Review | Nick and Charlie by Alice Oseman

Nick and Charlie

by Alice Oseman

YA Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

CHARLIE: “I have been going out with Nick Nelson for two years. He likes rugby, Formula 1, dogs, the Marvel universe, the sound felt-tips make on paper, rain and drawing on shoes. He also likes me.”

NICK: “Things me and Charlie Spring do together include: Watch films. Sit in the same room on different laptops. Text each other from different rooms. Make out. Make food. Make drinks. Get drunk. Talk. Argue. Laugh. Maybe we’re kind of boring. But that’s fine with us.”

Everyone knows that Nick and Charlie are the perfect couple – that they’re inseparable. But now Nick is leaving for university, and Charlie will be left behind at Sixth Form. Everyone’s asking if they’re staying together, which is a stupid question – they’re ‘Nick and Charlie’ for God’s sake!

But as the time to say goodbye gets inevitably closer, both Nick and Charlie question whether their love is strong enough to survive being apart. Or are they delaying the inevitable? Because everyone knows that first loves rarely last forever …


I am so happy that Nick and Charlie is finally out in paperback form! I’m not mad into reading ebooks so I never got around to this even though technically it was published 5 years ago, but the new illustrated paperback edition is the perfect thing for me!

Set 2 years after Heartstopper, this novella follows the continued story of the beloved Nick and Charlie. But this time around, Nick is heading off to university and both have to begin to wonder whether they can make long distance work and if they’re truly meant to be after all.

Honestly, I’ve not got a lot to say about this book. I already loved it before I even read it. This was just such a JOY – and even though I want as much Nick and Charlie content as I can get, I really loved how short and sweet this was. The novella layout makes it so easy to just sit down in one evening and finish it quite quickly.

There are ups and downs of course, and times where I wanted to throw the book across the room—but at the end of the day Nick and Charlie remain one of my favourite fictional romances. Oseman is a genius when it comes to fully-fleshed characters and these two are no different. A light tone to it, but still full of emotion and a great amount of depth. A must read for fans of Alice Oseman and Heartstopper.


5 star

#LGBTQMonth Author Interview: Alice Oseman!

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another author interview! I can’t continue with this post until I remind everyone how important all our efforts our right now and how they should be directed to the Black Lives Matter movement first and foremost! Please keep educating yourself, signing petitions, sharing links, donating if you can and doing anything at all to help the cause! It’s so important to make noise right now, especially for Black trans lives that have been shockingly ignored by the media. Here is a link to a list of petitions that have not yet reached their goals and need your help!

Today I literally couldn’t be more excited! The incredible Alice Oseman has returned to #LGBTQMonth for another interview and I’m so honoured to have her on my blog! If you don’t already know, Alice Oseman is the author of Radio Silence, I Was Born For This and the adorable Heartstopper graphic novel series. Her upcoming fourth novel Loveless is coming out in July and the more recentwhich you can order from Book Depository here!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

alice oseman

Alice Oseman is an author/illustrator and was born in 1994 in Kent, England. She has written four YA contemporary novels about teenage disasters: SOLITAIRE, RADIO SILENCE, I WAS BORN FOR THIS, and upcoming LOVELESS. She is also the creator of LGBTQ+ YA romance webcomic HEARTSTOPPER, which is now published in physical form by Hachette Children’s Books.

Alice’s first novel SOLITAIRE was published when she was nineteen. Her YA novels have been nominated for the YA Book Prize, the Inky Awards, and the Goodreads Choice Award, and HEARTSTOPPER has been optioned for TV. She can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything and everything to avoid getting an office job.


ABOUT LOVELESS

loveless

It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean?

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?


THE INTERVIEW

Hi Alice! I’m so happy to have you back for LGBTQMonth this month, you’r one of my favourite authors! For those who don’t know/have been living under a rock, could you quickly introduce yourself?

Happy to be here! I’m Alice Oseman, the author of four YA novels – Solitaire, Radio Silence, I Was Born for This, and Loveless – and the creator of webcomic/graphic novel series Heartstopper!

