Reading Heartstopper For The First Time

things i enjoyed…

the art

With art in graphic novels, you can be all about looks. You should judge with your eyes. Now I think the merit of art in graphic novels needs three things, (1) to be visually appealing, (2) to have distinctive art and (3) to match the theme/energy of the story. The Heartstopper novels did all three for me. *pats it on the back*

Being a school set, coming-of-age story, I think the sketchy style was perfect. It just suits. It feels like opening a school book that has been doodled in about the joy of falling in love. All in a professional manner, I should mention. The comics are in greys, blacks and whites, which fed in the sketchbook effect. I LOVED how you could do bold lines with this art style. The bold lines were one of my favourite bits.

I also loved THE BOXES (idk, if it’s the same in the physical books). They were all different shapes and sizes. The boxes weren’t lined up, they had a perfectly haphazard set-up, and the speech bubbles (etc.) could jump out of the boxes. It felt more freeing, fun and *not to sound like the drama teacher with unique fashion sense* dynamic. Again this all added to 📣 feeling like a school sketchbook 📣.

One last thing about the art style…. the facial expressions were everything. I loved the way they were drawn and how many emotions they showed. It captured the moment of expression soooo incredibly well. Perfection. I mean, Charlie’s eyes were legit a highlight of this comic. *I’m not exaggerating*

the positivity and cuteness

This series is well known for its promises of cuteness and sweetness… and having now read the novels, I can officially say it more than earned that. It was cute.

It was this happy, emotional story of first loves, teenage years, kind characters and supportive relationships. IT WAS ALL CUTE and a genuinely healthy relationship (why is this so rare?)

the way emotions were shown

The entire graphic novel series was great as getting emotions off the page. I think this is a lot harder in graphic novels than your typical fiction novels, and the more GNs I’ve read, the more I’ve seen it is as a particular strength of Heartstopper. I could connect to the situations through the internal thoughts, art (!!) and open conversations. It created relatability in fun ways (e.g. thinking about your crush) and earnest ways (e.g. thinking about your crush. Yes, it played both sides). This was so important in making the readers bond to the series.

how it sends important lessons

This series tackled meaningful topics (e.g. homophobia, mental illnesses, eating disorders, self-identity etc.) throughout the volumes. It maintained the happy, light feel crucial to the story but handled these topics seriously and well.

These topics gave the readers important, healthy messages. Every message had a powerful punch even in limited page time, an impressive feat in itself. This is so important, especially for young audiences, as this behaviour should be seen and encouraged to the max. Plus, it makes it a safe space for the characters and readers, which is pretty magical on its own.

the humour

I think I really click with Oseman’s humour. It is gently sprinkled throughout… full of sweet, realistic or fun moments, whether a comment or reaction. It made the story more entertaining and memorable, so it was definitely a highlight of the series.


I loved Tori. She wasn’t the main character but Charlie’s sister, and I loved everything she did. Her scenes were always some of the best ones… great eyeliner, commentary, attitude and appearances. She was just *chef’s kiss*. I love the typically silent characters who drop the odd comment and steal the scene, aka Tori.

Overall, the Heartstopper novels were such a sweet read, and I really think it delivered on everything I expected it to… and a little more. There were some great moments, whether delightful or serious. I can see why it is loved. I don’t tend to pick up solely romance led stories, so I preferred delving into different plot topics with enjoyable romance moments in between. I am a fan of this graphic novel series, probably not the biggest fan, but a fan nonetheless. Did I say fan too much?

More Thoughts *because I never shut up*

⚠️WARNING: ⛔spoilers⛔ are pass this point

Heartstopper Volume 1 (Chapters 1 & 2)

Review: Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman – Literary ...

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. 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 Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

Heartstopper is about love, 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.


Hands up, this is a cliché romance story (which queer identities deserve). You know how it ends. You’ve probably experienced the journey in another form of media before. However, if it wasn’t the cliché story, would it really feel as good?

Volume 1 is purely Charlie and Nick meeting, getting to know each other and the whole *will they/won’t they* dance. I did expect the romance to move faster, but I’m glad I got to experience their (maybe a tad slow) journey. Add in fun friends, absent parents, emotional and meaningful side scenes… and you’ve got your YA romance. This is the blueprint, but it is the golden blueprint. The healthy relationship with sweet and funny moments. I am more than happy for everyone to frame it.


Charlie is a GREAT protagonist. Truly. He has a lot of heart, and endearing qualities that jumps off the page. You want to love him. He had well-timed humour and a fun relatability except for the running. Charlie, you were so relatable until you started exercising. Plus, he had a lot of struggles, so you root for him.

