Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-31284-6
Laura Dean is a terrible girlfriend. Self-absorbed and careless, she breaks up with Frederica, 16, for the fourth time, via text message after being caught cheating at a school dance. But Freddy loves Laura Dean, and they’re soon back together—sort of—though Freddy’s relationship myopia renders her isolated and dismissive of her friends, all of whom are struggling with their own issues. A medium tells Freddy to call the relationship quits, but she has no idea how to stop perpetuating her part of the cycle. Bold, clean lines and pink highlights characterize rich art by Valero-O’Connell (the Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy series) as panels breathily dense with the personal details of the characters’ lives morph to suit each meaningful scene. A largely queer and physically and ethnically diverse cast inhabits this vision of teenage Berkeley, and the high school–specific mixture of self-possession and cluelessness with which Tamaki (This One Summer) imbues them lends depth and individuation. This exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its cast, sharp and dazzling. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 14–up. Author’s agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/28/2019
Release date: 05/07/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-62672-259-0
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