Book Review: Heartstopper Volume 2

“Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself.”

Heartstopper Volume 1 was one of my favourite reads of this year and then Volume 2 came along and cemented it. I’ve been a fan of Alice Oseman for a while – she’s a clearly a talented writer, but also seems like a lovely human being (I’m determined to get to a signing this year. Seeing as this is about Volume 2 it will contain some spoilers if you haven’t read the first book – so pop back once you have!

We start off with the aftermath of Charlie and Nick’s first kiss which I am ALL about and squealed when it happened, but was it the right thing to do? As both boys question what happened and how they feel about it I found myself rooting for them even harder than I had before.

Charlie and Nick are absolutely adorable but they also become real people and I feel in the second volume we get to know them much more. We meet their families, get to know their friends and how they feel about themselves and their sexuality.

I also appreciate the fact that Oseman doesn’t assume in this book. I’ve seen it before in novels were there is one kiss and suddenly the person is gay, there’s not thinking about it. For Nick especially there is a question mark, he does have to work himself out and there’s no pressure. Also there is fantastic representation of all those who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Also we had a short story at the back about Tara and Darcey. Can we please have more of that? Because I also love them and I would love to see more cute stories about f/f romance as well as m/m romance.

There’s no surprise that I gave this 5 stars. Alice Oseman knows how to write not only a love story but also a story about friendship which is rare. A truly wonderful and uplifting book and I can’t wait for Volume 3!

Have you read and of Alice Oseman’s books? Let me know what your favourites are in the comments below!

Book Review_ Heartstopper Vol 1 - Alice Oseman

Book Review: Heartstopper Volume 1 – Alice Oseman

Are you ready for the cutest story you’re going to read this year? I’m pretty sure this will be it. Alice Oseman has knocked it out of the park with this graphic novel. I read it in less than an hour and then immediately ordered the second volume… I think you can guess this will be a good review.

This follows Charlie, openly gay and prone to over thinking and the only out guy at school. While he’s doing better than he was and has a sort-of boyfriend his world is going to be turned upside down when he meets Nick. As the two boys develop a friendship, Charlie begins to fall for Nick – can he find love or is he looking in the wrong place?

While reading I couldn’t help but feel that this was so wholesome. There isn’t scandal or anything of the sort, it is simply the story of a friendship, kindness and love. That in itself is why I loved it so much, there is complexity in how Charlie feels but it has an overwhelming simplicity. It is about love, and not just one kind of love, both friendship and a romantic love are present.

It is incredible that this started as a Kickstarter project before being published. The thought that this story could have not been published (it was previously posted online by Oseman herself). Now we’re going to be getting volumes 2, 3 and 4 and I am LIVING for it.

You might have guessed that I gave this 5 stars. I absolutely loved it and if you need something to give you a lift, this is most certainly it. I can also recommend Oseman’s novel Radio Silence, a brilliant YA novel that has been gaining fame in the US recently. I still need to read her other books too but Alice Oseman is definitely one to watch.

Book Review: Pilu of the Woods – Mai K. Nguyen

Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods.

There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends.

This is one of the sweetest and most beautiful graphic novels I have ever read. Initially drawn to the art this gave so much more, including lyrical prose. Ultimately this is a story of family, friendship and dealing with grief. While Willow and Pilu come from different worlds, they are such a sweet pair and I can’t say no to a doggie sidekick!

The art style itself is unique and while it will appeal to a younger reader as a woman in her mid-twenties I was enchanted by the illustration. Additionally, the use of colour to show the woods felt real to me. I read this at a point where I needed something to fall into and escape – something I was easily able to do.

I will warn you going in that you might get a little emotional reading. I wanted to reach in and give Willow the biggest hug. The way that Nguyen has shown emotion and the complicated feelings that are being experienced from the perspective of a child is nothing short of incredible.

It’s no surprise that I gave this 5 stars. This really touched my heart, it’s not a complicated story, however, it can speak volumes. I really hope that there is a follow-up because I can see the relationship and story really growing and evolving. This is a wonderful book, I can’t stress enough how much I adore it.

A huge thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for giving me a chance to read this in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Review: A Quick & Easy Guide To Queer & Trans Identities – Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg

We live in an incredibly diverse world, one that should be celebrated. That said, to celebrate it we must first understand the people in it. The LGBTQ+ community are, in my experience, wonderful people but often people don’t know or understand much past the L (Lesbian) and G (Gay) parts of the spectrum. That’s where this graphic novel comes in.

When searching through Netgalley, I came across this graphic novel and was curious as to how educational it would be. It covers such a wide spectrum to help people understand the way that people identify. Importantly, this also covers the difference between sexuality and gender – something many get confused.

I’ll admit, when I was younger I didn’t know much about Transgender people and the variations of gender before I was 18. It wasn’t something that myself or anyone close to me had gone through. Of course, I understood about identifying as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual but beyond that, I had a lot to learn.