Nick’s mum. A literal darling, smiling with tea as she admires how Nick acts like himself around Charlie. Frankly, where is her spin-off?

How everyone notices Nick and Charlie’s feelings before Nick and Charlie themselves. You’ve got to love this trope.

The British school system. It is nice to be familiar with the setting.

“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options. Anyway, it’s very rude to speculate about people’s sexuality.”thank you, Miss Singh.

Nick ending Harry’s existence was high levels of ah-mazing. “You know what, Harry? F*** you. You’re a pathetic, homophobic, self-obsessed dick, and I really dislike you.”

Heartstopper Volume 2 (Chapter 3)

Heartstopper Volume Two - Alice Oseman

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 makeup 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.


The way Heartstopper volume 1 ended felt a bit too cliffhanger-y for my liking. A bit like a soap exit, but that’s just me being really picky. Anyway… Volume 2 is really the start of Nick and Charlie as a pair, finally.

It was great to see the relationship blossom. It was sweet, cute and all good things. *insert movie montage of the magic* Safe to say, well done. These two together was just *chef’s kiss*.

I liked how this volume could move slightly away from the “meet-cute” story. Nothing wrong with that, I might add. Nonetheless, I enjoyed seeing it grow into its own story and establishing its own feet. I needed this next chapter.


Tara and Darcy are so cuuttteeee!! They work great as side characters because they have just loud and vibrant personalities that jump off the page even in short amounts of time. Plus, relationship goals. So, spin-off?

I felt like we got to see more depth from Nick in this volume. He begins to come to terms with his bisexuality. I loved how it wasn’t treated as a turning point but more of one step on his journey, with each step rolling into the next. It was about growing at the speed most comfortable for the individual, in this case, Nick.

It was sooo wonderful to see how happy Nick and Charlie were together. Healthy queer relationships, without people being forced “out”, thank you.

Heartstopper Volume 3 (Chapter 4)

In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…

Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?


Full disclaimer: volume 3 is my favourite volume, and it will be shouted about, but I’ll try not to be bias.

Well, well, well… Look what we have here. The non-negotiable best in the series. The one with the school trip to Paris.

I liked how the volume provided more. More insight into the other characters, more relationship moments and more settings. It felt like more was happening, and the group dynamic was dominant in this volume (yay). To me, it was made for a extra gripping read.

Plus, we still got all those cute and serious moments that have now become “classic heartstopper”.


I would like to dedicate this to Aled because Aled is perfect. Anyway…. *speech*… “There’s this idea that if you’re not straight, you HAVE to tell your family and friends immediately, like you owe it to them. But, you don’t. You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready.” Thank you, Aled, for your existence, once again.

The teachers. What an unexpected joy. Three amazing reasons to love them… (1) they are the embodiment of sunshine & grumpy, (2) “why did I go into teaching”, and the main one, (3) “probably a bit late for me to have any youthful moments of discovery…. hm… I don’t think there’s an age limit on those, to be honest.”. New experiences and age are not co-dependent. 👏🏻

Tao and Elle. Tao is probably Charlie’s closest friend, and whilst he is presented as more imperfect than most of the cast, I love him. And Elle just brings out the best in him. Honestly, I am tempted to call them my favourite couple from the series. Once again, spin-off?

Charlie interacts with Harry again in this volume. I liked how it showed Harry realised the error of his ways, which is very important, but showed Charlie didn’t have to forgive him. It wasn’t owed or ‘the right thing to do’. I loved that…. ‘it’s not my job to give you a gold star’…. yes, thank you for saying that.

Heartstopper Volume 4 (Chapters 5 & 6)

Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.

Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.

As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means. Heartstopper is about love, 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.


Volume 4 was different. In truth, it felt less together than the previous ones. As in, it felt like three bits slotted together, and ta-da, it was finished. It definitely took a more serious turn as well, exploring Charlie’s mental health and Nick’s family more deeply.

Luckily, I actually really liked each of those three moments. Whilst the mental health journey felt a bit like a montage to fly through the time, there were so many GREAT words in it. I didn’t care if it felt more like an Instagram post (despite being the bulk of the volume) than a cohesive part of the story. I loved the words that much, as proven by the length of my highlights.


I enjoyed seeing Nick on a more personal level in this volume. Especially those scenes with his Mum. She is still an angel.

“You’re sixteen sweetheart, this is a lot to put on a sixteen-year-old’s shoulders. It’s okay to be scared….. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix it….. maybe you can’t, darling. And I know you feel like it’s your job to ‘save him’. I know it feels like you’re both each other’s whole world, but that dependency isn’t healthy for either of you. Charlie needs to seek help from someone who isn’t his sixteen-year-old boyfriend. He needs help from a doctor or a therapist- someone who knows eating disorders and how to treat them. Love can’t cure a mental illness.”

