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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

written by Mariko Tamaki; illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

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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.

Harvey Award

Praise for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

"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

"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

"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

"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 … More…

"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

"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

"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

"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 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

"A stunning visual of spirited young love and relatable characters... Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me will appeal to a variety of readers with its air of real-life romance blended with the search for identity and friendship." —VOYA

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Reviews from Goodreads

written by Mariko Tamaki; illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

Mariko Tamaki writes comic books for BOOM! Studios, Marvel and DC Comics. She is the co-creator of the New York Times bestseller, This One Summer with Jillian Tamaki, which received Eisner and Governor General awards, as well as Caldecott and Printz Honors. Mariko lives in Oakland.

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell has done work for DC Comics, BOOM! Studios, CAPY games, and Mondo Tees among others, and her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators NY, and shown in galleries both locally and internationally.

image of Mariko Tamakio
Sorrell Scrutton

Mariko Tamaki

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