- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: First Second (7 May 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1626722595
- ISBN-13: 978-1626722590
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me Paperback – 7 May 2019
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"Pithy dialogue is neatly trimmed to speech-bubble size, and the manga-esque styling suits characters to a T, from doe-eyed, love-smitten Freddy to lean, angular Laura...as a cautionary tale or as an invitation to a pity party, this packs catharsis into every frame." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"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." --Booklist, starred review
"This exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its cast, sharp and dazzling."--Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Tamaki explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O'Connell's art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink...a triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar." --Kirkus, starred review
"Relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny... Black-and-white panel illustrations with pink accents provide additional characterization and feature a cast diverse in race, gender identity, and body type." --Horn Book, starred review
"Tamaki and Valero-O'Connell's tender-hearted narrative sings with real, honest emotion that will resonate with anyone trying to figure out love." --The New York Times
"Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is the perfect next read for fans of Love, Simon and To All The Boys I've Loved Before, books about young love and struggling to figure out what it means... It's exactly the sort of book that a lot of teens need to read to feel a little less alone, and a good gateway graphic novel for fans of Netflix's new glut of romances or a stepping-stone for readers ready to graduate from graphic novels like The Baby-Sitters Club adaptations to more complicated, nuanced stories." --Paste
"Tamaki and Valero-O'Connell do bring to life an artful narrative of relationships--old, new, harmful, and healing--and what happens when you learn to navigate them." --School Library Journal
"The visual storytelling is precise and thoughtful, and it's evident that the artist has spent a lot of time designing spaces that feel lived in and characters who immediately exhibit specific personalities... Tamaki excels when she's writing stories about young women discovering their strength in times of crisis, and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me falls right in her creative sweet spot." --the A.V. Club
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I put off reading this one until last night, despite receiving it on its release date. I wish I hadn't. "Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me" (I'll shorten that to "LD" or "the book" if you don't mind!) is a story about a toxic relationship. Laura Dean keeps dumping Freddy at the worst of times, only to take her back sometime later. Freddy Loves Laura Dean, but she keeps getting her heart broken.
The third time Laura Dean dumps Freddy is where the story begins. From there, things seem to spiral. Freddy becomes a bad friend, blowing off her good friends to pine after Laura Dean, who keeps, in turn, blowing her off.
I can see myself in Freddy. I've been in my share of toxic relationships. I almost lost all my friends over my last one. I knew I was being a bad friend, but I couldn't stop, because my Laura Dean kept bringing me back in.
LD (the book, not the girl) is a great story about leaving behind the things that you love that hurt you. It's easy to leave someone you don't love. It's harder to leave someone you do. It's got a wonderfully diverse LGBT+ cast, a plot that drives you to keep reading, and lovely art and writing. I wish I could read it for the first time again.
5/5 for this one. I'm glad it came up on my radar and that I was finally able to read it.
The artwork is conveyed in a limited palette and is absolutely gorgeous. Features "millennial pink" and several other hallmarks of what seems to be popular in art these days--lots of plants and personal details specific to each character. I loved poring over each panel. The overall page layouts were incredibly creative and well done, too.
The only reason this isn't a 5-star review: whatever's going on with the pink word balloons that are coming from the stuffed animals is unclear. I thought they would amount to something by the end of the story, but they didn't, and just seemed to be an unusual/quirky/confusing narrative device.
I already knew it was a 99.9% likely outcome that I was going to love Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me as a fan of both Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. But I'm so happy that .01% didn't happen out of nowhere. It deals with issues of relationships and adolescence in a way that feels so real and resonant to that age's experience without feeling maudlin or hopeless. It's heavy, but it doesn't feel suffocating. It's truthful. And I'm always thrilled for content with teenagers who talk and act like teenagers.
And the art. My goodness, the art. Rosemary Valero-O'Connell creates a gentle-grounded, dreamlike atmosphere that lends to the story brilliantly--page layouts in particular knock it out of the park in terms of the pacing, mood, and rhythm of the story.
Absolutely fantastic, ten outta ten, would rec to every one of my queer, comics, and queer-comics buddies.
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