If your heart stopped while watching Heartstopper on Netflix, we’re here to help you recover! Like leaves from a cool fall breeze, Heartstopper swept us off our feet with its themes of friendship, queer joy, mental health awareness, and found family. Welcome to your Ultimate Character Book Match for what we think the main characters of Heartstopper should read!
Charlie: Darius the Great is Not Okay
Charlie’s struggle with bullying, and how it impacts the way he sees himself, is a recurring theme in Heartstopper. If there are two things that Charlie can learn from Darius Kellner in Darius the Great is Not Okay, it’s that 1) being a victim of bullying is never your fault, and 2) looking to your support system for help (whether that’s friends and/or family) can help you learn how to avoid internalizing it.
Nick: The Passing Playbook
Nick Nelson may be the star rugby player—and so-called Rugby King—of Truman Grammar School for Boys, so we think he’d enjoy hopping over from the rugby pitch to the soccer field for another queer sports romance, The Passing Playbook! Teammates-to-lovers is definitely a romantic trope 😉
Elle: Right Where I Left You
Without getting too much into spoilers, we think the best-friends-to-lovers romance in Right Where I Left You would make Elle feel particularly seen—and maybe give her some much-needed advice, too, about the power of being honest with your friends about your feelings ❤️
Tao: Kings of B’more
While Tao’s friendship with Charlie is wonderful, it also undergoes some ups and downs throughout Heartstopper. So we think Tao would really find it helpful to read a platonic friendship story like Kings of B’more, as a reminder for what healthy and supportive friendships can look like!
Isaac: The Afterward
Heartstopper creator Alice Oseman has shared that Isaac was intended to have asexual/aromantic vibes. Also, Isaac is a HUGE reader on the show and loves fantasy books, so we think he’d particularly enjoy The Afterward, as several of its characters are on the asexual spectrum!
Darcy: Juliet Takes a Breath
Darcy is chaotic in the VERY best way (that’s a compliment, we swear!), and we think she and her girlfriend Tara would really vibe with Juliet and Kira from Juliet Takes a Breath! Double date, anyone?
Tara: Some Girls Do
Coming out can be challenging, especially if it changes how others see you in ways that you aren’t prepared for. As we see in Heartstopper, Tara faces some bullying after she comes out and makes her relationship with Darcy public. All Tara wants to do is live her life, and Ruby and Morgan’s story in Some Girls Do might be able to offer some helpful perspectives on how to do that, and the role that being out plays in it.
Ben: The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers (coming soon!)
All the main characters in Heartstopper would love The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers, an upcoming queer rom-com that’s equal parts joy and epic love story. But we do think the character who would benefit from reading it the most would be Ben. Ben is one of the bullies in Heartstopper, and while we in no way condone his behavior, it’s clear that he’s still figuring out his sexuality—so reading a book with epic queer joy like Micah Summers might help him find some clarity about how he can accept himself.