| | |

15 Books Like Heartstopper

Books Like Heartstopper

Heartstopper, the beloved graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, has captured the hearts of readers worldwide with its tender exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery. 

Following the journey of Charlie and Nick as they navigate the complexities of their relationship, Heartstopper resonates deeply with audiences for its authenticity and charm. If you’re a fan of Heartstopper and are craving more heartwarming stories that celebrate diverse characters and genuine emotions, look no further. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore a curated selection of books that share the same spirit as Heartstopper, offering touching narratives and unforgettable characters that will leave you swooning and smiling with each turn of the page.

Books Like Heartstopper

1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This novel follows Simon Spier, a sixteen-year-old not-so-openly gay student who prefers to save his drama for the school musical. However, when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. 

Simon must step out of his comfort zone before he’s outed against his will, or worse, the chance to tell his own story is taken away from him. Along the way, he has to navigate the dynamics of friendship, family, and first love.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Heartstopper,” “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” explores the themes of young love, coming out, and the challenges of being a teenager. 

Both books provide a heartfelt, humorous, and ultimately uplifting look at the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. 

They share a light and engaging writing style that draws readers into the personal growth and romantic journeys of their protagonists.

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Set in 1987, this novel tells the story of two boys, Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana, who are complete opposites. Yet, they form an unbreakable bond. 

The story delves into issues of identity, family, and the complexities of friendship and love between the two. As Ari and Dante navigate the trials of adolescence, they embark on a journey of self-discovery that alters their lives.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” and “Heartstopper” focus on the development of a deep, emotional relationship between two male characters. 

They tackle themes of identity, acceptance, and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth. 

The novels are celebrated for their beautiful prose, emotional depth, and authentic portrayal of the characters’ journeys towards self-acceptance and love.

3. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

This historical novel follows Henry “Monty” Montague, a young bisexual British lord who embarks on a Grand Tour of Europe with his sister and best friend (and secret crush), Percy. 

What begins as an adventurous quest quickly turns into a harrowing journey, forcing Monty to confront his deepest fears and societal norms. The book is a mix of adventure, romance, and exploration of 18th-century queer life.

Major Similarities: 

“The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” shares with “Heartstopper” the themes of young love, exploration of LGBTQ+ identities, and the challenges of societal expectations. 

Both books are notable for their charming, witty characters and the development of a compelling romance against the odds. They also explore deeper issues of acceptance, family expectations, and personal growth.

4. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

In this speculative contemporary novel, two boys, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio, receive calls from Death-Cast informing them that they will die within the next twenty-four hours. 

They meet through an app called Last Friend and spend their final day together, living a lifetime in a single day. As their stories unfold, they explore what it means to live and love as if every moment is your last.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Heartstopper,” “They Both Die at the End” explores themes of young love and connection between two male characters, albeit under much more dire circumstances. 

Both novels deal with emotional vulnerability, the importance of living authentically, and the impact of societal pressures on LGBTQ+ youth. The focus on character development and emotional depth is a significant similarity between the two.

5. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This novel centers on Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, and Prince Henry of Wales. 

After a public altercation between them necessitates a staged friendship to smooth over international relations, their relationship evolves from antagonistic to romantic. 

The story combines elements of romance, politics, and identity exploration, set against a backdrop of media scrutiny and familial expectations.

Major Similarities: 

Red, White & Royal Blue” and “Heartstopper” both explore the themes of unexpected love and the complexities of a relationship under the public eye. 

They delve into the personal growth of their characters as they navigate their identities, societal expectations, and the challenges of being part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The novels are both heartwarming, funny, and full of endearing characters and relationships that resonate with readers.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

“Carry On” is a fantasy novel that follows Simon Snow, the chosen one in a magical world, as he navigates his last year at the Watford School of Magicks. 

Simon’s mission is to defeat the dark force threatening their world, but his challenges are complicated by his tumultuous relationship with his vampire roommate, Baz. 

As the story unfolds, Simon and Baz move from antagonism to a deeper, more complicated connection, exploring themes of identity, destiny, and love.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Heartstopper,” “Carry On” features a central LGBTQ+ romance that evolves from rivalry to love, exploring the complexities of relationships and identity within a fantastical setting. 

Both novels are beloved for their character-driven narratives, humor, and the way they tackle serious themes with warmth and empathy. 

The exploration of love, acceptance, and the fight against external challenges connects the two stories.

7. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Set in a conservative town, “Autoboyography” follows Tanner Scott, a bisexual teen who goes back into the closet when his family moves from California to Utah. 

His plan to fly under the radar until graduation is derailed when he falls for Sebastian Brother, a Mormon prodigy who mentors his writing class. 

As they grow closer, Tanner discovers the complexities of Sebastian’s world and faces the challenge of loving someone who may not fully embrace his identity.

Major Similarities: 

“Autoboyography” and “Heartstopper” share a focus on young, LGBTQ+ relationships navigating the complexities of societal and familial expectations. 

Both novels feature a coming-of-age romance that is tender, authentic, and fraught with the challenges of self-acceptance and external acceptance. 

The emphasis on the protagonists’ journeys to understanding and embracing their identities is a central theme in both stories.

8. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

This novel introduces Ben De Backer, who comes out as nonbinary to their parents and is subsequently thrown out of their home. 

Moving in with their estranged sister, Ben starts at a new school where they decide not to come out and to keep a low profile. 

However, when Nathan Allan, a charismatic student, takes an interest in them, Ben starts to feel the pull of friendship and the possibility of something more, challenging their plans for invisibility.

