Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of Heartstopper: Volume Two. You can find my review of the first book, Heartstopper: Volume One, here.
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.
By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, 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.
Continuing on from where Volume One leaves off, Heartstopper Volume Two picks up after a kiss shared between Nick and Charlie at a party. Nick immediately runs away, and Charlie is sure things have been ruined between them.
Unknown to Charlie, Nick has been debating who he is and how he feels, inspired largely by the way Charlie makes him feel. We see him going back and forth in his own space, trying to work out how he feels about him, and about himself. It’s an endearing, relatable storyline that I found myself relating to greatly looking back on my teen years, especially when he starts talking to Charlie, saying he doesn’t know ‘what’ he is (as in, what his sexuality would clarify as).
What’s lovely about this is the way Charlie supports him. He immediately tells him that it’s okay not to know, that he cares about him regardless, that he will support him every step of the way, and that there is no pressure on him to ‘come out’ until he is ready. It’s the way we all hope we would be supported, whatever we were questioning in ourselves, and certainly the way I would hope I would support anyone should they need it too. For young adult readers especially, it’s the model we need to be setting.
The story, of course, isn’t all plain sailing, but what shines through is their dedication to one another, and I truly look forward to reading Volume Three.
Once again, the elegant and sweet style of the illustrations sets off the text in a wonderful way. Between the boys themselves and other characters, set off with things such as online searches and text messages, it makes for a book to get lost in and enjoy in one sitting.
There are moments such as at a bowling alley and at a beach that are really shown in what is a balance between simple and detail which put a big smile on my face. Watching Nick’s dog splash through the water in black and white detail that is so clear, you can almost hear the sounds of the beach all around you.
Thanks for stopping by for this graphic novel review. I’m planning on reading Volume Three sometime this month, so I’ll be back with more Heartstopper talk soon!