Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

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. B...

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Title:Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me
Author:Mariko Tamaki
Rating:

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me Reviews

  • Alice Oseman

    This gets full stars for the art style alone!! I'm so amazed by the quality of these lines - I'm someone who has no patience for detail and lives by loose lines, so I'm always impressed by art like this, which is so smooth and detailed yet still so character focused. It must have taken so long to create. The story was great too but the art really blew me away.

  • Whitney Atkinson

    This is a book I’m nervous giving such a high rating because its controversial subjects can certainly be interpreted many ways but a handful of things stand out to me about why I loved reading this so much.

    First, the art was magnificent. Reading this felt like watching a movie because the panels focused on such specific shots and the transitions were lovely. Also, the use of color in this was so significant and overall, the art style was brilliant. Five stars for that alone.

    Second, I like that t

    This is a book I’m nervous giving such a high rating because its controversial subjects can certainly be interpreted many ways but a handful of things stand out to me about why I loved reading this so much.

    First, the art was magnificent. Reading this felt like watching a movie because the panels focused on such specific shots and the transitions were lovely. Also, the use of color in this was so significant and overall, the art style was brilliant. Five stars for that alone.

    Second, I like that this book has unlikable characters that do not smart things but still suffer the consequences of them. Even though this is a book about a relationship, I think it speaks more about friendship and the machinations of teenage infatuation than anything else. The characters in this make mistakes, and sure, maybe they should be regarded as something much more severe than “mistakes” and thus punished accordingly, but the way all the adversity brought the characters together again and drove home the morals the authors intended was beautifully done.

    Also on a personal note, it was just so incredible to see sapphics so normalized in a book that was clearly modern and a very accurate representation of being a young, queer girl in 2019. Maybe the frame of the story wasn’t a healthy relationship, but the fact that none of these girls were hiding their intimacy or ashamed of their sexuality was enough to be special to me, and I’m so glad I read this.

  • Thomas

    I turn 24 this Saturday and this book feels like the best early birthday present ever. I cried for five minutes in my office at work after I finished it. The book's themes of toxic relationships and healthy ones, self-worth and what we seek when we lack it, and the painful wisdom of growing up all resonated with me to my very core. The gorgeous black, white, and pink illustrations helped immerse me in the story as well.

    Backing up, the story follows Freddy Riley, a high school student who's datin

    I turn 24 this Saturday and this book feels like the best early birthday present ever. I cried for five minutes in my office at work after I finished it. The book's themes of toxic relationships and healthy ones, self-worth and what we seek when we lack it, and the painful wisdom of growing up all resonated with me to my very core. The gorgeous black, white, and pink illustrations helped immerse me in the story as well.

    Backing up, the story follows Freddy Riley, a high school student who's dating Laura Dean, the most popular girl in school. Laura Dean, with her confidence, charisma, and good looks, seems like Freddy's dream girl. The only issue with their relationship: Laura Dean may not treat Freddy all that well. With the help of her best friend Doodle, Freddy searches for guidance from Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, as well as Anna Vice, an advice columnist. But as Freddy's relationship with Laura Dean gets more intense in all the wrong ways, Freddy finds herself still going back to Laura Dean, even at the cost of her friendship with Doodle. Freddy will have to look both deep within herself as well as outside to those who can see her relationship with Laura Dean with more clarity, so she can choose what will work best for her heart and the hearts of those she cares about.

    I love how this graphic novel portrays love: unhealthy love, love that dissipates between friends, and love that reemerges when one puts in the effort. The story itself is super simple, no huge or intricate plot twists at all. Yet the earnest characterization and the high quality of the illustrations made the emotions evoked by Freddy's journey run so deep. I really felt like I felt everything Freddy felt: the desire for Laura Dean even when it hurt Freddy herself, the guilt Freddy experienced when she realized how she herself messed up, and the eventual victory of the story's ending. My heart feels so full of warmth when I think about how young people will have access to this book's excellent messages about toxic relationships and what it takes to act as a caring, considerate friend.

    I came across this book right when I needed to. Though it's a young-adult read, the themes and emotions are universal: the strength of longing and desire, the importance of communication in relationships, and what it takes to let go of people who stop you from loving yourself. As I approach 24, I'm still learning and reminding myself to focus my love and my heart on people who give to me as much as I give to them. With its queer representation, immense compassion, and deeply meaningful message,

    has skyrocketed to the top of my favorite 2019 reads.

