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Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me
2019
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Summary

All Freddy Riley wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her. The day they got back together was the best one of Freddy's life, but nothing's made sense since. Laura Dean is popular, funny and SO CUTE ... but she can be really thoughtless, even mean. Their on-again, off-again relationship has Freddy's head spinning -- and Freddy's friends can't understand why she keeps going back.

When Freddy consults the services of a local mystic, the mysterious Seek-Her, she isn't thrilled with the advice she receives. But something's got to give: Freddy's heart is breaking in slow motion, and she may be about to lose her very best friend as well as her last shred of self-respect. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnist Anna Vice, to help her through being a teenager in love.

Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Frederica Riley's tall, confident, and effortlessly cool girlfriend Laura Dean is the most popular girl in school. Laura breaks Freddy's heart over and over again, but Freddy still takes her back each time. Doodle, Freddy's BFF, introduces her to Seek-Her, a mysterious medium who echoes what Freddy's friends have been saying: stay away from Laura. But Freddy continues to sacrifice friendships for the sake of a destructive relationship, and consulting advice columnist Anna Vice may be the teen's last chance to listen to reason. Valero-O'Connell's artwork is the best part of this graphic novel. Soft, sweeping lines emphasize Freddy's emotional torment, the unconventional paneling lending itself to the tone of the story. It's not easy for someone in a toxic relationship to be objective, but Freddy manages not only to help herself but also to be there for Doodle, who arguably has the biggest problems of the entire novel. In fact, teenage Doodle's relationship with an adult is glossed over and should have been addressed. However, 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. VERDICT It's frustrating to watch Freddy flounder, making bad decision after bad decision, but there's something endearingly vulnerable about her beautifully drawn experiences that will resonate with teenagers. Consider for medium and large collections.-Michael Marie Jacobs, Darlington School, GA © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Freddy finds herself in an on-again, off-again relationship with the impossibly cool Laura Dean, who, surely not by accident, has an air of James Dean about her, from her floppy hair to her slouchy posture to her piercing gaze. Freddy feels invincible in Laura's orbit, and even after things truly go wrong, like when Laura sneaks off to make out with other girls, Freddy's inexorably lured back in. Freddy's friends range from dismayed to resigned, but none so much as Doodle, who's dealing with problems of their own and desperately needs a friend. Freddy's emails to an advice columnist offer insight into her thoughts and feelings, which are further telegraphed in the stunning artwork, which masterfully captures the mood with gestures and facial expressions, from Freddy curled into herself behind a curtain of her thick black hair to Doodle focused intently on their Dungeons and Dragons plans. Shifting perspectives and soft pink washes give the artful black-ink artwork a cinematic feel. Tamaki (This One Summer, 2015) truly gets to the heart of the struggle to balance the intoxicating allure of being loved by someone thrilling and a desire for a healthy, autonomous sense of identity, all in pitch-perfect teen dialogue. 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.--Sarah Hunter Copyright 2019 Booklist
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