14 books you should read if you loved Heartstopper

With the recent release of Heartstopper on Netflix, I thought it would be the perfect time to recommend you some similar books. I know everyone is loving Heartstopper at the moment, so I’m going to talk about some similar books I love.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town. One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods.
As a genderqueer werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home. Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

I love this graphic novel so much, I picked it up last year and it was one of my favourite books of the year. It’s queer, has magic and a bookshop – what’s not to love!

Goodreads | Waterstones

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

The Tea Dragon books are so heartwarming and beautiful, with these delightful creatures at the heart of the story. I just adore these graphic novels, and they’re perfect for picking up when you might be feeling a little low.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

The first novel on this list is Date Me, Bryson Keller which is such a cute male/male romance also set in a high school, with similar vibes to Heartstopper!

Goodreads

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

I love this book so much. It’s emotional and tackles difficult topics but is really heartwarming too. This one also has a lot of discussions about gender identity, and the main character is non-binary.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

The first sapphic book of the list is The Falling in Love Montage, which is a fast-paced romance with difficult discussions. I flew through it in a day!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

I love Nina LaCour’s books and it was difficult to pick just one to put on this list! This one is one of her sadder books but is so beautiful too.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend.
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.

Again, it was difficult to pick just one Adam Silvera book for this list, but my favourite of his is definitely History is All You Left Me!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.
But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

I love both of these books, and the second one is actually my favourite. These are also beautiful audiobooks!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Jake Hyde doesn’t swim—not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.
There’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future—not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.
But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that glow when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive headfirst into the waves?

I wanted to include a mix of graphic novels and novels on this list, and a graphic novel I love is this one, which is actually a DC graphic novel Mark bought me. I really enjoyed it and it has LGBTQ+ themes and a male/male romance!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl. They don’t. They make a podcast. In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

It was difficult to pick an Alice Oseman book for this list, but my most recent read from her is Radio Silence, which I absolutely adored.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Ever felt anxious or alone? Like you don’t belong anywhere? Like you’re almost… invisible? Find your kindred spirits at The Sad Ghost Club.
This is the story of one of those days – a day so bad you can barely get out of bed, when it’s a struggle to leave the house, and when you do, you wish you hadn’t. But even the worst of days can surprise you. When one sad ghost, lost and alone at a crowded party, spies another sad ghost across the room, they decide to leave together. What happens next changes everything. Because that night they start the The Sad Ghost Club – a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don’t belong.

Another heartwarming graphic novel is The Sad Ghost Club, which is such a cute story you’ll speed through.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but I loved it. It’s a slightly older version of Heartstopper, with discussions of religion.

Goodreads | Waterstones

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

I also wanted to include a Becky Albertalli book on this list, and I decided to go for What If It’s Us. This is such a heartwarming meet-cute story with a Silvera style ending!

Goodreads | Waterstones

Because of a hearing disability, Kohei is often misunderstood and has trouble integrating into life on campus, so he learns to keep his distance. That is until he meets the outspoken and cheerful Taichi. He tells Kohei that his hearing loss is not his fault. Taichi’s words cut through Kohei’s usual defense mechanisms and open his heart. More than friends, less than lovers, their relationship changes Kohei forever.

The only one on this list I haven’t read is I Hear the Sunspot, a manga. I’d love to pick this up soon and I have a feeling it’s going to be quite similar to Heartstopper!

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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.

I will never not love this series. Heartstopper has been close to my heart for a few years now, after a friend recommended to the Webcomic to me and I read all of the comic published to date in one go. I dropped off the Webcomic a while ago and I wasn’t sure how far through Volume 4 I was when I stopped reading, but it turns out I was around halfway through. So some of this ended up being a reread, and some was a brand new story!

Although these books are very fluffy and cute, they never shy away from difficult subjects. Volume 4 is definitely the heaviest yet, and does an amazing job of exploring some really difficult topics such as mental health, coming out, eating disorders and being in a psychiatric hospital. I love, love, love the way Heartstopper deals with these subjects, as they are so accessible and easy to read even though the topics are heavy.

Heartstopper Volume Four: Amazon.co.uk: Oseman, Alice: Books

As always, I adore the characters so much and in particular, Nick’s mum is a favourite. I also love that this one has the addition of Henry, who is an absolutely adorable puppy! Tori, Charlie’s older sister, is also the most amazing side character.

Overall, my favourite part of this volume is how Nick and Charlie demonstrate how to be strong for each other even through the toughest times, how to support each other from afar and that relationships aren’t just for the good parts. I love how well this was discussed and was so beautiful to see. This didn’t quite beat volume 3 for me, which remains my favourite, but is a definite close second!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Nick and Charlie (#1.5) by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”
NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”
Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!
But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever … 

I wasn’t sure whether to do a review for this book or not seeing as it is a short novella I flew threw in an hour or so. But I found myself finishing it with so many thoughts I just wanted to write them all down!

