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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  16,410 ratings  ·  3,142 reviews
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 bes
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by First Second
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Boxofdelights No, they are best friends, as they always were. Romantic love is not the only kind of love and it is not the most important kind of love. This is one …moreNo, they are best friends, as they always were. Romantic love is not the only kind of love and it is not the most important kind of love. This is one of the major themes of the book.(less)
Madi ~☆TheBookNerdDiaries☆~ You can purchase this from your local retailer or e-retailer or check it out from your local library. Please do not illegally download or access the b…moreYou can purchase this from your local retailer or e-retailer or check it out from your local library. Please do not illegally download or access the book as this can harm the author and others who worked on the book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,410 ratings  ·  3,142 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I finished this book in one sitting, but I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped. I think I may have set my expectations a bit high and somewhere this book did not intend to go.

CW: toxic relationships, (view spoiler)

I appreciated the inclusion in the story and the detail in the art style, but not much else. I felt no connection to any of the characters as they didn't have much personality and only existed in their relationships to one another. I could empathize with thei
Elle (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 ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE THIS BOOK! It's beautiful and heartbreaking and infuriating and wonderful. I was flipping through my 2019 reads and realized I forgot to mark it down (I read it during the Reading Rush and honestly that whole week is kind of a blur...) but I loved this so much! Everyone needs to know! It's amazing!
"the truth is, breakups are usually messy, the way people are messy, the way life is often messy. it's okay for a breakup to feel like a disaster. it doesn't feel okay, but i assure you it is okay. it's also true that you can break up with someone you still love. because those two things are not distinct territories: love and not loving anymore."

loved this so much.

trigger warnings: cheating, abortion
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's not you, it's me. Sorry to this book.

Read as book 6 of 30 for my 30 day reading challenge!
Alice Oseman
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
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

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 Nimona, 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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
The art was STUNNING, but the plot did nothing super special for me. Meh
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
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
A beautifully necessary story.

As a queer woman with a passion for reading I spend a lot of my time digging through all the f/f I can get my hands on. This is a narrative that I haven't seen nearly enough, especially in YA, and I celebrate Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me for highlighting a necessary discussion for queer women, young and old: dysfunctional relationships. This is about the danger of building your entire life around one person, especially when that person doesn't seem to care n
C.G. Drews
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
so because I am oblivious and completely terrible, I didn't realise this was gay. So yay!!!! A messy complicated angsty gay graphic novel
David Schaafsma
8/6/2020: Congratulations to First Second Books’ Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, which landed three awards: best writer for Mariko Tamaki, best penciller/inker for Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, and best publication for teens! So happy for these folks and this book, whcih was one of my favorites of 2019.

6/5/19: I am a straight (cis-gendered) 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
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Ooooof. This was... such a ride. We need more honest, raw, beautiful queer stories like this depicting both the unhealthy and the healthy aspects of relationships, especially in YA. While not every queer story needs to be painful, not every one has to ignore the very real fact that queer relationships, like all other relationships and friendships in life, still have the potential to be toxic, to be abusive, to suffer from power imbalances, to fall apart. We also need more stories reminding teens ...more
Cristina Monica
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was messy and beautiful. A beautiful mess. Just like life, I guess. The illustrations are soft, neat and gorgeous in a hypnotic way. The characters are unique and complex and some completely ordinary and yet interesting nonetheless. Some are shitty and hurtful and yet so charismatic that they pull you in, making you feel special to be in their presence, but oh so very wrong for you.

This is not a feel-good story, and Freddy is not the perfect heroine, but can we give her a break? Can we try
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Printz Honor 2020

Committee loves Tamaki, but I thought this was far from perfect and not deserving of the honor in terms of the story telling.

Wish this story spent as much time on developing characters and relationships as it did on being inclusive and woke. You have to make me understand what is so appealing about Laura Dean first, before I even start contemplating why a polyamorous relationship with her would be a good idea for the MC.

Better than Kiss Number 8, but not significantly
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
with a cover this beautiful, it's no surprise that the inside is just as wonderful.

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME is a standalone graphic novel about Freddy Riley, and her girlfriend Laura Dean. Laura Dean is . . . a piece of work. This graphic novel shows how insidious some toxic relationships can be - from afar, nothing is amiss, but close up, it becomes clear how Laura has been constantly emotionally manipulating Freddy. The story is all about Freddy realising that, and it's also popu
Alexandra ☁
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: ???
"The older I get, the less I feel like I can be judgy of people's lifestyle choices." pg. 123

Freddy is a 17-year-old lesbian who is dating a gigantic asshole named Laura Dean. Laura Dean doesn't respect Freddy or care about her. She picks her up when she wants sex and leaves her when she's bored with her. She cheats on Freddy frequently, often in public, often when Freddy is in the same room. She just doesn't give a fuck.

