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Boy meets boy. Boys becomes friends. Boys fall in love. With the sweet, awkward romantic sensibilities of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and the teen drama of Skins, you’ve probably seen Netflix’s latest breakout hit series Heartstopper all over your Top 10 recommendations — and your Twitter timelines.
Viewers can’t stop gushing about this rom-com’s first season, earning it a 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Based on YA author Alice Oseman’s viral 2016 webcomic-turned-graphic novel of the same name, the series initially rose to popularity in Tumblr and Tapas (gaining over 52.1 million views to date). The Netflix adaption has been praised for its inclusive storylines, cast, and honest portrayal of an LGBTQ teen romance.
The coming-of-age story follows two British teenage boys, Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), as they navigate the beginnings of love, friendship, and heartbreak, all while trying to manage the everyday trials of high school. Looking to catch up on the Heartstopper before diving into the incredibly sweet, incredibly binge-watchable series? Here’s everything you need to know about the hit graphic novels, and what might be in store for the second season.
Has ‘Heartstopper’ Season 2 Been Confirmed Yet?
The answer is yes! Netflix has officially confirmed that Heartstopper will be returning for a second and third season. Not only did fans cause the show to top the Twitter trending charts, with almost a million engagements during its eight-episode debut, but Season 2 and 3 will continue to adapt the rest of the books in the original comic series (including more of Charlie and Nick’s romance after their first date to the seaside, and the Paris trip!).
How Many ‘Heartstopper’ Books Are There?
Oseman initially crowd-funded a limited print edition of the webcomic, but the first volume of Heartstopper was published in Spring of 2019. There are four volumes of Heartstopper as of April 2022, but the fifth and final volume of Heartstopper series is expected to be released later in 2022. A companion book titled Heartstopper Yearbook, will also drop on October 13, 2022.
While you eagerly await Season 2, here’s our guide to catching up on the four Heartstopper novels, and how to read them in order. Purchase them on paperback, for your Kindle, or listen to the audiobooks for free with a 30-day free trial to Audible here. But hurry — these books are selling out fast.
1. Heartstopper (Volume One)
Netflix’s adaption of Heartstopper is actually based on Volumes One and Two of Oseman’s bestselling graphic novel series, and this is where it all began. As the description reads, “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 realized.” Come for the meet-cutes and moments of awkward courtship, stay for the deep and touching portrayals of loyalty, friendship, and mental illness.
2. Heartstopper (Volume Two)
The second volume in the series, the delightfully sweet stories continues with a classic case of misunderstood feelings — as the description reads, “Nick and Charlie are best friends, but one spontaneous kiss has changed everything. In the aftermath, Charlie thinks that he’s made a horrible mistake and ruined his friendship with Nick, but Nick is more confused than ever. Love works in surprising ways, and Nick comes to see the world from a new perspective.” In this book Nick discovers more about about himself, and him and Nick grow in new ways.
3. Heartstopper (Volume 3)
Now we’re getting into the not-yet-Netflix-adapted part of the series, and we finally get to see Nick and Charlie kick off their established relationship as boyfriends. But as the description reads, “coming out isn’t something that happens just once, and Nick and Charlie try to figure out when to tell their friends that they’re dating. Not being out to their classmates gets even harder during a school trip to Paris.” During this Paris trip, not only do Nick and Charlie’s feelings become more serious, they have challenges to face than ever.
4. Heartstopper (Volume Four)
The penultimate book in the series, Charlie and Nick face a new school year together, and new struggles. Per the description, “Charlie and Nick’s relationship has been going really well, and Charlie thinks he’s ready to say those three little words: I love you. Nick feels the same way, but he’s got a lot on his mind.” This book in particular was praised for handling Nick coming out to his dad, and the portrayal of Charlie’s mental health and eating disorder.
What Are Books Like Heartstopper?
Though Heartstopper has been praised for its realistic and charming LGBTQ storyline, it certainly hasn’t been the only coming-of-age YA series centering a queer romance. Here are some of our favorites LGBTQ graphic novels, if you want more hilarious, sweet, and romantic novels like the Heartstopper series.
Bloom has the same kind of blushing young love story you’d want after watching (or reading!) Heartstopper. Ari is dying to move to the big city with his band, but his folks won’t let him quit his job at their struggling seaside family bakery. While interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy with a love of baking. As they grow closer, there’s bread baking, terrible choices, and lots of growth.
The Girl from the Sea: A Graphic Novel (2021)
Love can be magical anyways, so who doesn’t love books with supernatural storylines? In this sweet graphic novel, 15-year-old Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends, even as Keltie is keeping some secrets close to her chest. The two girls start to fall in love, but there’s only so much you can hide about yourself before everything comes bubbling to the surface.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (2019)
What happens when we ditch the toxic relationships in our life, even if that drama is what we crave? A story about embrace healthy relationships, and the drama of young love, the graphic novel centers on Frederica Riley and her crush on Laura Dean, the most popular girl in school (who just so happens to be a terrible girlfriend). Even after a mysterious medium tells her to break up with her, Laura Dean keeps coming back, and Freddy has to wonder if it’s Laura Dean who’s the problem. Author Mariko Tamaki and illustrator Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life all the struggles we go through as teens to find the “one.”