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Every Book Isaac Reads in Heartstopper Season 2

Albert Camus was an influential French existential philosopher famed for many pronouncements including the line “hell is other people” from his play Huis Clos/No Exit (which inspired the creation of NBC sitcom The Good Place fact-fans). This 1942 novella (which itself inspired The Cure’s first single ‘Killing an Arab’ – a link with Heartstopper because the prom band in which Sahar plays covers The Cure song ‘Just Like Heaven’) is about Meursault, who, after his mother’s funeral, murders a stranger in Algiers and is imprisoned for it. Buy here on Amazon.

Where’s Wally: The Great Picture Hunt by Martin Handford

Now we’re talking! In a teeny fun moment during the Heartstopper Paris trip after the visit to art gallery the Louvre, the gang is in their room trying to spot Wally in this art-themed activity book. Finally – a bit of relaxation for young Isaac. Buy here on Amazon.

Crush by Richard Siken

Isaac mixes things up with the poetry collection he’s seen reading at Tara’s 16th birthday party in Paris. Crush was cult American poet Richard Siken’s first award-winning collection, and in 2004 won Siken the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Siken followed up Crush with 2015’s War of the Foxes, and his work explores love, obsession, gay sexuality and much more. Read ‘Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out‘ for a taste. Buy here on Amazon.

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

To give it the full title, 2016’s Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family is the disturbing real-life autobiography of author Garrard Conley, who grew up gay in a conservative, Southern, Christian fundamentalist family. When Conley was brutally outed following a sexual assault, his parents enrolled him in a so-called Conversion Therapy programme, and here, he tells that story. The book was adapted into a 2018 feature film directed by and starring Joel Edgerton, with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Buy here on Amazon.

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Samra Habib’s queer, Muslim memoir tells their story of growing up as part of a threatened sect in Pakistan, arriving in Canada as a refugee, and escaping an arranged marriage aged 16. Their powerful fight for freedom is told with a fierce prose style that results in a triumphant and uplifting real-world account. Buy here on Amazon.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

“Raw, real and deeply hopeful” is the quote by Heartstopper creator Alice Osman on the copy of Akemi Dawn Bowman’s Summer Bird Blue that Isaac is seen with towards the end of season two. It’s the story of teenage musician Rumi, who suffers a bereavement and is sent to live far from home with her aunt in Hawaii. There, deep in her grief, Rumi works towards acceptance and forgiveness against a backdrop of surfing, songwriting and beauty. Buy here on Amazon.

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