We read Heartstopper: Volume Two for our August LGBTQ+ Book Club read and I absolutely adored it! I’ve not actually written my own review of either volume and I figured I should because I will shout from the rooftops about how pure and cute and wholesome they are!
Heartstopper follows Charlie and Nick as they become friends and develop a crush on each other. Charlie is openly gay whereas Nick hasn’t questioned his sexuality until he develops a crush on Charlie. They aren’t long and not loads happens – I don’t mean this negatively at all. I feel like the whole point of the story is to watch these boys develop their friendship and then their relationship and it’s so, so lovely. It’s some positive queer representation aimed at young teenagers with adorable illustrations and I couldn’t stop smiling whilst reading it.
The first volume mainly focuses on Charlie and Nick meeting and hanging out as friends. It’s just so pure and full of positivity. After they’re sat next to each other in a class, they start to interact more and more, becoming closer over the weeks. They have super different friendship groups so rarely hang out with each other’s friends. We see more of that in the second volume – Charlie has such wonderful friends but most of the boys Nick hangs out with are not good people.
Slowly they get closer and Nick questions his sexuality, something he hasn’t done before. Charlie is openly gay and is very clearly infatuated with Nick. It’s so adorable when they both realise they like each other. I feel like everyone around them knows before they do, especially Charlie’s best friend Tao (a brilliant character) and Nick’s mum. I have a real soft spot for Tao because of how initially against it he is. He’s convinced that Nick is stringing Charlie along and in Volume two he admits to Charlie that he’s just worried he will get hurt. He’s a tough nut with a very soft centre and such a great friend!
I also love the character of Tara. She’s introduced to us as a girl that Nick used to have a crush on when he was about 12/13 or something. His friends still tease him about it and Charlie is convinced Nick still has a crush on her. It’s been years though and was clearly just a little high school crush he got over. We find out that Tara is a lesbian and has a girlfriend, Darcy. They aren’t in the books much yet but they’re adorable characters both as a couple and as individuals. The end of Volume two also has some super cute content of them!
Honestly, I love how warm and soft the story is. It’s like cuddling up with a blanket in the winter. There are still some emotional bits like Nick coming out and figuring himself out, Charlie’s awful ‘relationship’ with Ben and Nick’s friends bullying others. But overall, it makes me smile so much because there is such positivity and heart shining through the pages.
Have you read Heartstopper? Which characters do you like best?