From the Heartstopper series

Sweet and idealistic.

In this novella addition to the Heartstopper graphic novel series, English teen boys Nick and Charlie face a new challenge—sustaining a long-distance relationship.

At the end of the summer, Nick will leave for university a couple of hundred miles north in Leeds. He can’t wait for independence and an escape from his hometown. As much as Charlie wants to support his boyfriend, every time Nick mentions his plans, Charlie sinks deeper into anxious thoughts about a whole year apart. All of Charlie’s followers on Tumblr say their breakup is inevitable, which doesn’t help. Determined not to make Nick feel bad about his insecurity, Charlie tries to distract both of them from the future and the upcoming changes. Chapters switch back and forth between Charlie’s and Nick’s perspectives. Each time Charlie swallows his anxiety and lies to Nick, he feels worse. The steady buildup of tension drives the story forward at a fast pace. Returning characters and references to past events from the comic series receive some introduction and explanation for new readers, but familiarity with the previous volumes or the live-action Netflix series provides beneficial context for characters’ relationships and the central conflict. Illustrations throughout capture romantic and emotional moments. Although presented in a different format from the rest of the series, this appealing addition strikes the same balance of engrossing drama and gentle love.

Sweet and idealistic. (cultural notes for American readers, character information and sketches) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 9781338885101

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.

A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Close Quickview