Major Similarities: 

Both “I Wish You All the Best” and “Heartstopper” explore themes of identity, acceptance, and the struggles of LGBTQ+ youth with a focus on non-traditional love stories. 

The novels highlight the importance of support systems, friendship, and love in facing adversity. 

They are poignant, uplifting stories about self-discovery and the courage to be oneself, making them resonate deeply with readers looking for representation and empathy.

9. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

This novel follows Molly Peskin-Suso, who knows all about unrequited love but has yet to experience her first kiss. 

With her twin sister moving into a new relationship, Molly feels more alone than ever but wonders if the chance for her own love story is right in front of her. 

The book explores themes of love, self-esteem, and the journey to find confidence in oneself and one’s body, all while navigating the complexities of teenage relationships.

Major Similarities: 

“The Upside of Unrequited” and “Heartstopper” both delve into the intricacies of young love, the feelings of insecurity that come with adolescence, and the journey towards self-acceptance. 

Although “The Upside of Unrequited” focuses on a heterosexual relationship, its exploration of LGBTQ+ themes through supportive characters and the broader spectrum of love and acceptance mirrors the inclusive and affirming tone found in “Heartstopper.”

10. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

In the Bronx, Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after his father’s suicide, but the support of his girlfriend and the distraction of a new friendship with Thomas help him. 

As Aaron discovers the joy of their close friendship, he begins to confront his own identity and feelings, questioning what happiness truly means. 

The novel dives deep into themes of memory, identity, and the pursuit of happiness in the face of societal and personal obstacles.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Heartstopper,” “More Happy Than Not” challenges traditional narratives around LGBTQ+ identities, focusing on the internal struggle of coming to terms with one’s sexuality in a not-always-supportive environment. 

Both novels address the complexities of young love, self-discovery, and the societal pressures faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, offering raw, powerful, and ultimately hopeful perspectives on the journey to acceptance and joy.

11. The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

This contemporary YA novel centers on Max and Jordan, two boys with nothing in common but their need to take control of their fates. 

Over one summer, they find themselves running a food truck together. As they navigate the business, their past traumas, and their present challenges, they discover an unexpected connection. 

The story delicately explores themes of masculinity, consent, and coming of age, all while the boys are falling for each other.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Heartstopper,” “The Music of What Happens” focuses on the development of a relationship between two boys, each dealing with his own personal struggles. 

Both novels are celebrated for their nuanced exploration of LGBTQ+ themes, mental health, and the complexities of young love. 

The stories are a blend of light-hearted moments and deeper, emotional discussions, making the journey of the characters relatable and real.

12. Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

In this romantic YA novel, Bryson Keller, the popular boy at school, accepts a dare to date someone new every week. 

The rules are simple: the relationship lasts only one week, and it must be initiated by the other person. Everything changes when Kai Sheridan, an openly gay student, asks Bryson out, and to everyone’s surprise, Bryson accepts. 

What starts as a challenge turns into a deep exploration of identity, love, and breaking free from societal expectations.

Major Similarities: 

“Date Me, Bryson Keller” and “Heartstopper” share a theme of unexpected romance blossoming in a high school setting. 

Both stories tackle the challenges of coming out and the societal pressures faced by LGBTQ+ youth. 

The novels are heartwarming, highlighting the importance of authenticity and the courage it takes to live one’s truth. 

They offer a hopeful outlook on love and acceptance in the face of adversity.

13. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

Set in 1989 New York City during the height of the AIDS crisis, this novel tells the story of three teenagers: Reza, an Iranian boy who is terrified to come out; Judy, an aspiring fashion designer who idolizes her gay uncle dying of AIDS; and Art, the only openly gay student at their school who captures Reza’s heart. 

As Reza and Judy begin dating, Reza struggles with his feelings for Art, and the trio navigates friendship, love, and activism.

Major Similarities: 

“Like a Love Story” and “Heartstopper” both explore themes of love, identity, and activism within the LGBTQ+ community, albeit in very different settings. 

Both books offer deep emotional insights and challenge readers to think critically about societal attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals. 

They highlight the importance of friendship, the complexities of first love, and the courage needed to stand up for oneself and others.

14. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This collaborative novel from Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera follows Arthur and Ben, two boys who meet-cute at a New York City post office but get separated before they can exchange contact information.

What follows is a series of missed connections and serendipitous reunions. 

As they navigate the uncertainties of fate and love, they wonder if the universe is pushing them together or pulling them apart.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Heartstopper,” “What If It’s Us” delves into the sweet, sometimes awkward dynamics of a budding LGBTQ+ romance. 

Both novels are characterized by their optimistic view of young love, the importance of timing and fate, and the challenges and triumphs of finding love in unexpected places. 

The stories are filled with heartwarming moments, humor, and the ups and downs of teenage relationships.

15. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Based on true events, “Two Boys Kissing” follows Harry and Craig, two seventeen-year-olds who attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss. 

Surrounding their monumental kiss are the stories of other young boys dealing with their own issues of identity, love, and acceptance. 

The novel offers a snapshot of the current state of the LGBTQ+ experience for youth, narrated by a Greek chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

Major Similarities: 

“Two Boys Kissing” and “Heartstopper” both offer poignant explorations of LGBTQ+ themes, focusing on the experiences, struggles, and triumphs of young gay men. 

While “Two Boys Kissing” spans a broader range of stories and takes a more solemn tone at times, both books emphasize the importance of love, understanding, and community support. 

They provide insightful, uplifting, and deeply moving narratives that resonate with readers looking for stories of hope, acceptance, and the power of connection.

Similar Posts