Charlie and Nick are both at the same school but have never interacted with each other, until they are seated together in their new tutor room. Initially they seem very different from each other: Nick is in an older year and into rugby whereas Charlie is younger and more into drums. After sitting next to each other every day, they strike up an unlikely friendship which their friends aren’t as keen on.
Charlie is also openly gay and sometimes is the victim of homophobic taunts from his classmates. Nick stands up for Charlie and, as their friendship blossoms, begins to question his own identity. Despite never being interested in boys before, he has feelings for Charlie which he discovers he might want to explore.
Alice Osman has created a touching story about two boys who find out more about themselves whilst exploring their relationship with each other. Nick and Charlie are both at the age where they are well on their path of self-discovery; a new friendship can change more than just your social activities.
In a comic-style book, Alice has created an emotive story which shows the reader not only how the two main characters are feeling, but also glimpses of the attitudes of the people they are surrounded by. The emotions are captured so well within the illustrations and really begin to project what the character is going through. There are still attitudes which need to be challenged which are highlighted within the book; Nick standing up for Charlie at the party was, for me, one of the best moments of the book. I’m sure we all wish we had done this for someone we know in the past.
It’s safe to say the book was left on an ABSOLUTE cliffhanger that (for obvious spoiler reasons) I won’t reveal to you. Because of the style, it was such an easy read, but incredibly enjoyable.
The one disappointment? When I went to Waterstones they were sold out of Volume 2, so I couldn’t continue their story yet!
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