I was nervous about reading this volume because my teenage niece read it first, and she warned me about the cliffhanger ending. I’ve already reviewed Heartstopper: Volume One and Heartstopper: Volume Two, so check those out if you’re interested.
Despite my hesitancy, I decided it was finally time to read this volume. I’ve always felt so comforted by this series. It’s soft and sweet and fluffy. The artwork is beautiful, and the relationship between Nick and Charlie only gets better and stronger. I was surprised when I realized that this volume was delving into a lot of serious topics, such as self harm and eating disorders. I had not been expecting that, but I think they were dealt really well. I’m glad I didn’t pick this up a few weeks ago during one of my most severe depressive episodes because it probably would have only made it worse. I care so deeply about Charlie and Nick. They’re 15 and 16 years old, so I see them as practically babies. I don’t like it when they hurt.
There was a good balance between those serious topics and the fluff that we’re used to, which I thought was great. I liked that these issues were addressed and not brushed aside. I really love the growth that Nick has had in this series. He’s been on a journey of self discovery, which is to be expected as a bisexual teenager. Charlie’s journey seems to be a much harder one, and I just want the best for him. I’m eager to read the Fourth Volume. I just discovered that this is actually a webcomic, so the chapters are available online for free. I will be catching up on those from now on. I can’t wait an entire year for the next one!
I wanted to add that one of my favorite things about this volume was a very small subplot involving the two teachers who are assigned to look after the students on their Paris trip. They were the trope of a smiley one, and a grumpy one, and it worked so well. I loved the small glimpses into their relationship.
This series has wonderful rep, and a realistic insight into LGBT+ experiences on top of having genuinely loving relationships. I will always recommend it!