If you’ve read or watched Heartstopper, you know it’s a beautifully sweet depiction of first love. While we wait for Season 2, let us suggest five books to give you the same feels as Nick and Charlie do!
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimmons
After getting bullied out of his old school, Spencer is thrilled to start somewhere no one knows he’s trans. He can join the soccer team, make new friends and maybe even find love.
Everything comes crashing down when the coach benches him for the season because of the F on his birth certificate. If fighting for the right to play means outing himself, will Spencer risk everything or stay on the sidelines?
Like Heartstopper, The Passing Playbook focuses on a romance between teammates at a private school. It’s both charming and uplifting; while author Isaac Fitzsimmons addresses hard topics, he focuses mostly on joy instead of pain in a way that anyone should enjoy.
You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson
All Liz Lightly wants is to get out of Indiana, play in Pennington College’s world-class orchestra and become a doctor. But when her financial aid falls through, she needs an alternate plan to make the money.
Luckily, her school awards a scholarship to the prom king and queen. While there’s nothing Liz wants to do less than a catty competition, she’ll do anything to get to Pennington. Thankfully, the new girl Mack helps make things bearable, even if she is Liz’s competition.
You Should See Me in a Crown centers on friendship and honesty, falling in love and coming out.
While staying fairly light, author Leah Johnson powerfully portrays how unfairly Liz is treated as a Black queer girl in a small town. She places her characters in situations outside of their comfort zones, and you can’t help but root for Liz in her quest.
The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin
When former athlete Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she doesn’t immediately fit in. But soon the charming captain of the school’s struggling basketball team recruits her to join.
While Charlie thinks she left competition behind, the new team is exactly what she needs. As she gets to know the Avant-Guards, she slowly reveals the insecurities and anxieties that lead her to quit basketball and change schools.
The Avant-Guards is a super cute, super queer series that currently has three volumes. It moves quickly, introduces characters of all types and is easy to fall in love with.
Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu
First love and sweetness abound in Ngozi Ukazu’s Check, Please!. Another series that initially started as a webcomic, Check, Please! follows figure skater-turned-ice hockey player Eric “Bitty” Bittle as he starts college at Samwell University.
He may be the smallest guy on the ice, but that doesn’t stop Bitty from winning over the team, even the stoic team captain.
While it’s absolutely adorable, Check, Please! doesn’t shy away from heavier topics. Like Heartstopper, it touches on coming out, family drama, mental health and more. Covering all four years of Bitty’s college journey, this series is perfect for Heartstopper fans.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu
This cute, lighthearted graphic novel centers on a romance between a witch and a non-binary werewolf. The two were friends as children, but when werewolf Tam returns to town, they team up with Nova to figure out their magic together. Mooncakes isn’t fast-paced or action-packed. It’s as quiet a story as you can have while including witchcraft, magic and occult rituals.
There’s also great representation too. Nova wears hearing aids, most of the characters are Asian and everyone is drawn with a different body type. Unlike Heartstopper, this is a standalone story, so no need to worry about cliffhangers!
How many of these sweet LGBTQ+ romances have you read? How are you passing the time until Heartstopper Season 2? Let us know below!
This article was originally published on May 9, 2022.