The One With The Cutest Blossoming Romance: ‘Heartstopper’ by Alice Oseman | Book Review

I have a confession to make: I read this book at the end of November so technically this isn’t supposed to be on my December TBR. However, I did re-read this book again and by that time it was the 1st of December — so technically, I still did read this in December.

As you could probably tell, I really (really!) enjoyed this book.

Heartstopper: Volume One

by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)

Edition: Paperback, edition, 278 pages

Publication Date: October 2018 by Selfpublished (first published September 2016)

Original Title Heartstopper: Volume One

ISBN: 152722533X (ISBN13: 9781527225336)

Goodreads synopsis:

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… 

‘Heartstopper’ is a graphic novel that follows Charlie, the only openly gay kid in his school, and his newly blossoming friendship (and feelings!) with the popular kid in school, Nick. The story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations that truly enhance the reading experience and bring this story to life.

If you saw my December TBR you would realise that all my books were romance reads. Lately, my reading hasn’t been giving me the amount of romance and cheesiness that I have been craving. As a result, I was determined to fill my December TBR list with nothing but cosiness and fluff.

And this book gave me exactly that.

Let’s talk about the romance (or the blossoming romance so far). Sure it isn’t anything revolutionary or new, but it is building up in a way that doesn’t make reading the predictable tropes boring. As this is the first volume in the series, we have not reached the climax of the romance so there really isn’t much that I can say about it. However, what I will say is that I am looking forward to seeing their relationship develop.

Now onto the characters. Our main characters are Nick and Charlie. They both seem like polar opposites, with different personalities and fall under different levels on the school’s “hierarchy”. Nick seems to be an all-rounded popular kid, playing on the football team, big group of friends etc. Meanwhile, Charlie prefers to keep to himself and regularly hangs out with his own group of friends. I’m excited to see these characters develop further and learn more about them as the story progresses. We are also introduced to a few secondary characters throughout the book that I hope will make more consistent appearances in the future volumes.

I want to also shine a light on the great portrayal of figuring out your own sexual identity, and the different feelings that comes with that. In this book, Charlie identifies as gay. His family knows, his friends know, and his school knows. On the other hand, Nick seems to be going through a journey of trying to figure out who he is, which is seen towards the end of the book. I like that when Nick first comes to realise that he has questions about his own sexuality, his first response isn’t of anger or disgust, but instead he begins asking questions and seeking answers with an open mind. I think this is a great example of what it means to invite questions about yourself and your sexuality in a positive way.

I am the kind of reader who doesn’t need to feel connected to the characters of a story in order to like a book. Even if I don’t necessarily relate to the characters here, I can still appreciate the book for what it is and the message it is trying to send.

I am so excited to see where this story goes, and I am eagerly awaiting to get my hands on the next volume!

4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Do you read Young Adult Thrillers/Mysteries? Any recommendations? 

Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “The One With The Cutest Blossoming Romance: ‘Heartstopper’ by Alice Oseman | Book Review”

  1. I like what you said about the romance, its not really trying to do anything new, but the way it develops leaves you wondering where their relationship is gonna go. That’s exactly how I felt when I started Heartstopper. Wonderful review Alyssa! 😍


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