Firstly, you’ve got to have some talent to make me laugh, cry and break my heart all in 158 pages. But Alice Oseman can do that. I know we’re not necessarily introduced to the characters in this novella, as I have been reading about them in my much loved Heartstopper for a year and a half, but it still shocked me how quickly I built up an emotional connection with these boys.

Charlie curled up so beautifully in my bed, the orange street-lamp light shining on his skin,

This novella hit me so hard because it’s something so real and raw that so many teenagers go through – I certainly did as a young adult – and I related to it so much. Although I am much more secure and confident in myself now, I could still see myself reflected in Nick and Charlie’s insecurities and it made me so emotional.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the physical book itself. I have the Waterstones limited signed edition and it is beautiful. I loved the chapter pages, I loved the illustrations. It was all just downright adorable. I have read other reviews expressing concern for the publishers money-grabbing by this being a thing, but although I agree, I can’t be mad. Because I want this on my shelf so badly. It is utterly gorgeous, and looks amazing with her other books. It made me so happy.

and I felt like if I was going to die, this would be what I wanted to see last.

Overall, this was the sweetest and softest novella about Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper. I would definitely recommend it for all Heartstopper fans, it is just so adorable and you won’t be able to put it down! It was much more hard-hitting and raw than the graphic novels, showing a tougher side to teenage relationships, which I loved. I don’t think I can rate this anything less than 5 stars!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #18

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought or received this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi everyone! I bought something else a little different recently – in the form of a colouring book. I used to love colouring books and my friend and I used to colour and watch The Vampire Diaries together years ago. Funnily enough, my friend Amy has got me watching The Vampire Diaries again and I’m loving it, and I also bought a colouring book. It’s the new Heartstopper colouring book and I love the series so much I just had to pick it up!

The Heartstopper Colouring Book: Amazon.co.uk: Oseman, Alice ...

Waterstones

This beautiful colouring book contains all the fan favourite characters and scenes such as Nick and Charlie’s first kiss and their trip to Paris, plus guest appearances from Nellie, Tao and Ellie, Tara and Darcy and many more! Featuring some empty speech bubbles to fill in with your own creative thoughts, and the entire Tara/Darcy mini-comic to colour at the end, this book has something for everyone.
Celebrate the power of love and friendship, while becoming involved in the Heartstopper world in a truly interactive way.

What did you buy this week? 

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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…?

Yay! Heartstopper 3 is out in physical form! My lovely friend Chloe introduced me to the Heartstopper Webcomic around a year ago now and I ended up reading it in one sitting and absolutely adoring it. I’ve been keeping up to date with the online comic every time it’s updated and have introduced a few of my friends to the graphic novels too!

I was lucky enough to go to Alice’s signing on 6th February, which also happened to be the release date of the third graphic novel. I’ve been collecting the physical graphic novels as they are released, as I adore them so much it’s simply a joy to reread them.

The differences in the third book are apparent – this one explores quite difficult topics such as eating disorders. I really appreciated the delicate insightful way Oseman approaches these topics. After some heavy topics in Solitaire, which is the novel Charlie first appears in, Heartstopper can come across as very different in tone.

Another difference in this novel is that it’s set in Paris! I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times – once on a college trip – and I adore the city. It was so fun to read about Nick, Charlie and their friends in such a beautiful city.

These books are some of the few I see reading again and again. They comfort me so much and have such a lovely, soft aura about them.

You can also keep up to date on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman

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Goodreads | Amazon

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon. 
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 make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 

What can I say other than I love Heartstopper and having these books in physical form makes me so happy? I’m actually up to date completely with the webcomic, but I love reading these as they come out.

Anything Alice Oseman ever does will warm my heart and being able to sit down and just devour these books makes me feel so cosy. I read this in about half an hour in the middle of a thunderstorm and it was perfect. Oseman’s art style is lovely and has such a good flow, I can easily flick through the pages.

Volume 2 focuses a lot on Nick coming out and discovering himself, and normalising that it’s okay to question who you are was such a central theme of the book. As always, Nick and Charlies’ friends and family are great and make for entertaining scenes. Some of my favourite scenes are naturally with Nick’s dog and the little ‘borks’ never fail to make me smile!

Overall, if you’re looking for a cute, heartwarming graphic novel that flows beautifully and centres around LGBT characters and coming out, please pick this up.

Or, go and read it on Tumblr or Tapas!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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