Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (304 pages)

A Beautiful and Moving Graphic Novel About Young Love
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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (304 pages)

“Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me” Is A Intricate Beauty

Laura Dean is charming, confident, and cute. However, she keeps breaking up with Frederica Riley, or Freddy, as her friends call her. The most recent time they broke up, Laura Dean kissed someone else at the Valentine’s Day dance, so maybe she’s not the best girlfriend. Confused about their relationship, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and turns to her best friend, Doodle, who introduces her to a mysterious medium who advises Freddy to break up with Laura Dean. But soon Laura Dean is back in Freddy’s life, and Freddy finds herself drifting away from her friends–including one who needs her now more than ever.


Well Written And Beautifully Drawn

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me is well-written and beautifully drawn. The artwork is in grayscale, except for the addition of a peachy pink colour that makes every page pop. While reading graphic novels, I can sometimes get sucked into the dialogue and the story, forgetting to appreciate the artwork, but this one had multiple pages that caused me to stop and stare at their intricacy and beauty. What I love about this book is how it unabashedly takes aim at toxic relationships, yet isn’t too preachy. The lessons of toxic relationships don’t only apply to young lovers, or even just to lovers—they can drag anyone down, no matter their age or situation. And while that’s the focus of the story, it also touches on many other friendship and relationship issues. It captures what it’s like to be young, awkward, and in love, and I adored it.  

The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars

If you love YA and/or graphic novels, I recommend seeking this one out for its modernity and beauty, as well as its simple yet powerful take on love and relationships.

What YA book should we review next? Let us know by emailing us here!

Jamie Mitchell

Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.


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