Is ‘Heartstopper’ on Netflix based on a book?

Image via Netflix

Netflix just got a little more colorful with its new breakout hit, Heartstopper

If you’ve been on the streaming platform in the last couple of weeks, then you’ve probably seen Heartstopper trending, especially in the “LGBTQ TV Teen Drama” category. This queer coming-of-age story has been wooing fans and impressing critics with its simple yet whimsical “boy meets boy” storyline, landing itself a solid 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

The queer love story follows 14- and 16-year-old British schoolboys Charlie Spring and Nicholas Nelson at Truham Boys School. The two meet by happenstance when Charlie’s teacher assigns him a seat next to Nicholas in class. Nicholas is a rugby player who belongs to the popular crowd, while Charlie is, well, the opposite. However, when the boys meet for the first time, the chemistry between the two is immediate. Charlie can’t ignore the flutter of butterflies blooming inside his stomach and Nicholas is just too golden-retriever-adorable to be true.

The show comes at the perfect time for Netflix, which saw a hefty drop in subscribers recently, but Heartstopper‘s cute, whimsical storyline is doing what the platform can only hope for: telling a good story and having people coming back for more. Viewers are instantly transported back to the exciting highs and devastating lows of teenage love, and to the treacherous battleground of high school hallways. In many ways, Heartstopper does what To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Love, Victor did so well — if not better. It’s hard to watch without smiling. 

If you’re wondering if Heartstopper is based on a book, you’re not alone. Here’s what you should know.

Heartstopper is based on a graphic novel

Image via Netflix

Heartstopper is, in fact, based on a book. A graphic novel, actually. However, before it was a graphic novel, the queer coming-of-age story began as a webcomic. 

The endearing adaptation comes from the mind of young adult author Alice Oseman, who began posting Heartstopper to social media platforms like Tumblr and Tapas in 2016. Over time, Oseman garnered an army of fans and the webcomic eventually became a graphic novel, one which has been flying off the shelves at bookstores like Barnes & Noble ever since. You’d be hard-pressed to snag a copy of the volumes now that the show has blown up.

The show follows the first two volumes of the graphic novel, from Charlie and Nicolas’ meet-cute to their budding friendship. Whether or not Netflix will renew the show for a second season has yet to be determined, although the streamer would be wise to. There’s plenty of source material for it to pull from, and fans of the graphic novel are sure to tune in.

As of now, there are four volumes in Heartstopper, with the fifth coming out on Feb 2, 2023. The final volume will be about — well, you’ll just have to read to find out.