Joe Locke as Charlie Spring Kit Connor as Nick Nelson

Where To Read Heartstopper Before The Netflix Series Comes Out

You're gonna want to.

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 

U.K. author Alice Oseman hit the book scene in 2014 with her first novel, Solitaire, a story that follows the unlikely friendship of pessimist Tori and optimist Michael. The story then spawned spinoff ebooks and a wildly popular webcomic called Heartstopper, which focused on Tori’s brother, Charlie. The latter first appeared on the web in 2018 and was so beloved, it was optioned the following year; it finally landed at Netflix in 2021. With the show’s premiere just around the corner, here’s where to read Heartstopper before it arrives.

Like Solitaire, Heartstopper is a coming-of-age story that deals with friendship, mental health issues, eating disorders, and LGBTQ+ relationships. Charlie is an openly gay over-thinker — he’s high-strung, nervous, and not very popular at his all-boys school. (In Solitaire, he is also revealed to struggle with body issues and disordered eating.) Nick, on the other hand, is a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, who befriends him after the two are forced to sit together in class, and on whom Charlie quickly develops a crush. Charlie’s belief that his feelings will be forever unrequited turn out to be false, as the two boys eventually fall in love.

The series will star newcomer Joe Locke as Charlie and His Dark Materials’ Kit Conner as Nick, with Call The Midwife’s Jenny Walser as Charlie’s sister, Tori. For fans of Oseman’s work, the new series is a long-awaited project. But there's still plenty of time for those who haven’t read the webcomic and want to get caught up.

Heartstopper is currently comprised of four volumes, published between October 2018 and May 2021. Oseman initially released them via the webcomic site Tapas and republished them on Tumblr. As the fanbase swelled, the comic also wound up available via Webtoons. Oseman also crowd-funded a limited print edition; all four volumes were eventually published via Hachette Children’s Group. So, fans have multiple options for reading the comic before watching the lvoe story unfold on Netflix.

Heartstopper premieres with all episodes on Netflix on April 22, 2022. All four volumes are available online.

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