Sunday, November 6, 2022

REVIEW: Heartstopper (graphic novel, vol. 3) by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper is a high school romance graphic novel series. I bought my copy of this volume brand new.

This review includes slight spoilers.


Nick has now come out to his mom, which went well. However, coming out isn't a "one and done" thing. What will happen when other people in his life find out? Charlie, for his part, is still scarred from the bullying he suffered after he was outed to the whole school, and he's worried that Nick might experience something similar.

Charlie, Nick, several of their classmates, and students they know at Higgs (Truham's counterpart for girls) all go on a Paris trip together in this volume. It turns into a giant relationship turning point for several people - not only does Charlie and Nick's relationship deepen, but things finally progress between Elle and Tao. Even the teachers overseeing the trip have a few moments together.

I was going to start reading this right after volume 2, until I discovered that a chunk of pages in my copy of volume 3 were bound upside down and backwards. Thank goodness the replacement copy didn't have the same issue. Anyway...

The "no mingling between girls and boys" rule for the room assignments struck me as kind of ridiculous considering the number of same-sex couples going on this trip. And man, I do not envy teachers who are supposed to act as chaperones on multi-day school trips.

My American brain heard "Paris trip" and automatically interpreted it as a bigger thing than it was, when, in fact, it was a bus-ride away. Lol! I loved the way the change in scenery shook things up a bit. The way everyone was practically in each other's pockets probably helped too. 

Charlie and Nick got a chance to talk about some things they hadn't touched on before - this volume gets into mental health issues a bit, specifically a possible eating disorder on Charlie's part (and a brief mention that he used to cut himself, back when the bullying was at its worst). There is also, as I've mentioned, a lot of focus on coming out. Charlie has a bad moment when he learns something new about how he was outed, and although Nick's experience coming out to his mother went well, it gets rougher and more complicated with the rest of his family. Then there's still the issue of his and Charlie's relationship (which at this point feels like the world's worst kept secret, but to be fair there are still some people close to them who haven't caught on and who might be hurt that they're the last to know *cough*Tao*cough*).

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume and am looking forward to the next one.


A page each from Charlie and Nick's diaries, character profiles, drawings of cell phone pics from the trip, a couple views of Nick's room and a list of its key features, a couple views of Charlie's room and a list of its key features, and a short bonus comic showing Elle going to Higgs for the first time after coming out as trans, with Tao along for moral support.

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