A Review of: Heartstopper. Vol 2

During this review, we shall be moving on to Book 2. From the first volume, Heartstopper has made me feel like a teenager; volume 2 was no different!

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Volume 2

The second volume was about Nick and his ‘coming out story’, which was exciting to uncover as we understand he’s not straight after all but is bisexual. Initially, I thought reading about teenagers’ love lives might be weird for a woman in her mid-thirties to enjoy. Still, instead, I connected with this series because it is a beautifully showcased graphic novel.

I love to read all sorts of books, and graphic novels are no exception; the legendary Fables series has significantly impacted the enjoyability for adults to comfortably read graphic novels in public and private. With beautiful and mature illustrations, Fables is definitely one to enjoy. You may be asking how this relates to Heartstopper… by way of imagery.

Heartstopper doesn’t rely on text-heavy columns or lengthy descriptions but on the artwork and how the images tell the story. For example, Nick’s embarrassment when trying to understand his feelings for Charlie was communicated in simple line drawings where Nick and Charlie looked embarrassed around each other.

Heartstopper Volume 2, Oseman. A.

The author also likes to insert cut scenes with hearts and leaves blowing between them to make it seem like there is a physical divide between them (as well as being a style choice). Volume 2 also addresses and explores themes of consent within relationships, the ‘who do we tell about us’ and handling that topic in a positive and age-appropriate manner.

The author wrote Nick’s side of the story, with full memory of what it was like being a teen and having a crush on someone. While issues of sexuality haven’t been tackled regularly in young adult fiction before, I feel that Oseman brought a sense of reality to this volume; even though she is straight herself, she was able to make me remember what it was like as a teen to fancy someone my own age.

The contrast of having a ‘bad guy’ character who makes Charlie feel wrong about being in this toxic relationship is an exciting contrast. However, I was initially concerned that this was an LGBT+ character being demonised. But as I read on, I saw that it was necessary to bring out Nick’s supportive side and encourage Charlie to realise that who he was wasn’t ‘dirty’ or negative in any way, and pushed his story arc along more organically. This oppressive character is an authentic individual, present in all schools worldwide: someone who doesn’t want to fully accept who they are and make others feel bad for them to the point where they even feel responsible for their happiness, whether gay, straight or bi. The book examines what toxicity looks like from this character, Ben, and how to get rid of it – which was incredibly inspiring!


The second volume story arc has been set up as a positive one, where the characters explore their sexualities and preferences in a balanced and healthy manner. It is excellent role modelling for others going through the same thing!

The Societal Impact

I thought I would add this section here instead of the author review, as you can check that out in Part One of this blog series!

Heartstopper Vol. 2 addresses actual societal pressures on young people in today’s culture:

  • questioning whether it’s OK to be gay or LGBT+
  • reassessing friendships and how they’re affecting your mental health
  • what’s the best way to come out, and when does one come out?
  • what will peers think?
  • wondering what part of the LGBT+ branch young people fit into?

I always let young people try to find their way with appropriate adult guidance from educated professionals, parents and family support. This is the healthiest way to explore the self and also the safest way. Still, I am keenly aware that this method isn’t always available to young people due to issues such as mental stability or underprivileged areas.

So if anyone is questioning their identity, the best places to go are to local GPs, Mind charity for workshops and any therapy you may feel you need and even the Allsorts Youth Project, which specialises in connecting and educating young people who are questioning or for those who ‘know’ who they are.


Allsorts Youth Project

BetterHealth Channel

Day, J., Ioverno, L. and Russell, S. (2019) Journal of School Psychology. Vol. 74. pp 29-43.

Fables Graphic Novels

Hannah Baller Book Review – Heartstopper Volume 1

Mind – LGBTQIA+ Mental Health

NHS – Mental Health Support for LGBT

Tapas – Heartstopper All Vols

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: