”Heartstopper” Warms Hearts

Galilea Marquez, Reporter

“Heartstopper” by Alice Oseman is a series where representation and open discussion is able to take place within the youth. Each novel further unravels these issues that hold such an important part of not only the characters’ lives but additionally in our society.

“Heartstopper” is a graphic novel series that currently includes four books and is releasing their last installment next year. The series tells the story of two teenage boys, Nick and Charlie, as their romance grows and they develop as individuals. Charlie is a shy teen who was outed about his sexuality, while Nick is a rugby player who is still discovering his sexuality. Overall the series is a light read with a sweet romance that you are able to explore.

The writing allows an audience of young readers to be portrayed in the middle-grade genre. Many books for readers under high school age don’t provide stories relating to the LGBT+ community, therefore missing a big piece of representation. The representation of the novel is valuable and important to adolescents who are facing similar issues. For instance, in the story there’s another classmate who says hurtful language and actions toward Charlie and Nick. It then shows how they handle the situation and grow from this experience.

One of the key topics heavily discussed throughout the books is mental health, particularly with Charlie’s character. It frames Charlie’s mental health as something that is wrong or invalid to him. It’s very realistic in their story of Charlie being not always fine, and he has periods where he needs help. Displaying his journey without any rose-colored glasses allows readers to fully experience it.

This novel series is an excellent recommendation to not only those who desire to see themselves, but also understand growing up as a LGBT+ teen and struggling with your mental health.

The series does include discussions on topics such as homophobia, bullying, eating disorders, self harm, and declined mental health. Please be aware of the content before choosing to read the series.