The festive season isn’t always happy for Tori Spring and her brother Charlie. And this year’s going to be harder than most.
I used to think that difficult was better than boring, but I know better now…
This is a short story from Tori and Charlie’s perspectives (and a little bit of Oliver’s perspective (their little brother)). It is set over the course of Christmas Day in their house, with the perspectives told in a linear order. It is set before Solitaire and in the same timeline as Heartstopper Volume 4, so if you have read Solitaire you’ll be fine for spoilers, but you will get spoilers for the Heartstopper timeline if you haven’t read Solitaire. Hopefully that makes sense for anyone wondering whether you want to read it yet!
I really like the balance in all of Alice’s novels between hopefulness and sadness. Even in her short stories she manages to make me cry and break my heart. This novel discusses a lot of Charlie’s history with having an eating disorder, but it felt really well discussed. I really liked that this wasn’t shied away from and was also discussed in relation to Christmas and family gatherings, which can be hard for everyone but especially those with eating disorders.
I also really liked that this was told from all of the siblings points of view. They felt familiar, having read Heartstopper and Solitaire before (which is told from Tori’s perspective), and I really liked reading their takes on Christmas day. Of course Nick is amazing too, and such a supportive boyfriend to Charlie. It was so heartwarming to see him supporting Charlie. Having little Oliver in at the end with a little heartwarming scene with his mum was very cute.
I’m really glad I read this on Christmas Eve night, it felt like the perfect time to read it with Christmas the next day!
4 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