  • Acqua

    One might think a story that isn't a happy love story wouldn't make someone feel that optimistic, but here's the thing:

    . It's 2019 and we can get stories about messy and complicated relationships like straight girls do, but that aren't exactly the step-by-step "straight girl in a toxic relationship" story. And this is

    One might think a story that isn't a happy love story wouldn't make someone feel that optimistic, but here's the thing:

    . It's 2019 and we can get stories about messy and complicated relationships like straight girls do, but that aren't exactly the step-by-step "straight girl in a toxic relationship" story. And this is something.

    This graphic novel is about Freddy, a biracial East Asian girl who is in love with her perfect, popular girlfriend, Laura Dean. However, Laura Dean keeps cheating on her, breaking up with her, demanding her time while barely giving anything back.

    , and I really liked how its message came across - the problem isn't that Laura Dean got involved with other people (some people are polyamorous and that's ok!), it's that she did so without Freddie's consent or even without Freddie knowing it, it's that

    .

    Also, the way this graphic novel

    is something I really appreciated, since I've seen this "gets in relationship, only talks with friends again when things get terrible" dynamic (in straight relationships in high school) before. Relationships don't exist to isolate you.

    Also,

    . I wanted to look at it forever. I usually don't like stories that use only a few colors (black, white, pink here) but this time it was the right choice.

  • David Schaafsma

    I am a straight (cis-gdenderd) male of a certain age. I couldn't imagine the veritable flowering of glbt books as I was growing up that is happening right now. Actually, I couldn't have imagined it ten years ago! And so many strong girl characters! This book, written by Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim) does not have to hint subtly at issues of attraction; this is a romance without apology, with exuberance (and some pain; see the title). It's a YA story that tells a simple tale of a romance

    I am a straight (cis-gdenderd) male of a certain age. I couldn't imagine the veritable flowering of glbt books as I was growing up that is happening right now. Actually, I couldn't have imagined it ten years ago! And so many strong girl characters! This book, written by Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim) does not have to hint subtly at issues of attraction; this is a romance without apology, with exuberance (and some pain; see the title). It's a YA story that tells a simple tale of a romance that is/isn't good for Freddy, even though Laura Dean is the most popular girl in school and SO cute.

    Being obsessed with Laura also makes her a bad friend, so something has to change. It's basically that simple. This is a book--like many by Tillie Walden, that not only passes the Bechdel test, but focuses almost exclusively on the world of YA girls and women, and mainly on the queer world that happens everywhere sort of unacknowledged or silenced by the straight world. Walden seems like an influence on the wonderfully fun and sweet art of Rosemary Valerio-O'Connell, or maybe the art just reminds me of her work, too. Exuberant, I'll say again, all of it. I imagine a lot of older queer readers reading this and weeping to see their stories being finally openly told, and so well. But the idea of making bad/hard romantic choices; well, you don't have to be in any particular category to get that. Hurrah!

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    4 1/2 stars. When you are a teenager, it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing you must settle for the love you can get, rather than love you deserve. If someone chooses to date you, especially if you are just a little less popular, just a little less Good, you choose them, even if they treat you badly and take you for granted at every moment. And it is very easy to convince yourself that ditching your friends for your significant other is some kind of justifiable act because you're do

    4 1/2 stars. When you are a teenager, it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing you must settle for the love you can get, rather than love you deserve. If someone chooses to date you, especially if you are just a little less popular, just a little less Good, you choose them, even if they treat you badly and take you for granted at every moment. And it is very easy to convince yourself that ditching your friends for your significant other is some kind of justifiable act because you're doing it all for LoveTM, the important thing. When that action is described, it is easy to make it sound ridiculous. But there is a core of low self-esteem to the act of leaving friends for a partner, and it is more common than we talk about.

    or, another way to put this: someone want to tell me why the last chapter of this made me cry on my bed at 10:00 p.m.?

    I mean, I don't know exactly what else to say. The illustration here was

    , done in stunning black and white. I constantly need these discussions of toxic relationships between sapphics in graphic novel form, also thank you for my life @ this cover designer, and the publisher for providing me with this excellent arc.

    TW: abortion, pedophilia, emotional abuse.

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  • Lauren Lanzilotta

    Covers like this should be illegal. Every time I see one this beautiful my mind asks the same question.