You’re a massive champion of diversity in YA, especially queer rep! Is this important to you?

Absolutely. The world is diverse, and everyone deserves to see themselves authentically in fiction, but marginalised authors and stories still often receive far less support and attention than their peers with straight privilege, or cis privilege, or white privilege, or able-bodied privilege, etc. This is why it’s so important not only to read and write diversely, but also to boost marginalised authors.

I completely agree! Now, Nick and Charlie have quickly stolen the hearts of many people in the amazing Heartstopper series. What was it about this couple out of the rest of your characters that made you dedicate an entire series to?


Nick and Charlie first began as secondary characters in my first novel, Solitaire. In that story, Nick and Charlie are a strong, loving couple, but we don’t learn much about their relationship beyond that – how they met, how they got together, and what their relationship is like outside of Tori’s pessimistic narrative. I soon realised that there was a whole other story there, and I was desperate to tell it somehow – I couldn’t stop thinking about them! And so Heartstopper was born!

Amazing! What I love most about you as an author is that you don’t shy away from showing the whole process of being a writer, including all the ups and downs along the way. What would you say are the highs and lows of being a writer?


Gosh, that’s a hard question! There are so many highs… and so many lows. One of the highs is definitely when you get to see your book typeset – aka, when it’s been formatted to look like the final book. That’s when it really starts to feel real for me! One of the lows for me is dealing with plot issues. I’m generally terrible at plot and I have to spend so much time planning my stories before I start!

You got your first novel published when you were seventeen! What was the journey from draft to publication like for you?

I wrote Solitaire for fun! It was a relaxing, enjoyable hobby for me after school and during the weekends and holidays. I knew I wanted to be an author, but I didn’t have any particular aspirations for that book until I’d written most of it – it was at that point that I thought, okay, maybe this book has a shot! So I started Googling how people became authors and found out about literary agents and the traditional submission process. I did exactly that and I was very, very fortunate to hear back from an agent who had been looking for a book like mine. From there, we worked on the book for several months before my agent took it to editors. And I was lucky that there were some editors who were interested!

That’s wonderful! There are definitely a lot of budding writers reading this too – what’s the best piece of advice you can give to them?


Write the book you want to read! Don’t worry about trends or getting published – just focus on crafting a story that you personally adore. That love and passion will shine through in your writing and you’ll write a better story because of it.

What are some of your favourite queer reads/authors that you want to shout about?

As a webcomic artist/graphic novelist, I have to shout out my favourite comic creator of all time, @marsoids. Mars is the creator of queer supernatural romance webcomic Long Exposure, which is about a bully and a nerd who develop superpowers… and start falling in love in the process. It’s probably my favourite webcomic ever! Mars is also currently preparing to launch a new webcomic Ride or Die, a queer supernatural romance centred around drag racing, which I am very excited for. You can read Long Exposure here: https://longexposurecomic.com/, and physical editions of the comics are available to purchase online!

Wowww, that sounds incredible! I must check it out! I’m also so interested in the process for Heartstopper! Could you talk to us about the routine/process and how you get the story and illustrations from your head to the screen/page?


I start by planning! I have the whole story of Heartstopper planned very roughly, and then I plan in more detail chapter-by-chapter. I then write it as a script, trying to stay a few scenes ahead of where I’m drawing. And then comes the drawing! I aim to draw one page per day, usually averaging around twenty-five pages per month. I start by sketching out the page very roughly, then go over with the black lines, and then the shading.

If you could change one thing about your childhood/being a teenager that would make you a better writer – what would it be?

Read less classics. Read more YA.

And finally, the MUCH anticipated Loveless is out next month!! I know alongside me there are many people looking forward to this novel – what can we expect other than another masterpiece?

I’m SO glad you’re excited! Expect an aromantic asexual protagonist figuring out her identity, two wlw main characters fighting for directorship of a Shakespeare Society, the crumbly, cold world of Durham University, a song on a rowing boat, a fancy ball, a battle on a bouncy castle, and several metaphorical uses of Scooby-Doo.