This is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn more about complicated topics without being bogged down in history and politics. While those things are incredibly important, they can seem very overwhelming. This is a good place to start and is easy to digest for a beginner.

I gave this a huge 5 stars. This is a really accessible graphic novel that could educate a lot of people. The fact that this is a little different and has fantastic art style adds to the experience of reading. Being taught about gender and sexuality by snails? Why not. Honestly, why not? This would be a great gift for someone who wants to learn more but doesn’t know where to start.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this in exchange for a fair and honest review.

What I Read in April!

Another month, another stack of books I’ve devoured. This month I wanted things I could get through because I was struggling to concentrate but I still managed 8 books and almost all of them were incredible.

First up was Red Clocks which I have been waiting to read forever and it was so worth it. This is set in a future USA, abortion is banned, IVF is banned and so is single parenthood. We follow four women as their lives are impacted by these laws. It was a 4.5 star read and review to come soon. #MeToo is a collection of poetry that just felt so real to me, these were incredible poems and got 4 stars from me. And another collection of poetry the second from Amanda Lovelace, the witch doesn’t burn in this one. This is the second in a serious about the magic of women, a 4 star read, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first but it’s still a brilliant read.

 

Next up I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell this was a strange but brilliant non-fiction book look at the 17 brushes with death, it’s absolutely fascinating and got a well earned 4 stars. The next one I’d seen spoken about on Youtube and it had such a huge impact on me, Everywoman is about feminism, UK politics and is a rallying cry which means it got 5 stars from me. I also read my advance copy of Holly Bourne’s new adult novel How Do You Like Me Now which, in total honesty disappointed me and only got 3 stars.

 

 

And finally, Saga. I could have picked this up years ago and I’m kicking myself. This series is amazing we have some brilliant characters and interesting plot and beautiful art. So far, so amazing and 5 stars for volume 1 and volume 2.

What were you reading in April? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: My To Be Read Pile

Now it’s getting colder and days curled up in blankets are more acceptable I thought I’d share some of the books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile. There’s a lot more than this, but these are some I’m planning to finish in the next few weeks.

A Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin 

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It’s been a while since I finished the first Game of Thrones book so I thought it was time I should get stuck into the next one in the series. After all, Winter is coming.

Shrill – Lindy West 

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A fab feminist read, because I always need a good book from a kick-ass woman on the go.

The Wicked and The Divine: Rising Action – Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator), Matt Wilson (Illustrator)

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This is one of the weirdest graphic novel series’s that I read and I’m SO excited, can’t wait to get this read!

Hello Me, It’s You –  Anonymous, edited by Hannah Todd 

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I requested this from the publisher, mostly because I’m interested in what other people would say to their younger selves. I really hope this is as good as I think it’s going to be.

Belzhar – Meg Wolitzer

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A young adult novel that has something to do with Sylvia Plath? Sign me up!

In Order to Live – Yeonmi Park 

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I don’t know a lot about North Korea. I’m hoping that Yeonmi’s account, which I’ve heard only good things about, can teach me about what it’s like for the people.

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

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I’m always interested in reading other people’s accounts of their lives with mental illness. Susannah’s book was recommended to me on Goodreads.

What’s on your reading list? Let me know in the comments below!

Forbidden Planet Haul

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When working in London yesterday I was only about 20 minutes away from one of my favourite shops and I had my fellow comic and pop hunter not far away so I put two and two together and headed for a good old Forbidden Planet Haul. Now, I know that I’m like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to Forbidden Planet, so I only let myself in there every now and again for a haul. Enjoy!

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Cedric Diggory Funko Pop 

I’ve been after Cedric for a while now, people have been selling him for silly prices because of the Underground Toys sticker (stickers are a big deal in the pop collecting world), but I managed to pick him up in a very beautiful Harry Potter section. IMG_8563

Maz with Lightsaber 

I knew I wanted to get a Maz figure, I didn’t know there was one with a lightsaber. This one is a little different and because I’d never seen it before I popped it in my basket.

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Stark Direwolf and Jon Snow Funko Pop 

If you’re friends with me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I am currently making my way through the Game of Thrones series. I’m loving so many characters, particularly Jon, Arya and Tyrion. I’m only on the first book so I’m excited to see what happens (even though I do know that secret from the end of season six) but I do have a soft spot for Jon and the Stark’s.

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Spider Gwen, Mockingbird, Harley Quinn SS April Fools, Archie IMG_8566

Suicide Squad (Harley Quinn one off), Spider-man Deadpool, Steve Rodgers Captain America (Variant), Black Widow

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Nemi and Star Trek trades. 

Nemi reminded me of the comic book strip from Kerrang magazine growing up and as it was in the sale I thought I’d give it a go. I also saw the latest Star Trek movie on Monday after seeing the other two and so I’m getting into Star Trek and wanted to take a look at the graphic novels that are being produced.