There’s nothing quite like people coming together to talk about a show they love – and that seems to be the case with Netflix’s Heartstopper. The British coming-of-age series has been a massive success, and praised for its positive representation of LGBTQ+ relationships, its sensitive handling of difficult topics, and its heartwarming depiction of young love. Hence we’ve looked at some similar nonfiction books you may love if Heartstopper floated your boat.
The romantic comedy-drama television series was written and created by Alice Oseman, and based on her Young Adult webcomic and graphic novel of the same name.
What is Heartstopper about?
Heartstopper primarily tells the story of Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a gay schoolboy who falls in love with classmate Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), whom he sits next to in his new form. It also explores the lives of their friends Tao Xu (William Gao), Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney), Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan), Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell).
It explores different types of love within the series – not just romantic – but also with family and even strangers. And the friendships are just as important as the other relationships. Charlie and Nick’s friends are there for them through thick and thin, and they help them to navigate the challenges of being young and LGBTQ+.
On top of this, the series shows a gentle and sensitive portrayal of coming out. Charlie’s journey is relatable to many LGBTQ+ people, and it’s a reminder that it’s okay to be yourself, even if it’s scary. But it also highlights the reality for many, including the fact that many are bullied for being different.
The protagonist Charlie is bullied for being gay, but he also finds support from his friends and family. The show emphasises that bullying is never okay, and that there are people who will stand up for you.
The series has been a massive commercial success, becoming one of Netflix’s most-watched TV series.
Top nonfiction books to read if you liked Heartstopper
Here are some nonfiction books that you might enjoy if you liked Heartstopper:
- Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe. This graphic memoir tells the story of Kobabe’s journey of self-discovery as a non-binary person.
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. This memoir tells the story of Johnson’s childhood and adolescence as a Black, queer boy.
- Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale. This anthology showcases a variety of voices from the LGBTQ+ spectrum who celebrate their own skin.
- Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. This graphic novel focusses more on Bechdel’s relationship with her mother, both while growing up and as an adult. It’s also worth checking out her previous work Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
- Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele. Activist-academic Barker and cartoonist Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel.
- Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash. For memoir lovers, Honor Girl is a YA LGBT graphic novel set at an all-girls, Christian camp in Appalachia.
- Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American by Laura Gao. Gao’s coming-of-age memoir is about self-discovery and belongingness.
Heartstopper is a heartwarming and uplifting show that will leave you feeling good. It’s a must-watch for anyone who loves a good love story, or who is looking for a positive portrayal of LGBTQ+ relationships. If you liked reading this, then check out the interview with Gender Euphoria author Laura Kate Dale.
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