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trigger warning: abortion
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Publisher: First Second
Date Published: 7th May 2019
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, LGBTQIA, Romance Contemporary
Pages: 304 pages
Goodreads | Waterstones
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.
I found this book really thought provoking and made me ask many questions especially about the nature of romantic love and platonic love. It reminded me of my teenage years and asking those question about myself that needed to be asked.
I loved the letter exchange between Frederica and Anna Vice (the advice columnist) and the way that it narrated the story.
My one tiny dislike is the number of panels that came with no text. Occasionally it got hard to tell what was going on in the panels and then it became a bit confusing as to where the story was going.
I would definitely recommend this to all graphic novel lovers.
About the Authors
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 (Women’s Press). Mariko’s third book, FAKE ID, is due out in spring 2005.
Mariko Tamaki has performed her work across Canada and through the States, recently appearing at the Calgary Folkfest 2004, Vancouver Writer’s Festival 2003, Spatial III, and the Perpetual Motion/Girls Bite Back Tour, which circled though Ottawa, Montreal, Brooklyn and Chicago. She has appeared widely on radio and television including First Person Singular on CBC radio and Imprint on TVO. Mariko Tamaki is currently attending York University working a master’s degree in women’s studies.
Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is a Minneapolis born, Zaragoza raised cartoonist and illustrator with a BFA in Comic Art from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (’16)
She’s done work for DC Comics (Gotham Academy, Vertigo Quarterly), BOOM! Studios (Lumberjanes, Steven Universe), CAPY games (OK KO!: Let’s Be Heroes), Mondo Tees, Kazoo Magazine, and The City Pages, among others. Her work has been shown in galleries both locally and internationally (Gowanus Print Lab, Roq La Rue Gallery, Telegraph Gallery, etc). She’s currently working on a graphic novel with award-winning author Mariko Tamaki for First Second called Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, to be released in 2019. She’s a proud member of the Out Of Step Arts collective, has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators NY, and won her second grade spelling bee by spelling the word ‘human’.
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