[Review] Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman

Nick and Charlie are very much in love. They’ve finally said those three little words, and Charlie has almost persuaded his mum to let him sleep over at Nick’s house … But with Nick going off to university next year, is everything about to change?

By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, Heartstopper encompasses all the small moments of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.



Another year

Is there a better way to start off a new year than spending some time with my dearest Nick and Charlie? I borrowed this new volume from a friend and was through it in about an hour. Unfortunately, these volumes are way too short. At the same time, they gift us with so much joy, emotions, and events. As per usual, we follow Nick and Charlie through some of their insecurities and compromises. More than that, we witness them taking the next step and looking towards the future.


Madly in love

Alternating between Charlie’s and Nick’s pov, we see how much they love and miss each other every time they are apart. In a typical but nonetheless original way, we experience their insecurities and thoughts about going further in their relationship. They both struggle with communicating their wishes at first but demonstrate the liberty that comes with talking through things and emotions. As one of my favorite couples of all time, they are—more than ever—flirty, funny, awkward, but so true. Their worries additionally originate in Nick’s upcoming graduation and university path. This theme of future planning comes up every now and then. Both characters are visibly insecure when it comes to this potential change in their relationship. But this book eventually also offers a lot of hope and enthusiasm towards their future.


Side characters

I always loved Alice Oseman’s comics for their amazing supporting characters. I, for example, always giggle whenever the two romantically engaged teachers come up. And those barely have a story to themselves, being only hinted at through short appearances. Other characters like Tao, Elle, Tara, etc. contrarily have similar worries as our protagonists. I especially loved one conversation between Tori and Charlie, which hints towards her own story, that is Solitaire.

These side characters bring their own problems and stories with them, and I love following them on the side. And their advice to both Charlie and also Nick is priceless and immensely moving! As a typical coming-of-age story, this volume also features parental conflicts. Therefore, I love how Alice includes so many topics that worry adolescents without making this volume seem rushed or too crowded. Instead, she plays with teasing and hinting at certain issues instead of thoroughly discussing them. For me, that works perfectly!


In conclusion,

The day that I won’t be awed by one of the Heartstopper Volumes will certainly never come. I enjoyed the one hour for me and several weeks for the characters that I got to accompany Nick, Charlie, and Co once more. Alice takes up many serious topics at once, but balances them with emotions, friendship, romance, and fun.



The author:

Alice Oseman is an award-winning author, illustrator, and screenwriter. Alice is the creator of LGBTQ+ YA romance comic HEARTSTOPPER, and the writer, creator, and executive producer for the Emmy Award-winning television adaptation for Netflix, produced by See-Saw. Alice has written every episode and been involved at every stage, from casting to music. Alice is the author of several YA contemporary novels about teenage disasters: SOLITAIRE (published when she was 19), RADIO SILENCE, I WAS BORN FOR THIS, and LOVELESS (a New York Times bestseller). Alice’s books have won, been shortlisted or nominated for a number of awards, including the YA Book Prize, the Inky Awards, the Carnegie Medal, and the Goodreads Choice Awards. Alice was named the Attitude Person of the Year 2023, and The British Book Awards Illustrator of the Year. Source

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