Graphic Novel Review: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second, 2019. 9781626722590. 304 black and white and pink pages.

Frederica “Freddy” Riley is 16, lives in Berkeley, and is in love with Laura Dean, who doesn’t treat her very well. As in, Laura Dean keeps cheating on Freddy and then dumping her and then getting back together. It’s a bit of a disaster. Luckily Freddy has supportive friends, but it’s clear she’s alienating them, too — they’re tired of helping her pick up the pieces, and of dropping them whenever LD offers her a little attention. And it’s not like Freddy doesn’t realize there’s a problem — she’s writing to an advice columnist for help — but she doesn’t seem able to help herself.

I loved everything about this book, from the way the characters’ sexual orientations were mostly a non-issue to the artful use of pinkness throughout. This is an entertaining, complicated story of friendship and romance told in words and pictures that work flawlessly together. I liked it so much I bought a copy for my daughter for her birthday, and gave it to her right after prom.


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