    The art style shown in this graphic novel is absolutely gorgeous if the cover doesn't tell you enough about what’s inside. I loved that Rosemary Valero-O'Connell chose to utilize pink amidst the black and white of her drawings, that added such a lovely layer to the art. Definitely some of the prettiest drawings I've seen used in a graphic novel.

    Laura Dean is one of the most

    Covers like this should be illegal. Every time I see one this beautiful my mind asks the same question.

    The art style shown in this graphic novel is absolutely gorgeous if the cover doesn't tell you enough about what’s inside. I loved that Rosemary Valero-O'Connell chose to utilize pink amidst the black and white of her drawings, that added such a lovely layer to the art. Definitely some of the prettiest drawings I've seen used in a graphic novel.

    Laura Dean is one of the most popular girls in school. She’s confident and charming, no one can help wanting to be around her.

    Unfortunately for Frederica Riley, Laura won’t stop breaking up with her. The two have gone out a few times, and it’s become painfully obvious that Laura isn’t a very good girfriend. This doesn’t change the fact that after dealing with her latest breakup, Freddy is still in love with Laura.

    After a little bit of time, Frederica’s best friend Doodles recommends her to a medium, and the advice is simple;

    should be the one to end things with

    .

    This story is so painfully real, yet maintains a cute and fluffy aspect. It’s a reminder that loving someone can sometimes mean seeing right through their faults, even when those faults should turn you away. Frederica can see that Laura isn’t a good girlfriend, she jumps between partners pretty fast, even when they’re still technically ‘together’. Yet Frederica can’t seem to let her go, the love she has for Laura seems to overpower any of her self worth..

    I loved that Freddy’s family was introduced as being nothing but accepting, the talk of her girlfriend was always brought up casually. Her mother and father seemed so sweet.

    This was a really cute read. I learned a lot about relationship experiences, both the good and not so good ones. This graphic novel doesn’t take very long to get through, so I’d definitely recommend reading it!

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    The art was STUNNING, but the plot did nothing super special for me. Meh

  • emma

    2.5

    The pros of reading graphic novels:

    - pretty art

    - quick

    - fun

    The cons of reading graphic novels:

    - I have never, even once, read one that made me feel like the plot or characters were full. Even remotely. Even at all.

    Okay, the above claim is a slight exaggeration, because I trade in hyperbole, but it is ONLY SLIGHT. There has probably been one exception, which is

    , a book I read in 2016. And the validity of my opinions expires after two years, so. We can’t even trust that.

    This particular g

    2.5

    The pros of reading graphic novels:

    - pretty art

    - quick

    - fun

    The cons of reading graphic novels:

    - I have never, even once, read one that made me feel like the plot or characters were full. Even remotely. Even at all.

    Okay, the above claim is a slight exaggeration, because I trade in hyperbole, but it is ONLY SLIGHT. There has probably been one exception, which is

    , a book I read in 2016. And the validity of my opinions expires after two years, so. We can’t even trust that.

    This particular graphic novel felt especially half-done to me, because it tries to do so much. It tries to cover toxic relationships (of both the romantic and platonic variety), abuse, abortion, manipulation, self worth...and it all felt forced and rushed to me.

    Each of these topics would basically be introduced over and over and over, in repetitive scenes, and then at the end they were fixed. This meant our main character, Freddy, is depicted like a caricature of a bad friend. We see her friends and family members in weird flashes, so they seem flatter than flat. She falls for the same lies in her relationship again and again, which would maybe be more believable than the absurd degree to which she is selfish and not there for the people around her if we saw her really in love, but we don’t. We’re told she is and expected to believe it.

    I like my stories shown to me, not told. The irony is that graphic novels are visual anyway, and yet that never happens.

    I know this book meant a lot to a lot of people, and I’m glad. Seeing our experiences represented on the page can be the most powerful part of reading. But while I expected to relate to this book, I didn’t. Because none of it felt real.

    Bottom line: The strongest emotion I had while reading this was appreciation for the art.

    ------------

    every once in a while i think, "why don't i read more graphic novels???"

    and then i read one and am immediately reminded of why i don't read more graphic novels.

    review to come

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    am suddenly ONLY interested in reading contemporary graphic novels with pretty covers and prettier art

    (thanks to first second for the ARC)

  • Alexandra ☁

    THAT COVER HAS ME BY THE THOAT

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