mi interior.
Se tratan temas como la homofobia, los prejuicios... Y aunque no se ahonde en ello, no es necesario porque se entiende con los sentimientos de los personajes, muy bien reflejados a través de las páginas. Además, el ritmo me ha parecido el correcto, y de hecho, muchísimo más acertado que en otras historias similares. El amor se va produciendo poco a poco, en aumento, y eso es lo que hace bonita y diferente a esta historia.
El dibujo acompaña increíblemente a la historia: es tierno, dulce, sencillo pero con detalles. Así podría resumir la lectura de este fenómeno literario. Aunque, he de decir, Dos chicos juntos se me ha hecho bastante breve. ¡Necesito más! Espero que la editorial no tarde demasiado en traer la continuación y la tercera parte, porque ahora Nick y Charlie son mis hijos y necesito cuidarlos.
I picked up this series to read only because Alice Oseman wrote it. I was skeptical about her work when I picked up her book Radio Silence to read some time ago. But I loved reading it. So I had high expectations about this series and wasn't disappointed.
I appreciate the courage and effort shown by the author in writing this book. Not many authors show the courage to do what she did after publishing two successful novels. She took it as a challenge and enjoyed writing and illustrating Heartstopper. It started as a webcomic, which she later published in four volumes and now has a Netflix adaptation. The fifth and final volume will be published soon. I have to admit that this concept was great and executed in one of the best ways possible.
She brilliantly connects the characters from Solitaire into Heartstopper. We can enjoy this book as a standalone series even if we haven't read Solitaire.
Heartstopper is not just another YA romance. What makes it different from other YA romance books? The author brilliantly uses this opportunity to discuss so many vital topics through this series. Teenage is the age that is considered the most difficult to deal with in a human being's life. It is the age where we will have a lot of physiological and psychological stress. It is challenging to educate a teenager regarding crucial topics. The author uses this golden opportunity to garner the attention of teenagers using a great story, and then she discusses these vital topics in the simplest way possible. She tries to discuss some vital topics like the queer romance, LGBTQIA+ life and their struggles, bullying, anorexia nervosa, OCD, and self-harm. I have seen many young adults committing suicide due to the lack of awareness of these topics. I wish this Heartstopper series had been published at least ten years before, which could have helped to save many of these lives.
My favorite three lines from this book.
“It is very rude to speculate about people’s sexuality”
“Excuse me- where is your ‘can do’ attitude?”
“You know you say sorry a lot.”
This series will entertain you and educate you in a subtle yet very effective manner. The illustrations by the author are all excellent. This is a series that people from all age groups should never miss.
Was this absolutely adorable? YES. Do I need to immediately read them all? Also yes. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is such a sweet and lovely graphic novel of two boys on the cusp of romance that will certainly give you all the feels and feel relatable for anyone who has ever loved. Seriously, reading this I was suddenly 16 again going through the bittersweet maelstrom of emotions of a first big crush and all the swirling feelings of euphoria and anxiety that come with it. This book is absolutely perfect, well aside from only being the first part of a larger series but still. Oseman perfectly captures chaotic, romantic emotion in such simple yet effective artistic storytelling that gave me chills and had me devouring the whole graphic novel in a single, blissful sitting.
This book covers a lot of ground in this romantic set-up for the series. Charlie is a skinny runner who had been outed as gay and bullied for it in the past. Nick is a tough yet kind rugby player a year older than Charlie. When they are sat next to each other in home room, they quickly become friends and are enthralled yet sometimes confused about their emotions for each other. We have Charlie leaving behind an abusive relationship (TW: sexual assault occurs in this book) and Nick staying up all night Googling to come to terms with his feelings. Is he straight, is he gay, is there space for both? This portion really hit me and is a major reason why I love to celebrate books like this. I wish this existed when I was 16 and confused and needed reassurance that this was okay and normal instead of hiding it and internalizing a lot of shame. I wanted to be the cool queer elder and hug Nick and be like “it’s cool buddy, and there are many of us.”
The late night technology scenes are some of the best aspects of the book. Oseman is great at showing the trepidation on sending a text that reveals your feelings and we watch the characters write something, erase and try again over and over (before, say, ultimately sending a heart emoji because this book does an excellent job and drawing out the will-they-won’t-they in a realistic fashion that keeps the romantic tension high and the reader flipping pages). Something else I found really effective is the way large conversations are depicted with a quick facial sketch of the speaker at the end of their speech bubble. It allows Oseman to put a lot of dialogue into a single frame and sort of recreates the way individual speakers are shown in, say, a group text. So much of modern romance blossoms in digital landscapes and Oseman does well by capturing this.
The art is lovely too. It is fairly simple yet manages to convey a lot of action and emotion. There are multiple small frames of each page and Oseman uses the white space as well as frame size and things like leaves in the margins to convey passage of time, anxieties, action and current emotions in a really productive way. This is a work of art where all the individual aspects come together to create a feeling in unique and creative ways.
Pick this up, seriously. Once you start reading you will suddenly find yourself at the end eager for more. This is a lovely and heartfelt story that feels so true and I’m so glad stories like this exist in the world today. I saw myself in both of these characters and it meant a lot to me. Thank you, Oseman.
re read: no thoughts, just tears and nick and charlie <3
I read volume one last night and I end up crying like a baby, you know? Someone recommended me this graphic novel and I was like "yeah, let's give it a try", and it was the best decision that I've done this year.
I actually don't know how to explain this, but I loved it. I wish I could've read this one before. I really needed something like this.
Anyways, I'm going to read the next volume because, wHAT WAS THAT ENDING??????