A heartwarming celebration of friendship, first love and coming out follows the unlikely relationship between a shy teen and a popular rugby player who become more than friends while navigating the ups and downs of high school. By the author of Radio Silence. Simultaneous and eBook. Illustrations. - (Baker & Taylor)
Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork.
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Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance. But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.
The first volume of this new series tells the story of Nick and Charlie, two characters first seen in Oseman's prose debut, Solitaire (2014). Here we meet openly gay Charlie and straight rugby player Nick, who become fast friends at school and then, possibly, something more. Charlie knows he's falling hard, but it's the first time Nick has ever been attracted to a boy, and he's not sure what that means for him. This volume focuses mostly on their blossoming romance, incorporating other issues such as bullying and sexual harassment as Charlie tries to extricate himself from a previous relationship. Oseman's style is heavily influenced by manga in both story and illustration style. While working primarily through dialogue and texts, she also uses many wordless panels depicting small actions and gestures, capturing the emotional state of the characters; with all the blushing and awkward glances, it's difficult not to be charmed. While the drawings—originally published as a web comic—can be inconsistent, the romance and realistic fiction will draw readers in to this sweet story. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 8 Up–Young love—with all its awkwardness, tenderness, and raw emotions—blossoms between two teenagers who appear to be worlds apart. The only openly gay boy in his British all-boys grammar school, sensitive Charlie was bullied when he came out, but things have settled down, and he is seeing someone: Ben, who hooks up with Charlie but isn't out and won't tell anyone about their relationship. When Charlie is assigned to sit next to Nick, he begins falling for the older boy. He's sure it's hopeless—popular "rugby lad" Nick seems to have more in common with Charlie's tormentors. But Nick, who has always assumed he was straight, begins to question his identity—and to realize how bewildering and wonderful love can be. Based on a webcomic, this graphic novel centers on two secondary characters from Oseman's debut prose novel, Solitaire, set before the events of this story. The sweet, two-color, manga-inspired art seems simplistic at first glance, but detailed expressions convey the boys' longing, uncertainty, and joy. Quirky dialogue (with some profanity) and a font that mimics handwriting add to the adorkability factor. VERDICT Realistic yet uplifting, this tale of self-discovery will make readers' hearts skip a beat as they root for Charlie and Nick.—Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT
Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.