Thank you so much for being part of #LGBTQMonth, Alice! We were delighted to have you and want to thank you for your amazing queer representation across all your work!

Loveless is set to be published July 9th and I urge you all to go pre-order it—from your local indie bookstore if they have it, or anywhere else you can!

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ARC Review: Loveless by Alice Oseman

loveless

Loveless

by Alice Oseman

YA Contemporary

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


It was all sinking in. I’d never had a crush on anyone. No boys, no girls, not a single person I had ever met. What did that mean?

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush – but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her – asexual, aromantic – Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?


Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I mean—AHHHHHHH!!! LITERALLY WHAT?! If you know me even a tiny bit you’ll know Loveless was my most anticipated book of this year and I cannot fathom how lucky and grateful I am to have been able to read this masterpiece a month early!!

I had high hopes for Loveless and it did not let me down at all. With her fourth YA novel, Oseman introduces us to the character of Georgia Warr, a girl who’s about to start university and wondering why she feels so different than everyone around her. As she meets new people in Durham university, she begins to realise that maybe she is different from everyone else—and that maybe that’s not a bad thing.

Ever since it was announced, I was excited. There is not enough aro/ace rep in YA today and I was so happy to hear that Loveless was going to be all about Georgia’s journey in discovering her identity. Another whipsmart, hilarious book from Oseman, she again delivers us with the most complex and diverse cast of characters who are all so easy to love and root for. Pip, Georgia, Rooney, Sunil and Jason are all characters I felt so emotionally invested in even after a few pages.

The story itself is so compelling and the setting was almost as alive as Oseman’s characters themselves. I truly felt like I was there with the way she wrote their surroundings. Loveless is a book overflowing with emotion and confusion and truly cements Oseman as a YA writer who understands teenagers and can write about them perfectly.

Loveless was thoroughly enjoyable, so much so that I could barely put it down. Coming out next month, July 9th, this is an impressive addition to the Oseman universe. I simply cannot recommend this enough and can’t wait to marvel at the joy Georgia’s story is going to bring to so many people. An exceptional, exciting novel.


5 star

ARC Review: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

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I Was Born For This

by Alice Oseman

YA Contemporary


For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.


*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!*

For all of you who know me even a bit, you should know I am obsessed with Alice Oseman and every single thing her incredible imagination conjures. So, I’m sure you can all completely understand why I was over the moon when I was approved for an ARC of I Was Born For This from Netgalley.

As usual, Oseman captures the subject of her novel with ease and perfection. In the case of this book, it deals with fandom and anxiety so well. Illustrates just how captivating a band (or an author, artist, etc) can be to someone, while also exploring the effect that has on that said band (author, artist etc.). I’m not surprised to say that this book is incredible.

Not only is its cast of characters incredibly diverse, with a young Muslim woman and a trans boy as the main characters, but they all feel so completely relatable. Oseman, time after time, really captures how teenagers are meant to be, how they act, feel, what they say and what they’re really thinking. I’ve never connected so much with characters with the way I have with these.

As well as that, she’s an absolute genius at building up tension throughout the novel. From page to page, it accumulates and accumulates until eventually something slips, causing a massive twist, and in this case, I would describe it as our two main characters’ initial encounter.

The book is out May 3rd, and I feel like not even this review is going to justice. Go check it out yourselves and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I have been waiting for this novel for what feels like so long, and I can say, with my hand on my heart, that it was totally worth the wait…


Rating:

★★★★★

Top Three Thursday #5: Diverse Books

Hey everyone! I’m back with another Top Three Thursday and this week I’m going to be putting the spotlight on my three favourite diverse books!


RS

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets. It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness. Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Diversity includes: 3 of the 5 main characters are POC and none of the main characters are straight! Demisexual, bisexual, asexual and gay representation!


THUGSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
 

Diversity includes: 95% of characters in this are POC!


 

TUOU

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Diversity includes: fabulous representation of a fat MC, various ethnicities and riddled with great rep for the LGBTQ community!

