Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up With Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up With Me

Graphic Novel - 2019
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Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There's just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend. Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy's best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it's really Laura Dean that's the problem. Maybe it's Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love. Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need
Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2019
ISBN: 9781250312846
1250312841
9781626722590
Characteristics: 289 pages : illustrations ; 14 cm

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n
nbartos
Sep 16, 2019

I'm so glad I gave Tamaki another chance after not enjoying This One Summer. This is probably the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing graphic novel I've read. This book also uses the fact that it's a graphic novel to its advantage by using the art to show the passage of time, convey moods and emotions, etc. This seems like an obvious thing to do, but I think it's something a lot of graphic novels forget to do, to use the medium to its greatest advantages and have a reason for making it a graphic novel outside of the fact that they can draw or know a great artist.
Outside of the beautiful art and color scheme, I enjoyed the story of Freddy growing and finding her place in her relationships. Yes, Freddy is absolutely a frustrating character, but most of us also know a Freddy, and I loved seeing that growth. One of my only problems with this book was that I wish we could've seen more of Laura Dean (although, so does Freddy I guess). I just feel like we didn't see enough of what's going on with her apart from the end. I also don't feel I gained much from the random comments by inanimate objects.
Overall, I loved this, and I would read it again.

lgbtq rep: main character in on-again-off-again f/f relationship; side characters in m/m relationship (it's super queer)

l
lhohman
Sep 11, 2019

The art in this book is absolutely gorgeous. Every page was an absolute treat. The writing of this graphic novel was also excellent. The characters had depth and the world they reacted to and motivations they responded with felt honest. I was completely absorbed! I only wish this had existed when I was still a conflicted LGBTQ+ teen.

LPL_CentennialC Sep 05, 2019

God, I wish this book had existed as a teen and I wish that someone had given it to me. What a lovely and lovingly told story about growing up and learning how to be a good friend--to others and to yourself. This book hit home for me in so many ways, and I feel strongly that this book is part of a new canon of young adult literature for this generation of teens. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is definitely going on my favorites of 2019 booklist, but it’ll be one that I keep on my favorites shelf for a long time coming.

Other strong points:
Complex & tenderly crafted characters with realistic flaws and motivations
Gorgeous (and frankly, iconic) pink & grey color scheme
Creative use of panels, transitions, and shadows
Plot that is personal and quiet, but never slow or boring -- reminds me of something like Whisper of the Heart
A heartfelt, true message to take away from the story: “Your love should be a thing that brings something to you. It’s true that giving can be a part of love. But, contrary to popular belief, love should never take from you.”

TL;DR: Read this book if you are interested in: coming of age stories, relationships gone wrong, creative comics art, or staying current with YA book trends.

p
penelopegomez
Sep 04, 2019

Can I just say how beautiful the cover of this book is! This cover is what first caught my attention. I had no idea it was a graphic novel when I first placed this item on hold, but I was happily surprised. Honestly this book was so good. The main character Freddy is in love with Laura Dean, the most popular girl in school, the only problem is, Laura Dean is a PLAYER! Laura Dean has broken up with Freddy a total of 3 times! Freddy knows she's a habitual cheater, but keeps running back. They are left in a complicated / heartbreaking cycle of repetitiveness. Her friends are over it, and have given up trying to talk any sense into Freddy. They know she will always take Laura Dean back. Reading this book I couldn't help but cheer for Freddy, I couldn't wait for her to WOMAN UP, take her POWER back and DUMP Laura Dean! Tamaki and Valero-O'Connell did a wonderful job of depicting a 'toxic relationship.' Not every toxic relationship is going to be the same. Not every toxic relationship has hitting, or fighting, or name calling, some toxic relationships are subtle. Freddy's character knows something is really, really wrong in her relationship, but she's in 'love' and is mindlessly getting dragged along in an endless cycle of breaking up and making up. I really appreciated this novel for its honesty and I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate to the main character Freddy. Also in this novel Freddy reaches out to an advice columnist to get her opinion, and I have to say that the advice she received was STUNNING! That was relationship advice everyone deserves to hear! I loved this novel and the artwork was amazing. I really liked the fact that this book was in black and white and PINK! It just kind of gave it a little something extra and this book was also a great LGBT+ book. Big thumbs up for this graphic novel, and it's great advice and plot.

m
Maluka11
Sep 03, 2019

One of the best comic romances for teens or just romance books I have ever read. I look forward to rereading this book in the future.

p
pmcnames
Aug 15, 2019

Great story, great art, a little open - ended for my taste

Tigard_HollyCP Jul 26, 2019

Freddy is in love with the stereotypical player Laura Dean despite Laura Dean breaking up with her multiple times, cheating on her, using her, and always choosing to do what seems fun at the moment rather than making any sort of commitment to Freddy. And in turn, Freddy always flakes on her best friends in favor of Laura Dean. Despite my respect for the author, this was not my favorite. I had a hard time following a lot of the panels (I suppose that is due more to the illustrator than the author), and Freddy’s constant pining over Laura Dean just wore on my nerves. I kept thinking back to slogging through the second Twilight book, New Moon, because it reminded me so much of Bella pining over Edward for basically the entire book. Though probably authentic to many experiences, the constant cycle of letting Laura Dean do the same thing to her over and over again was just too much for me.

Tigard_LisaE Jul 18, 2019

Having never lived in Berkeley, i wonder if it's actually like this? I've read enough books and heard enough stories to get the idea that it's some sort of progressive queer utopia where you can enjoy LBGT pun-themed fusion food on every corner, and everyone has multi-cultural, gender diverse, gay, and/or poly-amorous parents. This is Freddy's world, and it's where she falls into deep love (or maybe just obsession) with Laura Dean, in spite of the fact that Laura sometimes cheats on her, acts possessive one minute and dismissive the next, and tends to break up with her on national holidays. My main problem with the book? I cannot fathom maintaining a long-term attraction to someone like that, so I was repulsed by Laura, frustrated with Freddy, and kept getting my little feelings hurt on Doodle's behalf (the loyal, LARPing best friend who's constantly left behind.) Freddy eventually catches on and becomes a better friend through an arc of growth that, though believable, I didn't have much patience for. The art was lovely, the spare, elegant prose carried the story where it needed to go and supported the graphics, and I appreciated Freddy's letters to the advice column as an effective framing device.

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mclarjh
Jul 11, 2019

Thin type hard to read; manga-style drawings; juvenile story and characters; another pathetic teenage romance.

ArapahoeLiz Jun 27, 2019

This is one of Tamaki's bittersweet romance stories that involves a toxic relationship. Beautiful illustrations and story line this book shows how important having good friends and family is... and to break up with a jerk. (The polite way.)

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