I read the barebones ebook, so no added illustrations, which is why I say the characters of Nick and Charlie should be kept to graphic novels only. They lose so much of their luster without the adorable illustrations. That and limiting herself to fewer words in the graphic novels helps, I feel, as it focuses things a lot better. In Nick and Charlie, it feels like the quality of the writing fades in and out, like one moment it’s on par with Solitaire (which she wrote when she was 17; I’m in the middle of listening to the audiobook and it’s excruciating) and the next it’s more in line with the Heartstopper books. Maybe I’m bristling at the overwhelming teen angst in the story. Heartstopper is, overall, pretty light and fluffy, even sweet and comforting in its handling of dark subject matter like self-harm and eating disorders. It hardly ever verges on proper broody teen angst like this. There’s also a massive sidelining of the side characters; I get it’s called simply Nick and Charlie, so they’re the focal point, but they were set dressing here and that was quite disappointing. The only one who gets a moment is Victoria, who I’m now starting to loathe thanks to Solitaire (ex. “it takes away my freedom of non-speech,” said about a damned phone), so that’s not exactly the win it would’ve been otherwise, as I had quite liked her up until starting that book. Curse you, 17-year-old Oseman. But, angst and a lack of distractions aside, I still love these two main characters enough to carry me through to the end. It’s no Heartstopper entry, except it’ll do for now, since there’s no more of that until next year.