 

What are some of your favourite diverse books?

#LGBTQMonth: Author Interview – Alice Oseman!!

I would 100% put Alice Oseman in my top 3 favourite writers, so naturally I screamed when I saw that she was willing to take part in an interview for #LGBTQMonth!! Her books are utterly incredible. Her first novel, Solitude, and her most recent (though I need Book 3 right now) Radio Silence are both written so well, their plots are so immersive and they’re both extremely diverse. She also runs a webcomic called Heartstopper, which is kind of a prequel to Solitude  and it is adorable!! Check out her interview below and check out her books if you haven’t already! She is an amazing human being!

1. Do you have a writing schedule?
Definitely not! I find schedules and deadlines make me very stressed. I’d probably be a lot more productive if I did have a schedule, though!

2. Out of your own LGBTQ characters in your works, who is your favourite and why?
Probably Aled. I see a lot of myself in him. He gets absorbed by his fictional worlds and creations, even sometimes at the expense of real life relationships.

3. What’s your most helpful piece of advice for aspiring writers?
Write the book you want to read.

4. Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
Probably that I always draw my characters. It’s so much fun and it genuinely helps me to get to know them better!

5. What was your hardest scene to write?
In Radio Silence, it was the final scenes between Frances and Aled. There were a lot of complex emotions to be expressed.

6. Who are some of your favourite LGBTQ characters from books you’ve read?
I really loved Ari from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz and really felt for him in that story. I also loved Clove from Lauren James’s The Last Beginning and all her awkward nerdiness.

7. Snog, Marry, Kill! Charlie, Carys or Raine?
Oh my gosh! If I have to choose… I’d say snog Raine, marry Charlie, kill Carys (sorry Carys).

8. What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
I’m terrible at choosing favourites! I’m sure there are loads. I recently read Peter Darling by Austin Chant. It was absolutely beautiful and definitely deserves more attention!

9. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Not really! I knew it was an option, but I didn’t have any need to use a pseudonym. I’m very proud of what I write!

10. Can you tell us anything about the infamous Book 3?
One musician, one fangirl, one week… lots of angst.

Review: Solitaire, by Alice Oseman

Solitaire.jpg

Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: July 31st 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
Pages: 392
–––
In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.
–––
I’m kind of in shock, haha.
What the hell can I say about Solitaire that will give it the justice it so DESPERATELY deserves?
Firstly, I’d like to say that Alice Oseman has definitely climbed that difficult ladder of my favourite authors and I would place her in the Top 3 without hesitation.
I read Radio Silence first, at the beginning of the year actually, and I adored it. One of the greatest novels ever written. And I when I finally got my hands on this and read, I wasn’t surprised that it was on par with Radio Silence.

Tori Spring is a – plot twist! – awkward teenager, because god knows every teenager is perfect. She likes to sleep and blog. She doesn’t have time for friends because she doesn’t feel comfortable around them.
But that’s until Michael Holden walks into her life, and drags her ex-best friend Lucas and a mysterious organisation named Solitaire with him.
Her life is thrown topsy-tirvy and the book deals with how she tries to get it back on track, and to find out about Solitaire.


“As far as I’m concerned, I came out of the womb spouting cynicism and wishing for rain.”


For a debut author, especially in their teens, this was a breathtaking story. The characters – from Tori to Michael and Becky and Lucas and CHARLIE (I LOVE HIM SO MUCH I LITERALLY CAN’T) – were so bloody relatable!!
The plot kept me intrigued the entire way through and some of the scenes with Michael were hilarious. Such an odd, eccentric character but a loveable one nonetheless…

I will read anything and I mean anything by Alice Oseman. She’s something else. If you’re reading this, I just want to say I’m loving Heartstopper so much. She goes above and beyond for her fans from her novellas to her prequel webcomics and she deserves ALL THE AWARDS AND PRAISE!
ALL OF THEM.

Please go make your life better and read this book? It will change you. In a good way.
5[000] out of 5 stars obviouslyyyy.