Review: Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper: Volume 4 by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper: Volume Four
Alice Oseman
Published January 4, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Heartstopper: Volume Four

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. The bestselling LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the fourth volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of THE ART OF BEING NORMAL, Holly Bourne and LOVE, SIMON.

Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.

Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.

As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.

HEARTSTOPPER is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

This is the fourth volume of HEARTSTOPPER, which has now been optioned for television by See-Saw Films.

Love Times Infinity on Goodreads

My Review

The absolutely adorable romance between Charlie and Nick continues in the fourth volume of the series. All the books have been really quick reads, and all had me smiling at different moments. Sometimes I teared up, too. I love that while the story celebrates so many different loving relationships, it also gives space to talk about heavier issues.

In HEARTSTOPPER: VOLUME FOUR, the heavier issue explored is Charlie’s disordered eating. It’s mentioned in an earlier book, but Nick continues to be concerned and isn’t sure what to do to help his boyfriend through it. He has a couple long conversations with his mom and some panels show him doing internet research.

Ultimately, the story follows both Nick and Charlie through figuring out how to balance the intensity of their relationship and still maintain connections with others as well as figuring out how to have healthy support and boundaries with each other.

There are a couple of long passages that are journal entries from either Nick or Charlie. I thought those were a cool idea, but I wish more of the story was told in real time. Actual scenes unfolding in front of us.

I liked the attention to how to support– not save– someone who has an eating disorder, but I wonder if some readers will feel like the romance of the earlier volumes gets lost in the issue in this one.

I’m happy that I read it, and I will definitely read volume five.

Love Times Infinity on Bookshop

Content Notes

Content warning for eating disorder, mentions of self-harm, and brief homophobic bullying.

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Charlie is gay. Nick is bisexual.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. Kissing between boy and girl, and kissing between two girls.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Some brief instances of bullying and homophobia.

Drug Content

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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