Heartstopper is the sweetest graphic novel series celebrating happiness and love between two British boys. If you don’t know the story of Nick and Charlie…well I am quite shocked since they are beloved by essentially everyone in the book community at this point. But in case you really don’t know…
Heartstopper is a sweet contemporary romance YA graphic that follows the story of Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson who attend the same high school and the same class. Charlie falls for Nick but is unsure of himself because he believes that Nick is heterosexual. Through a series of events, Nick discovers his sexuality and reveals that he too has feelings for Charlie. This five volume story explores their relationship, coming out, and dealing with mental illness.
Full of cute and heartbreaking moments, Heartstopper is a must have in your library. Not only does it have great protagonists but the secondary characters are all just as fleshed out and loveable as our leading boys.
If you ever need a book celebrating happy queer love, this one is the one for you.
Now I will be discussing Volume 4 so SPOILERS.
In this volume of Heartstopper, we get to explore mental illness. Charlie suffers from an eating disorder and with the encouragement of Nick is able to finally admit he needs help to his parents. What I adored about this particular volume is that it highlighted that as an individual who is in a relationship with someone with a mental illness it is not your job to fix them. Time and time again Nick is reminded that he couldn’t ‘fix’ Charlie, especially since a mental illness isn’t something that is just fixed. It reminds us that the best we can do is be support and give them a safe space to be comforted when it gets difficult.
Alice Oseman did a fantastic job not making Nick Charlie’s saviour and addressing the realities that come with loving someone with a mental illness. Charlie’s eating disorder is never glorified but he also was never seen as an unlovable monster.
Nick and Charlie’s relationship is one of the healthiest relationships in YA media. I can’t wait for the Netflix series to depict this on the TV screen!
Overall, I adored volume 4, and I am so sad that there is only one more volume to go before their story comes to an end.
Thank you so much Hachette Australia for a copy of this book! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publication Date: 11 May 2021
RRP: $22.99 AUD
Personal Rating: 5/5