High school friendships that have potentials for romance never progress in a straight, linear fashion — they’re full of twists and turns, uncertainty and exciting moments of connections. Alice Oseman captures this so well in her delightful graphic novel series
Heartstopper series (vol. 1, 2 & 3)
by Alice Oseman
Graphix / Scholastic, 2020
Amazon / your local library / OverDrive
ages 12 – 16
Charlie and Nick first meet when Charlie joins his school’s rugby team — even though his skinny and not the typical rugby lad, the team notices how fast he is running on the track team. Charlie’s suffered intense bullying at his boy’s school when he came out his first year. As the novel opens, Charlie is struggling in a relationship with an older boy who’s just using him.
Nick and Charlie both start wondering if their feelings for each other might be more romantic, but neither is sure how to handle this. Charlie worries that he is just developing an unrequited crush, and will end up with the inevitable heartache of falling for a straight boy. Nick, on the other hand, is confused about what his feelings mean and how he identifies.
|Heartstopper interior, by Alice Osman|
I especially appreciate how Alice Oseman captures Charlie & Nick’s growing friendship and their tentative exploration of their feelings for one another. The pacing is masterful — as soon as I finished the first volume, I wanted to immediately read the sequel. I also appreciate how the images convey so much emotion, leaving the text spare and only focusing on the conversation. This helps me connect to the characters and hear the story in my head.
|scene from Heartstopper, vol 2|
Exciting news: Netflix is producing a live-action, half-hour series of Heartstopper, expected to be released sometime in 2022, although no official release dates have been announced. Read more about the cast and progress on Netflix Series ‘Heartstopper’: What We Know So Far.