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  • ★★★★-4

Review: Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman

Yes, I'm reading this out of order. Sue me. I'm having a grand ol' time doing it.

I watched this entire show in one sitting last Friday, so naturally I was in desperate need of more Nick & Charlie content. I put them all on hold in my library app and Vol. 4 came through first so now we're here. See, there's a method to my madness.

I loved seeing all my favorite characters again, and I honestly think my experience was heightened having watched the show first because I could really imagine each panel with the actors' performances in mind. I feel like this was especially true for Tao and Tori—having both the show and graphic novel versions in mind added dimension to each character.

Also I love Nick Nelson. I'm mildly in love with Nick Nelson. But he deserves Charlie and Charlie deserves him so FINE I'll allow them to be in love instead.

I really love how Alice Oseman handled Charlie's struggle with mental health in this installment. Nick tries to be the one to help him, but he has to learn that is not a significant other's responsibility. He can be supportive of course, but Charlie needs professional help and support from other sources. I also found the OCD rep to be very relatable.

Now for the juicy fan-theory my friends and I are convinced is true. Alice Oseman has said that S2 of Heartstopper includes some "ace plans." WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS!!! Obviously maybe I'll learn more when I read the other volumes but currently these are our theories:

- Tori could be ace (she has a very strong relationship with a guy Charlie thinks is her boyfriend but she says he isn't)

- Isaac hasn't had any romantic/sexual interest in people on the show so maybe him

- Aled appeared in this volume for like 0.5 seconds and I remember him being demisexual in Radio Silence

- But here's what we really want most even though the graphic novels don't seem to have any sign of it: We think Tao could so totally be ace!!! Like from the show alone I was getting such VIBES that he really prioritizes platonic relationships and that's why he was so scared of Charlie getting a boyfriend and also why Elle hasn't told him her feelings. Idk man the vibes were STRONG.

Overall I love this series and I'm really rooting for a season 2 of the show!!


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