All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman

on November 28, 2019

Heartstopper Volume #2
Alice Oseman
Hodder Children’s Books
2019, 296p
Read from my local library

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon.

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.

Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

This is the second volume of Heartstopper, with more to come. Volume two collects all of chapter three from the ongoing web series.

Recently I read the first volume of this and thought it was one of the cutest things ever. I had read it for a challenge I was participating in but I’d requested both of the volumes together from my local library. This one was either still on order or was checked out and I was 2nd or 3rd in line, I can’t remember which. However it only became available for me last week but I couldn’t wait to get to it after reading the first volume.

Charlie is one of, if not the only openly gay teen at his school. He was outed before the volumes begin and faced quite a bit of backlash for it. It’s mostly died down now though and he is pretty much left alone by the student body. His school changed their homeroom-type class which put him with Nick, a year above him. They became firm friends with Charlie trying to avoid falling for ‘the straight guy’. He failed though and volume one ended with the two of them sharing a kiss and then Charlie bolting, afraid he’d ruined their friendship.

This book is more so about Nick trying to figure himself out. He’s always thought he was straight but the more time he spent with Charlie, the more he admired him for handling being outed and what came of it. He is also quite protective of him and has intervened with people giving Charlie a hard time. Nick slowly came to realise that he might not be exactly straight and now he’s still trying to figure out what he is. He knows that he likes Charlie but he isn’t sure he’s ready to out himself yet and he just needs a bit of time to figure out who he is and how these new feelings fit in.

Despite the fact that Nick isn’t ready to tell people about what is going on between them yet, that he’s attracted to Charlie and wants to explore that, be with him, it’s not like how it was in the first book with Charlie and the boy that hooked up with him in secret. Nick isn’t ashamed or reluctant, he’s just figuring out his feelings and he and Charlie speak openly and honestly about how they are feeling, what they are feeling, what they need etc. Charlie has no issue with keeping things quiet for Nick to recalibrate his sexual orientation. I really appreciated seeing them have such open and honest communication, even after things kinda go a bit wrong. They can’t stay away from each other for long!

I’m amazed with how much gets conveyed here in the format. I don’t read a lot of (ie any) graphic novels and these have such sweet drawings that successfully showcase quite a lot of words and feelings. There’s a lot of kissing, Charlie and Nick establishing some new friendships and Nick realising just what Charlie would have experienced when everyone found out that he was gay. I think for Nick, he gets a bit of a wake up call as to how horrible his friends can be, which was perhaps a good thing to learn so that he can be ready for dealing with it when he decides to go public with his and Charlie’s relationship. Nick is a strong character, he’s just confused and there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to sort through your feelings and be sure of them, feel comfortable, before you involve other people.

I enjoyed this just as much as book one and now I can’t wait for book three. Unfortunately that’s a much longer wait as it doesn’t come out until February of 2020 and then I need to make sure my library gets it in and that I’m high up in the queue!

8/10

Book #199 of 2019


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