Heartstopper: Volume Two
By Alice Oseman
Author’s website: aliceoseman(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
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 Volume Two starts right after the events of Volume One, at Harry’s sweet sixteen party with Nick Nelson leaving Charlie Spring alone in the room after kissing him for the first time, and then running away after hearing his friends calling for him. Charlie, feeling devastated that he might have ruined his friendship with Nick, calls his dad to pick him up. After talking to his friends, Nick goes back to the room where he left Charlie but it’s empty now, and Charlie is nowhere to be found at the party.
Later that night, Charlie cries himself to sleep while Nick stays awake replaying the events of the party. He tries many times to write a message to Charlie, but keeps deleting it. In the morning, Charlie wakes up to a rainy day and is tired from not sleeping much. A drenched Nick knocks at his door asking to talk to him in person. Back in Charlie’s room, Nick tries to explain but Charlie catches him off guard asking for forgiveness for kissing him and asks to still be friends, but Nick kisses him again.
Nick confesses that he has been confused for some time about his feelings for Charlie, but kissing him was nothing to be ashamed of. He asks for time to understand himself before coming out, but wants to start going out with Charlie. Charlie replies that he can take all the time he needs and understand that it’s not a simple thing to do, and he will support him.
They move on to a new stage in their friendship as they start to date and confide in others about the new feelings they have.
I continue to like the story of Charlie and Nick throughout Volume two of Heartstopper. I really like how author Alice Oseman tells the first love point of view of this young LGBT+ couple and shows the ups and downs that come with it. For readers that are not part of the LGBT+ community, it shows the struggles that young individuals have as they try to understand the complex emotions that they feel, and I liked how Oseman portrays it in this book.
In volume two we get to meet a new character, Elle, who is Charlie’s friend that transferred to Higgs girl school after coming out as trans last semester. We also get to see familiar faces with Nick meeting Tao, Aled and Harry when Nick confronts him for bullying Charlie.
The comic has many strong scenes that define Charlie and Nick’s relationship. My favorite is Nick arriving during the rain to talk to Charlie, reminding me of the scene in Pride and Prejudice movie where Mr. Darcy does the same to Elizabeth Bennet. Another moment of Nick’s is coming out to his mom after having his date with Charlie.
We know from the previous book that bullying and a level of homophobia are themes that Charlie and Nick struggle with but in this new installment, Nick stands up to his supposed friends and asks why Harry harasses Charlie every time. This ends up with a fight and Nick with a black eye, Charlie feels bad that Nick is fighting his friend for him, but Nick reassures him he doesn’t want to be friends with them if they can respect Charlie as a friend.
Heartstopper Volume two is a lovely continuation of Nick and Charlie’s blossoming relationship and I’m excited to see how it progresses. I love that we get to meet Tara and Darcy again and they even become Nick’s confidants.
Volume Two is the second half of the season 1 TV show that has recently aired. While it’s similar, the TV show adds new storylines and characters that make the story even more interesting.If you are a fan of Alice Oseman’s works and the previous book in the series, then I recommend Heartstopper Volume Two. More kisses, a first date, and coming outs are the next steps in Charlie and Nick’s relationship with a dose of fun scenes with friends and family.