“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.”
― Alice Oseman, Heartstopper: Volume One
It’s been a long time since a book has hit me hard in the feelings, leaving me gasping for air. Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper: Volume One left me wrecked and immediately grabbing for the other published volumes. Oseman has written an incredibly cute story that deals with heavy topics respectfully while being simultaneously gorgeously written and drawn. The romance is a slow burn, but so relatable. This LGBTQ+ series is a must read as it represents people of all genders and sexualities in an adorable, wholesome, and sweet way, while still presenting tough issues that teens and adults go through on a daily basis. If I could make this required reading, I would!
Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. He is a highly-strung overthinker who was accidentally outed as gay last year. Last year was incredibly hard for him, but thank goodness for the older boys who stepped in and stopped the worst of the bullying. People still say unkind things to him, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was the year before.
Nick Nelson is in Year 11 at the same school. He is a soft-hearted rugby lad, not afraid to fight for the underdog, while simultaneously being cheerful and affable. He doesn’t know Charlie very well, except as the kid who was outed last year and was bullied for a couple months. They haven’t even talked to each other.
When a chance meeting pushes the two boys together, Nick and Charlie quickly become friends. They discover things that they have in common, even more compounded when Charlie joins the school rugby team on Nick’s behest. It doesn’t take long for Charlie to start falling for Nick. Charlie thinks he doesn’t have a chance since Nick is straight and he’s heard rumors of a girl he has a crush on. As time goes on, love works its magic on the boys, showing them that good things come to those who wait.
So far, there are four published volumes in the Heartstopper series with the fifth volume set to be published in November 2023 and a sixth volume is in the works as announced by the author.
Want to talk about Heartstopper: Volume One with others? Join See YA! See YA is our adult book club with a teen book twist. See why so many teen books are being turned into movies and are taking over the best seller lists. Registration is not required. Books are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Eastern Avenue library. We meet the first Wednesday of the month at Eastern at 6:30pm. Our next four months of books are listed below:
August 2nd – Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
September 6th – How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Gilliland Vasquez
October 4th – Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
November 1st – Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley