Are you Heartstopper fan? I’ve compiled the 16 absolute best books like Heartstopper
This post contains affiliate links. That said, I won’t ever recommend a book I haven’t read and loved myself
I like Charlie Spring! In a romantic way, not just a friend way. Heartstopper is the adorable LGBTQ+ YA Graphic novel series that combines friends to lovers romance, with unforgettable friendships and a heartwarming coming of age story.
Heartstopper is such a comfort read for me. And I was nervous that the Netflix series wouldn't live up to my expectations. But I am OBSESSED. And if you're anything like me you've probably already binge watched it 4-5 times.
But it’s difficult to find books that match Heartstopper with its easy pace and adorable romance.
So I browsed the r/suggestabook subreddit and polled Instagram users to round up a list of the absolute best books like Heartstopper. I've also read and loved each of the books recommended on this list!
Whether it's a mlm romance, an lgbtq graphic novel or bisexual characters - this post has got you covered. Plus for each book I've included:
- Good Reads Rating
- Content warnings
- The vibe of the book
- Positives and negative
This post isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of every single LGBTQ+ romance book I’ve read. It’s a guide to the absolute best books like Heartstopper. This post does contain affiliate links. That said, I won’t ever recommend a book I haven’t read and loved myself. You can rest assured every book has passed my scrutiny.
This post is all about books like Heartstopper
What should I read after Heartstopper?
Looking for books like Heartstopper? Check out the quiz below to find out what lgbtq+ book to read after Heartstopper.
YA Contemporary books like Heartstopper
1. Running with Lions by Julian Winters
Running with Lions is a wholesome mlm enemies to lovers story set in a summer soccer camp. It features a cast of queer characters and a bisexual main character.
It follows Sebastian Hughes who is going to a summer training camp. And he is a member of an incredible team where he can be open about his sexuality. But Emir, an old best friend who hates his guts, is also at the camp.
I love how this book deals with sexuality in sports! Also, it includes the sweetest and most wholesome queer love story.
The author is Julian Winters. He started writing because he couldn’t find any books with people like him.
This would be a great pick if you're looking for books like Heartstopper. It features a light-hearted mlm romance, a diverse cast and the found family trope
Running with Lions won accolades for its positive depictions of diverse, relatable characters. The relationships between the football team are insanely heartwarming. Sebastian’s team is a multi-ethnic group with many different sexual orientations and they almost become a family..
Good Reads Rating: 3.72
2. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Felix Ever After is an own voices book featuring a black, queer and transgender main character. Like Heartstopper, it features a diverse cast of characters and an adorable friends to lovers romance.
It follows Felix Love who has never been in love. And he is desperate to experience it.
An anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages. And the student publicly posts Felix’s deadname. Along with photos of him before his transition.
Felix decides to plot revenge. But his catfishing lands him in a love triangle.
Kacen Callender wrote Felix Ever After. Callender also won the Stonewall Book Award and Lambda literary award for Hurricane Child. They do a particularly good job at discussing difficult topics such as class disadvantage, transphobia and body dysmorphia. Oh and it features an adorable friends to lovers m/m romance. If you're looking for books like Heartstopper you should pick this up.
Good reads rating: 4.37
Related Post: 15 must-read ya lesbian books you need on your tbr list
3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
If you haven't read Alice Oseman's other books then I highly recommend then. Especially Radio Silence. Radio silence is a cute ya contemporary about friendship. It also features great a-sexual representation and a character from the Heartstopper books.
Frances has always been focused on studying and getting into university. But then she meets Aled and they instantly become friends. But when the trust is broken Frances has to confront her past. And her guilty secret.
One thing Alice Oseman does really well is that she writes the most beautiful friendships. Aled and Frances are one of my all-time favourite fictional friendships. A bisexual girl and a demisexual boy in a m/m relationship.
I listened to this as an audiobook and I would 100% recommend it. The podcast theme that runs through the book really lends itself to the audiobook format. And it felt like it was meant to be listened to.
Good reads rating: 4.16
4.She drives me crazy by Kelly Quindlen
I truly believe that you cannot go wrong with the enemies to lovers and fake dating tropes. She drives me crazy is a queer enemies to lovers romance with the fake dating trope. It also is a sports romance , forced proximity and it's set in a high school.
It follows Scottie Zajac. She loses spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up. So she gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person. Her nemesis Irene Abraham.
Irene Abraham is incredibly beautiful but also incredible mean. And things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved. And the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
And it only gets worse the more time they spend together. But then an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her ex. And she bribes Irene into playing along.
This book is such a cute, light-hearted read. And it makes for such escapism. I often don't want to read books that deal with heavy issues. Or that teach you something. If you're looking for a cozy, feel-good ya lesbian book or a cute wlw romance then this is a great choice.
Good reads rating: 4.09
Books like Heartstopper - Books with bisexual characters
5. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Sapphic superheroes anyone? Not Your Sidekick is a superhero-themed novel featuring a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese protagonist, a trans character and a f/f romance.
And it’s written by an own voices author. Similar to Heartstopper, it's an LGBTQ+ book with an adorable romance.
It follows Jessica Tran, a bisexual high school student who is resigned to a life without superpowers and decides to start an internship to improve her college applications. However, she quickly discovers it’s for a supervillain with her crush Abby.
Not Your Sidekick is another light, fluffy and fun read. It takes superhero tropes and gives a really refreshing take on a superhero story. I love how the superheroes and super villains storyline is woven into modern, everyday life.
It also manages to tackle a lot of issues while still staying fun. There is a whole series of these and I’ve already added Not Your Villain to my TBR list as I really loved Bells in Not Your Sidekick. If you're looking for books like Heartstopper then you need to read this!
Good reads rating: 3.90
6. Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
When I think of books with bisexual characters - Perfect on Paper instantly comes to mind. Darcy Phillips is an excellent bisexual character Perfect on paper is about a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates.
Perfect on paper follows Darcy Phillips. She runs an anonymous service giving love advice to her classmates via a locker. They slip in their worries and she responds with a carefully worded response. But Alexander Brougham catches her in the act. And in exchange for keeping her secret, he asks her to be his dating coach.
If you like the fake dating trope, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. The ‘dating coach’ concept worked really well. And it allowed for so much character growth and development. I also really enjoyed the romance between Alexander and Darcy.
The discussions around bisexuality and biphobia in this book are excellent. You can clearly tell this is an own voices story. And the discussions around bisexual girls in relationships with guys is absolutely spot on.
Gonzales’ Writing style is excellent. There was no purple prose and it was very easy to read. The teenagers were also written really well. And they were very believable. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between all the characters.
Good reads rating: 4.13
7. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston
If you haven't read Red, White and Royal Blue yet then you definitely should. If you're looking for books like Heartstopper, RWRB is a great choice. It's a New Adult Romance that balances serious topics with enemies to lovers mlm romance.
Red, White and Royal Blue follows Prince Henry and Alex Claremont Diaz. They cause a scandal in the press and have to pretend to be friends.
It made the New York Times Bestseller list and won a Good Reads Choice award. Also over 30,000 people have reviewed it on Good Reads
The relationships between the characters in the book are what makes this for me. It’s an empowering queer romance story. It takes place in a parallel universe where a woman with mixed-race children is president.
It’s an incredible book. And this book is one of the best for bisexual representation.
Good reads rating: 4.21
8. One last stop by Casey Mcquiston
If you’re looking for a book with chaotic bisexual energy
If you’ve read Red, White and Royal Blue and you haven’t read One Last stop – I highly recommend you pick this one up. It's a new adult book featuring a bisexual main character and the found family trope. It also has a cast full of amazing queer characters.
It follows August. She’s a cynical 23 year old who is trying to survive in New York. But then she meets this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane is dazzling, mysterious and insanely charismatic. But there’s one problem. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s.
There are so many good things about this book. If you love the friendship group in Heartstopper then this is a great choice. The chaotic roommates and the friendships are incredible.
The writing is also really funny with great banter. Plus the food imagery is droolworthy. ( If you enjoyed One Last Stop then read this post for more books like One Last Stop)
Good reads rating: 4.10
9. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle is a YA Paranormal Fantasy series featuring a cursed romance. And the series has an adorable slow burn mlm romance.
Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby school. The students there are known locally as Raven Boys.
I had so many recommendations to read this and for good reason. The characters and the relationships are what make this one of the best fantasy books.
If you loved the friendship group and witty banter in Heartstopper – then I highly, highly recommend Raven boys. You can also conveniently buy this on Book Depository with free shipping worldwide- you can get it here.
Good reads rating: 4.04
10. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Her Royal Highness is a great pick if you love Heartstopper. It's a light-hearted teen romance set in a school. It also features the enemies to lovers trope, royalty and a great bisexual character.
Not only does it include the enemies-to-lovers trope. But it also features the room-mates trope, royalty, an ex-girlfriend and a posh boarding school.
Oh, and did I mention it’s all set in stunning Scottish highlands.
The book follows Millie who is heartbroken when she discovers that her kinda girlfriend has been kissing someone else. After getting into a super elusive boarding school, she moves to Scotland. And this is where she meets Princess Flora.
It’s a sweet, lighthearted and irresistibly charming book. You can easily binge-read it in one sitting. If you haven’t read it you absolutely need to.
Good reads rating: 3.79
11. A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
There is so much to love about A Marvellous Light. It's an mlm romance about magic, a mystery to solve and a secret magical society. And it also has serious dark academia vibes.
It follows Robin Blyth. Due to an administrative error, he is named liaison to a secret magical society. So, he is forced to contend with magic's dangers and a deadly curse while he searches for his missing predecessor.
To do this, he'll need the help of Edwin Courcey. Edwin Courcey is his prickly magical society counterpart but he clearly wishes Robin were anyone else.
I love the secret society of magicians. And the Edwardian setting and mlm romance sets it apart from other books including secret magical societies.
If you like historical fiction or dark academia then you need to read this one. It's fantastic to read about gay men in an Edwardian setting.
Good reads rating: 4.13
12. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
If you like the Fake Dating Trope then you absolutely have to read Hani and Ishu's guide to fake dating. It's a ya contemporary with a wlw romance with Muslim and Bengali main characters. It also executes the grumpy/sunshine trope really well.
Hani is bisexual but she is having trouble getting her friends to believe her. Ishu wants to be Head Girl.
They decide to fake date so that Hani’s friends believe she is bisexual. And to help Ishu in her Head girl campaign.
The bisexual representation is executed so well in this book. There aren't enough books that deal with biphobia. And this explicitly deals with biphobic bullying.
The fake dating trope is executed perfectly – it leads to so many funny moments. And both characters learn from each other. The writing is really funny and the grumpy/sunshine romance led to so many funny moments. It had me laughing out loud so many times.
It’s an absolutely adorable book and the romance is perfect. The combination of tropes is executed really well. And this book will never fail to cheer you up.
Good reads rating: 4.21
LGBTQ+ YA Graphic Novels
13. The LumberJanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
The Lumberjanes series is an adorable lgbtq middle grade graphic novel. It features a diverse lgbtq cast of characters. And it's set at a summer camp and is filled with beautiful forest imagery.
The graphic comic book series follows five pals at a summer camp. They are determined to have an incredible summer and not let supernatural critters or quests get in their way.
The incredible drawings instantly gave me an emotional connection to the characters in the books. The story is well paced and I love the adventure story.
The first novel opens with a bang and the plot really engaged me. The graphic novel format and short length make them really easy to read. If you’re looking for light-hearted lgbtq books for tweens then you should pick this up. (For more incredible lgbtq middle grade graphic novels try The Backstagers or Mooncakes.)
You can read this on Scribd. If you haven't used it before, Scribd is a digital library with podcasts, books, audiobooks and even sheet music. They offer a free trial for 30 days. And you can read an unlimited amount of books with their subscription - check it out here
Good reads rating: 4.03
14. Fence by C.S Pacat and Johanna the Mad
I also read Fence on Scribd. The graphic comic book series follows Nicolas Cox. He's the illegitimate son to an Olympic Champion fencer. And he is determined to make it as a fencer. But the fencing world is uber competitive and he's an outsider. He signs up for a competition. But he's put head-to-head with a fencing prodigy.
I consumed this series so quickly. I could not put it down. The characters are so likeable. Especially Nicolas! And I was so invested in Nicolas making the fencing team. Nicolas and Seiji also have a great potential 'enemies to lovers' romance.
I always feel a strong emotional connection to the characters in graphic novels. But I especially loved the artwork in Fence. Johanna the Mad is insanely talented and created a real atmosphere through the artwork.
Graphic novels ate really easy to read. But this is especially binge-worthy. The found family, diverse cast and school setting make this a perfect choice if you're looking for graphic novels or books like Heartstopper.
Good reads rating: 3.98
15. Laura Dean Keeps breaking up with me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero O'Connell
Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me is a graphic novel about a toxic relationship. It follows Freddy Riley. And all Freddy wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her.
Laura Dean is popular, funny and charming. But she can also be thoughtless. Their on-again off-again relationship has all Freddy's friends frustrated.
I have mixed feeling about this graphic novel. So many people I know absolutely love this book. The illustrations are beautiful and the diversity is excellent.
And I also love the exploration of toxic relationships. It was really well done and it showed the impact a toxic relationship can have on your mental health.
But I found the characters to lack emotional depth and I found it hard to emotionally connect with them. The storyline was also a bit all over the place.
Overall however, I think this is worth reading. It's a quick, easy read. It's an LGBTQ+ YA Graphic novel with beautiful illustrations and a diverse cast. Those elements make it a good choice for Heartstopper fans. And It's an excellent book for education a YA audience on toxic relationships.
Good reads rating: 3.93
16. The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill
If you're looking for diverse LGBTQ+ YA graphic novels then you need to read some of Kay O'Neill's work. While the plot is very different to Heartstopper - they are still cosy, heartwarming reads.
The Tea Dragon Society is about dragons who grow leaves you can make tea from. But the tea is infused with memories.
We follow Greta a blacksmith apprentice. One day she finds a lost tea dragon in the marketplace. Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners.
This book is adorable, impossibly cute and heart-warming. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and painfully adorable.
Not only is it a beautiful book with a lovely message. But it stars people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+ characters. (For more of Kay O'Neill's work you could try Princess Princess Ever After, Aquicorn Cove or The Tea Dragon Tapestry)
Good reads rating: 4.37
17. Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O’Neill
A cute graphic novel about two princesses who fall in love
I couldn't resist including another Kay O'Neill book on this list. However, they write the most wholesome, beautiful and cosy lgbtq graphic novel.
Princess Princess ever after is about two princesses who fall in love. We follow Sadie who is locked in a tower. She is rescued by another princess -Amira. Also, Amira rides a pink unicorn. It’s just as queer and lovely as it sounds.
This is such a comforting book to read. It deals with some really important topics such as feminism, equality and abusive relationships. But it does it in such a light-hearted way.
This is insanely adorable and a really quick read. It has cosy, cottagecore vibes. And even though it includes the insta love trope, it's so wholesome that it works perfectly. (For more of Kay O'Neill's work you could try Aquicorn Cove or The Tea Dragon Tapestry)
Good reads rating: 4.08
18. Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin, Nina Vakueva
If you’re looking for a book about ladies fighting the patriarchy
Heavy Vinyl is a recent read for me. And it’s fantastic! It has a diverse cast, beautiful artwork and features ladies fighting the patriarchy.
It follows Chris. She starts working at her local record store. But her co-workers are keeping something from her. They’re all members of a secret fight club who fight crime.
It features a f/f couples, an all girl fighting club and a 90s setting. The art style is awesome. Plus the found family trope works really well. And the banter between co-workers is hilarious.
It’s definitely more of a light-hearted ‘slice of life;’ type read. So if you’re looking for an action-packed adventure book then this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for some light-hearted escapism then Heavy Vinyl is for you.
Good reads rating: 4.01
19. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
If you're looking for LGBTQ+ YA Graphic novels with cute. light-hearted romance then you need to read Mooncakes. It's a YA Romance about a witch and a non-binary werewolf.
It follows teen witch Nova. She works at her Nana's magical bookshop. And she helps them loan out spell books. But she also investigates supernatural occurrences in her local town.
One day, she is tasked to investigate reports of a white wolf in a nearby forest. She then discovers her childhood best friend, Tam, fighting a demon werewolf. Together they investigate the demon and rekindle their feelings towards each other.
This is such a comfort read. The artwork is insanely beautiful. I really loved the illustrations of the magic and magical creatures living in the forest. The romance is also really adorable.
The story isn't fast-paced and action packed. We also don't find out much about the characters background. But it's such a quick, cute and light-hearted read that I don't think it matters. It also deals with serious topics like loss and difficult family relationships really well.
Good reads rating: 3.85
20. The Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sigh
Okay, this is such a wholesome LGBTQ+ middle grade graphic novel. If you're a fan of Heartstopper, The Tea Dragon Society or the LumberJanes then you'll probably enjoy this one. It's a graphic novel featuring a mlm romance and the found family trope.
It follows Jory. He transfers to an all-boys private high school. But at first he's not happy at the school. Until he's taken in by the only ones who don't treat him like a new kid - the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers.
The Backstagers are a group of students who help backstage at plays. He makes great, lifetime friends. But he is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain.
This is such a light-hearted, easy read. It's fairly short and the graphic style makes it easy to read pretty quickly. The romance was a bit insta-lovey. But it's such a wholesome read that it doesn't really matter. If you have a train journey this would be the perfect length read. (For more wholesome LGBTQ+ Middle Grade graphic novels like this one try Mooncakes or The Tea Dragon Society)
Good reads rating: 3.91
21. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
One of the top lgbtq+ graphic novels you should read is Nimona. It's an adorable lgbtq+ fantasy graphic novels with dragons, shape-shifters and brilliant characters. It also features a great mlm romance perfect if you're looking for books like Heartstopper
It follows Nimona and Lord Ballister Blackheart. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter who becomes a sidekick to Lord Blackheart. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. Their mission is to prove that Sir Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.
There is so much to love about this! The storyline kept me hooked and I binge read this in one sitting. The plot is action-packed and full of twists. The humour was excellent. And the banter between the characters is genuinely very funny.
If you enjoy reading books about villains or morally grey characters then you need to pick this up. Nimona is so delightfully evil in such a charming way. The artwork is beautiful and makes this easy to read in one sitting.
Good Reads Rating: 4.15
22. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
If you like the found family trope then you need to read this graphic novel. It executes the found family trope so perfectly! It also features beautiful artwork and an emotional storyline.
It follows Mia. She joins a team in the deepest reaches of space who rebuild broken-down structures. As a new member, she gets to know her team. It also flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student.
This has such a creative concept and world. The graphic novel format worked so perfectly and really helped to bring it to life. The storyline is non-linear. Flashbacks of Mia's experience at boarding school are woven into the plot. Non-linear storylines are quite hit and miss for me. But it worked perfectly . And it merged together really well at the end.
If you're looking for a more emotional storyline then this graphic novel is 100% worth picking up. The story is deeply emotional. And will have you in tears by the end.
Good Reads Rating: 4.30
Those were my picks for the best books like Heartstopper
Whether you’re looking for a cute romance, high school ya books or an unforgettable friendship group – I hope you found a book to read.
What books have you read like Heartstopper? Let me know in the comments section below.
This post was all about books like Heartstopper
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Name & Author
Good Reads Rating
Running with Lions By Julian Winters
Enemies to lovers, childhood friend, found family
mlm, bisexual main character, gay main characters, Muslim love interest
alcohol use, bullying, islamophobia, body shaming, body insecurity, one scene that contained the use of homophobic language.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
friends to lovers, love triangle, revenge plot
Trans demiboy maincharacter, gay main characters, lesbian side character, mlm romance
Alcohol (underage drinking), Bullying, Catfishing, Cyberbullying
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Asexual representation, bisexual and biracial main character, mental illness
suicide ideation, depression, emotional abuse, and animal cruelty
Not your Sidekick by C.B.Lee
Friends to lovers, superheroes
Chinese-Vietnamese main character, Bisexual main character, F/F romance, Black side character, Trans side character, Latine side character
Perfect on Paper by sophie Gonzales
enemies to lovers, love triangle,
bi girl mc, trans sc, Vietnamese-American lesbian sc, bi sc, gay sc, pan nonbinary sc
alcoholism, divorce, manipulation, bisexual erasure (countered), biphobia/some internalized (countered
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston.
enemies to lovers, fake friendship, royalty,
bisexual MC, biracial character, gay characters
Sex under the influence of alcohol (not in a predatory context, but still), forced outing, attempted rape (talked about, not in scene), drug abuse (not in scene), parent death, rare instances of homophobia, racism, xenophobia.
One Last Stop by Casey Mcquiston
found family, time travel, insta love, opposites attract, grumpy/sunshine
wlw romance, bisexual MC
Drinking, semi-public sex, anxiety, memory loss, familial estrangement, familial death, Homophobia, the AIDS crisis, racism, childhood neglect, arson
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
found family, opposites attract
bisexual MC, gay MC,
parental abuse, family abuse,attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Room-mates, enemies to lovers, boarding school
wlw romance, bisexual mc, lesbian love interest
Alcohol use, Cheating, Death (parental, recalled)
The Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
Action girl,m absent parents, love triangle, found family
Representation: wlw romance, sapphic main charcters
Drowning, minor blood depiction, phsycial injury
Fence by C.S.Pacat and Johanna the Mad
Found family, opposites attract, grumpy/sunshine, hate at first sign
Asain main character, Black main character, mlm relationship, gay main character, queer characters
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero
Toxic relationship, on again off again,
East Asian lesbian MC; Black, queer & lesbian side characters.
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O'Neill
insta-love, found family
Queer main characters, disabled MC, POC characters
Violence, Blood, Medical trauma, ableism, chronic illness
Princess Princess Ever After by Kay O'Neill
Friends to lovers, insta love,
wlw relationship, POC characters, queer main characters
Fatphobia, Confinement, Body shaming
Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin, Nina Vakueva
goth girl, found family, lovable misfit, girl next door
wlw romance, queer main characters, same sex parents
Brainwashing, Kidnapping, Fighting, breaking in to places
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Childhood friend, friends to lovers,
Chinese-American main characters, queer, non-binary, disability (hearing impairment)
Kidnapping, Confinement, Violence, grief, death of a parent