Sunday 3 October 2021

#CBR13 Book 38: "Heartstopper, vol 4" by Alice Oseman

Page count: 353 pages
Rating: 4 stars

CBR13 Bingo: Reader's Choice (replaces Landscape)

Charlie and Nick are getting crazier and crazier about each other, they still haven't actually declared their feelings fully for one another. That's one hurdle that can be monumental in any relationship, let alone between already insecure teens. While Nick's Mum is incredibly supportive, he still hasn't come out to his Dad, who is going to be visiting soon, and based on his brother, he's not sure how his father is going to react. 

Then there's the rather more worrying realisation that Nick has come to - he's pretty sure that Nick is suffering from disordered eating to a degree where he won't be able to handle it by himself. Their relationship is still new and fresh enough that that's not a conversation that's fun to have. 

While Heartstopper volumes 1-3 are mostly incredibly comforting and uplifting reading, Oseman doesn't shy away from more serious topics, and by now, in volume 4, she's fully established the various romantic and more platonic relationships and can delve into some darker territory. Coming out to a distant parent and having to deal with an eating disorder definitely qualify as darker. Not that I needed to worry, the topics are covered with the same deft touch and sensitivity that Oseman showed in her first three volumes. I continue to love this graphic novel series, and will be buying new volumes as long as Oseman chooses to write them. 

As well as the continuing romantic adventures and struggles of Nick and Charlie, the comic is full of their friends and family members, as established in the first three books. At the end of this volume, there is also a little bonus comic showing glimpses of the romance of the two male teachers who found each other on the Paris trip in volume 3. 

Judging a book by its cover: It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that this is a romance comic, based on the image on the cover. For unwary readers, the LGBTQ+ topic may be surprising, but I doubt many people start with volume 4 of something and are therefore very aware of what they're getting.

Crossposted by Cannonball Read

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