And Freddy keeps going back to her because... ... ... she's amazing in bed?
A mostly black and white graphic novel about a relationship where you aren't treated the best. This is set mostly among the gay community. Freddy, short for Frederica, is in love with Laura Dean, but Laura takes advantage of her, and breaks up with her when it's convenient. Freddy has a close friend that she constantly ignores and puts on hold whenever Laura welcomes her back in her arms.

I feel like the emotions in this story are spot on for new relationships and trying to figure out who you ar
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars

I liked it, but nothing super amazing imo. I do love that we have books like these for LGBTQ teens, we definitely did not have them when I was a teen and I hope a lot of teens can see themselves represented in this book. Inclusion matters!
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: half-East Asian lesbian mc, lesbian li, poc gay character, Black gay character, Black sapphic characters, lesbian character
tw: homophobia, cheating, unwanted pregnancy, abortion

using the word lesbian and allowing lesbians to be messy and make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes?? never thought i would see the day!

the art is also incredibly beautiful
Julia Sapphire
The art in this collection is STUNNING. I also appreciated the representation and what this book tried to show about toxic relationships. On the other hand...

This book skimmed overall several topics that SHOULD have been properly addressed. A major one being cheating but also (view spoiler).

A character in this book tries to make her girlfriend jealous by kissing someone else... while the girlfriend is also cheating on her throughout the book on several occasions. The
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eilonwy by: david schaafsma
Freddy (Frederica) Riley has a girlfriend. Kind of. The problem is, Laura Dean keeps breaking up with her. And then reeling Freddy back in. Even Freddy can see that their relationship is not good. But she struggles to escape the magnetic Laura's pull. It's just not that easy to flip from attracted to repelled, even if you think you should.
This was a sweet but sharp story about being young (17) and blinded by the glamour of dating the hottest girl in school. Laura is definitely cute and sexy
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect way to start pride month.
One might think a story that isn't a happy love story wouldn't make someone feel that optimistic, but here's the thing: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me deals with a struggle that isn't unique to queer girls, but with all the nuanced details that are. 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
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-reads
Ugh, I feel bad saying this, but this is just one of those books I wish I hadn't read because I don't want to write a review.

I just didn't enjoy it. The whole book is just Freddie being a horrible friend because she's so wrapped in her girlfriend, who's a jerk. And if that was this whole book, that'd be good. But it's not. If this book's main focus was a girl in an emotionally abusive relationship who abandons her friends, that'd be solid. But this book tries to add in so many more things, inclu
Skye Kilaen
Yes, yes, and yes to this YA graphic novel about a lesbian teen in love with the wrong girl. I'm normally ehhh about main characters who keep making the same wrong decision, but something about this pulled me in and didn't let go. It's a slice in time where the MC is stuck, but elements slowly come together to allow her to break free and move forward. Definitely give it a try if it looks interesting.
Lauren Lanzilotta
Covers like this should be illegal. Every time I see one this beautiful my mind asks the same question. what is restraint?

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
Krista Regester
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Everyone said this was perfection, and I have to agree. After finishing this, I immediately hopped online and bought a copy for my younger sister. As someone who has definitely been on both sides of a breakup - they suck. They really suck. Do yourself a favor and read about someone else's so you know you're not alone.
I feel so much lighter after having read this graphic novel. there is such a strong message of hope in this, of loving yourself and not settling for less than you deserve, of trying to find what makes you happy,,,,,such a calming graphic novel (4.25)
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ARTBA 2020: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me 4 9 Jun 30, 2020 01:51PM  

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Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto writer, playwright, activist and performer. She works and performs with fat activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off and the theatre troupe TOA, whose recent play, A vs. B, was staged at the 2004 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her well-received novel, Cover Me (McGilligan Books) was followed by a short fiction collection, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice ...more

Articles featuring this book

Author and illustrator Alice Oseman is known to her long-time fans for her young adult novels about—as she calls them—"teenage disasters," start...
271 likes · 21 comments
“Polyamorous or monogamous, your love should be a thing that brings something to you.
It's true that giving can be a part of love. But, contrary to popular belief, love should never take from you, Freddy.”
“There are two rumors about breaking up that I feel might be helpful to address here.
One is that breakups should be clean. The other is that you should only breakup when you're not in love.
The truth is, breakups are usually messy, the way people are messy, the way life is often messy. I's okay for a breakup to feel like a disaster. It doesn't feel okay, but I assure you it is okay.
It's also true that you can breakup with someone you still love. Because those two things are not distinct territories: love and not loving anymore.”
More quotes…