Review: Heartstopper: Vol. 1

Title: Heartstopper: Vol. 1
Author: Alice Oseman
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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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…

Review:

Charlie is an openly gay student at an all-boys school. He has a secret relationship with another boy at school, who is not openly gay. When the new school year begins, Charlie meets Nick, a boy who’s a year older than him. Charlie and Nick get closer and closer, with Charlie developing feelings for him. Charlie worries that he has a crush on a straight boy, but is Nick really straight?

This was such a sweet love story. There weren’t a lot of words on the pages, which let the actions speak for themselves. Their body language was shown in the illustrations, which told most of the story. My only critique of the illustrations is that Ben, the boy Charlie was with at the beginning of the story, and Nick looked alike. They were both tall, with blonde hair and a similar body structure. This shows that Charlie has a type, but it made it a little confusing to tell them apart at the beginning of the story.

There were scenes of bullying and a sexual assault. Charlie was bullied for being openly gay. He was even bullied by Ben, the boy he kissed at the beginning. For some reason, since Charlie was open with his sexuality, the other students thought they could treat him any way they wanted. These were disturbing and upsetting scenes, but they told an honest side to Charlie’s story.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! I’m excited to read the next one.

What to read next:

Heartstopper: Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks (illustrator)

Other books in the series:

  • Heartstopper: Vol. 2
  • Heartstopper: Vol. 3

Have you read Heartstopper: Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

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