Sometimes people need more support than just one person can give. That’s love, darling.”

This speech touched on many important things, from co-dependency to not fixing people. This quote was perfect “love can’t cure a mental illness.” and I don’t see this talked about enough. SO good.

I like that we see Charlie address his mental health and seek ways to understand it and become healthier. It acknowledged the struggles in getting to the point to accept help and how it isn’t a linear journey which I LOVED.

[Charlie] “I just don’t see how I could ever get better.” [Nick] “You can! I promise you can, you just have to ask for help.”

“At first, I think there was a big part of me that didn’t even want to get better. That just wanted to keep pretending I was fine, so I didn’t have to put in the effort to change.”

“maybe I won’t be getting ‘back to normal’, whatever that is. I think that’s okay, though. It’s not going to be a straightforward journey.”

“But what I’ve realised through all of this is that we need other people too…. that doesn’t mean our relationship isn’t strong.”

We have caught up with the events in Solitaire now (the novel following Tori), so this was our first glimpse at Michael. I love him! Considering I love Tori and Michael a lot, you really would have thought I would have liked Solitaire a lot more than I did. But that’s a whole other story… literally.

One final highlight.. thank you, Tori, for protecting Nick and Charlie. *if you know, you know*

tv show news

Heartstopper vai ganhar série live action pela Netflix ...

When I started writing this post, the show has just been announced. It is probably coming out soon. why does it take me so long??

anyway, thoughts…

💕 They cut Aled. how rude. *I get it (radio silence), I just don’t support it*
💕 They seem to how expanded the cast with brand new characters. It appears like each character will get more “screen time” than in the novel. I love this idea as it provides more substance for the show. I’m excited to see them all, Nick and Charlie remaining the number one, of course.
💕The actress for Tori looks different than I expected, in demeanour more than anything, so I’m intrigued to see her brought alive on the screen
💕 Tao and Elle look like they should be on a magazine cover. The power.
💕 I seriously hope the show has an aesthetic, like euphoria. Hopefully, all pastel colours and sketchy (¯\_(ツ)_/¯), like the comics. If they could find some way to incorporate the actual art into the show, in a non-weird way, it would be amazing.
💕 I hope they don’t make it too similar to sex education though, in terms of energy. *I feel like I can hear the comparisons already, probably because I just made one*
💕 As always, I’m hoping for an amazing soundtrack
💕 It looks like Alice Oseman has been very hands-on with the show, so I have a lot of hope (like a lot)! Bring it on!

Have you read Heartstopper? What did you think to it? Who are your favourite characters? Do you have a favourite volume?

26 thoughts on “Reading Heartstopper For The First Time

  1. Ahh I agree with every single thing you’ve said here! This series gave me so much happiness while I read it, and yes, it IS cute. I also related to Charlie’s mental health problems, I’m so glad to see a book addressing that in a responsible way. I’m so excited for the show, I have a huge feeling I will love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh.. Yay!! Heartstopper is such a special kind of joy 💞 (and so cute)! I think the exploration of Charlie’s mental health was done really well and I think its comforting to read about for sure!
      I am definitely so excited to see the show too! It looks like it is going to be done so well, yay! Hope we both love it 💜
      Thank you soooo much for reading and your comment 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sophie!! it’s evident how much effort & energy you put into this post and it rly came through 🥺💖 heartstopper is one of my top fav comics, & seeing a friend read + share their thoughts on it was really golden. your commentary pretty much lined up w/my thoughts on the book.. especially w/that last volume, it deffo felt different from the others ( although not in a bad way.. just in a standalone sequel way yknow ? ) oseman’s humor shines in these books like you said w/ the cute media references & such… ahh i’m so glad you read this ! you’re the first person i know, therefore we can have ~allll the discussions. the pink & mint comic panels are gorg, and fit your theme so well <33 i'm looking forward to reading more of ur posts & being a lot more active here 🥰

    much love ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw.. thank you so much Vaishnavi 🥺🥰 that means a lot and it’s so sweet, thank you thank you 💕💕 I’m so glad you’ve read and loved Heartstopper too! it is a ✨stunning✨ comic!! yayyyy, I’m glad we share so many similar thoughts on it! yeah volume 4 was different… like you say not bad… standalone alone energy is actually a great way to put it!
      oseman’s humour is golden. and it feels so natural. nothing worse than forced humour in books. the pop references are fun and not too many so *chef’s kiss*!!
      ahh.. amazing!! I loved how many important topics the comics covered. I could easily have saved so many quotes. plus all the characters (including side characters) are so lovable! I could easily have many spin offs but Tao (and Elle) in particular. I can’t believe volume 5 is meant to be the last one 🥺
      thank youuuu sooo much 💞💚💞💚
      I loved reading your comment SO much and all your passion for these comics. love love love!! thank you again 💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AHHHH Sophie I absolutely LOVE the formatting of this post!!! It’s so stunning!!

