Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me

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Annotation: Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley's dream girl; but Freddy realizes she is not the best girlfriend, so she seeks help from a medium and advice columnists to help her cope with being a teenager in love.
Catalog Number: #208898
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Valero-O'Connell, Rosemary,
Pages: 289 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-626-72259-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7323-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-626-72259-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7323-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018944904
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel, it's immediately apparent that Frederica's self-absorbed girlfriend Laura Dean is an unsuitable partner for our tenderhearted protagonist. Freddy is so consumed with seeking answers as to why Laura Dean keeps breaking up with her that she completely overlooks her in-need best friend Doodle. Black-and-white panel illustrations with pink accents feature a cast diverse in race, gender expression, and body type.
Kirkus Reviews
A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relation
Publishers Weekly
Laura Dean is a terrible girlfriend. Self-absorbed and careless, she breaks up with Frederica, 16, for the fourth time, via text message after being caught cheating at a school dance. But Freddy loves Laura Dean, and they-re soon back together-sort of-though Freddy-s relationship myopia renders her isolated and dismissive of her friends, all of whom are struggling with their own issues. A medium tells Freddy to call the relationship quits, but she has no idea how to stop perpetuating her part of the cycle. Bold, clean lines and pink highlights characterize rich art by Valero-O-Connell (the Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy series) as panels breathily dense with the personal details of the characters- lives morph to suit each meaningful scene. A largely queer and physically and ethnically diverse cast inhabits this vision of teenage Berkeley, and the high school-specific mixture of self-possession and cluelessness with which Tamaki (This One Summer) imbues them lends depth and individuation. This exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its cast, sharp and dazzling. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 14-up. Author-s agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (May)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relationship.Biracial (East Asian and white) high schooler Freddy is in love with white Laura Dean. She can't help it—Laura oozes cool. But while Freddy's friends are always supportive of her, they can't understand why she stays with Laura. Laura cheats on Freddy, gaslights and emotionally manipulates her, and fetishizes her. After Laura breaks up with her for a third time, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and, at the recommendation of her best friend Doodle, (reluctantly) sees a psychic who advises her that in order to break out of the cycle of her "non-monogamous swing-your-partner wormhole," Freddy needs to do the breaking up herself. As she struggles to fall out of love and figure out how to "break up with someone who's broken up with me," Freddy slowly begins to be drawn back into Laura's orbit, challenging her relationships with her friends as she searches for happiness. Tamaki (Supergirl, 2018, etc.) explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O'Connell's (Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks, 2018, etc.) art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. Freddy and her friends live in Berkeley, California, and have a diversity of body shapes, gender expressions, sexualities, and skin tones.A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar. (Graphic novel. 14-adult)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Freddy finds herself in an on-again, off-again relationship with the impossibly cool Laura Dean, who, surely not by accident, has an air of James Dean about her, from her floppy hair to her slouchy posture to her piercing gaze. Freddy feels invincible in Laura's orbit, and even after things truly go wrong, like when Laura sneaks off to make out with other girls, Freddy's inexorably lured back in. Freddy's friends range from dismayed to resigned, but none so much as Doodle, who's dealing with problems of their own and desperately needs a friend. Freddy's emails to an advice columnist offer insight into her thoughts and feelings, which are further telegraphed in the stunning artwork, which masterfully captures the mood with gestures and facial expressions, from Freddy curled into herself behind a curtain of her thick black hair to Doodle focused intently on their Dungeons and Dragons plans. Shifting perspectives and soft pink washes give the artful black-ink artwork a cinematic feel. Tamaki (This One Summer, 2015) truly gets to the heart of the struggle to balance the intoxicating allure of being loved by someone thrilling and a desire for a healthy, autonomous sense of identity, all in pitch-perfect teen dialogue. Touching gently but powerfully on topics of bullying, homophobia, and toxic relationships, this superb graphic novel has its finger on the pulse of teenage concerns.
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL230L

One of FORBES Best Graphic Novels of 2019 On BCCB 2019 Blue Ribbons List One of NPR's Best Books of 2019 Booklist 2019 Editors' Choice One of Bitch Media's Best Queer YA Novels of 2019 Author Mariko Tamaki and illustrator Rosemary Valero-O'Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love in Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me , a graphic novel that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need. 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.

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