    I read heartstopper a while ago on webtoon ANDD EEKK I ADORED IT WITH ALL MY HEART🥺 I don’t have a clue where I left off though, so I’m hoping to reread it this month!!

    And I’m so behind on the happenings of the tv show!! After reading your post I basically scrambled to read every article I could find about it😂 But they cut Aled?!?! NO HOW COULD THEY😭 my poor radio-silence-loving heart is shattered but I do kinda understand why they did it. Also yes the actress of Tori looks a lot different than who I imagined in my head but I’m so excited to see her portrayal!!


    I loved reading this post so so much, now I’m really in the mood to reread this!💖 (ALSO I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU AGAIN THAT YOUR GRAPHICS ARE TOO AMAZING I AM IN COMPLETE AWE)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank youuuu so much Suhani 🥺❤️ that means a lot!! Ahhh!! 💞

      Heartstopper is such a comforting read. I’ve yet to read the new bits that have started coming out, but I can’t wait! Hope you enjoy the reread as much as the first time 🥰 *let the joy commence*

      Haha I am waiting to see the trailer 👀 (please be soon!) Haha get all the gossip, I am with you there! I know I saw on oseman’s insta story there will be no Aled. They better do a radio silence adaptation now because I NEED Aled 😅😍
      Definitely, I can’t wait to see the characters alive on screen!! 😍😍 It will be so interesting!
      The power of a good soundtrack has no limits so fingers crossed 🤞🏻

      Thank you!! I loved reading your comment and that we could sequel about heartstopper together 💞 aww.. thank you, 🥺❤️😭🥰❤️❤️ soo happy you liked them 🥰


  4. I’ve been reading Heartstopper for years as a webcomic, back before I even started book blogging! I LOVE that it’s so British, it’s so nice to feel familiar with the school setting. Every time I read something set in an American high school I spend about 20 minutes trying to figure out how old the characters are because I don’t understand their grade system 😂

    I really love this series and the way it handles a lot of important topics. It goes into serious stuff without it feeling preachy or taking you out of the story. And the characters totally leap off the page. I’m totally with you on loving Tori – she just makes any scene she’s in! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading Heartstopper!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow you’ve been with it from the start. I was a bit late to the webcomics scene, only starting from last year.
      But I had loved Oseman’s book for a good while. Radio silence 🙏🏻 they are so talented!
      I know, I always struggle with the US school system. I’ve googled in multiple times yet I’m still clueless 😅 the characters could truly be anyway from 13-18 in my head 😂

      It does handle important topics in a very natural way, you’re right! And I love that a lot! The characters are sooo easy to love 😍 definitely Tori is amazing and iconic! Thank youuuu ❤️ thank you for your lovely comment too 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your review, and I completely agree with what you’ve said! I think the series does a great job of balancing the more lighthearted romance with more serious topics like mental illness. Also, the panels for each character are so cool, you’re really talented!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh… Thank you so much Siena ❤️ I’m glad you agree with my thoughts too, it is an amazing graphic novel series! Yessss, the balance is perfect and works so well!! Aw.. Thank you so much 🥺🥰 that means a lot ❤️ thank you for your lovely comment too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Heartstopper – it’s such a comfort read – and I loved your post about reading it for the first time! ❤️ The art style is gorgeous and I love how this book talks about helping someone with a mental illness! There are also such strong friendships and the romances are all so wholesome 🥺 I love all the characters but I do have a soft spot for Elle, Tara, Darcy, and of course Tori 🥰 Also SO excited for the TV show!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can so see how comforting Heartstopper is and why it means so much to people. I can’t believe we are at the final volume 😱
      Thank you so much Caro 💞 I knew I liked the art style from snippets I had seen before but reading them can be a deeper appreciation for sure 😍
      So many good talks and friendships 😍😍 ahhh.. I love all those characters… The support system in these books are something else 🥰
      I hope the show is amazing… I’m sure it will be!! Thank you for your lovely comment! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aled has been cut from the show 😭 I think in case of a potential radio silence screen adaptation to avoid confusion/overlap, but I’m still going to miss aled’s presence in the heartstopper show. Thankfully, the show still looks grand! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

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