Book Review

Mini(bot) Reviews: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

June is Pride Month and while I rarely put together a TBR for myself, and almost never around a theme, I’ll have at least managed to post about one queer book this month.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
My Edition: Paperback – 298 pages – 2019 – First Second – ISBN: 9781626722590

The inside flap really says it all, “All Freddy Riley wants is for Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her.” This is a comic about high school, relationships – both romantic and friendships, identity, and finding yourself.

This is a slice-of-queer-teen-life book, sort of along the lines of Bloom. It follows Freddy and her tumultuous relationship with the terminally cool Laura Dean, who can’t seem to stop cheating on, breaking up with, and coming back to Freddy. Freddy can’t seem to quit Laura and it’s beginning to affect her friendships. Again, somewhat similar to Bloom, we have a main character who you sort of want to shake a little, to get her to wake up and see what’s happening outside her own head. As a reader, I was also rooting for Freddy to get some self-confidence and tell Laura Dean to fuck off already. But, as in real life, Freddy needs quite a bit of time to learn any lessons.

Freddy is a likable MC, her friend group, while small, is diverse, and there are some great lessons in this book. In fact, one of the quotes I tabbed felt especially personally relevant, as I found myself asking some similar questions of myself last year:

“What is it like to love this person who keeps breaking up with you, and then presumably coming back to you? What does your love with his person offer you? Does it make you happy? Does it give you what you need to be a better person?

That’s some deep shit. That’s what I like to see in my YA reads! Anyway…

Not to keep comparing it to Bloom (but here’s the Judging post in case you want to check it out), because they really are two different, wonderful, comics with queer teens, but this comic also has a limited color scheme (pastel pink, white, black, and grey) and I’m so here for it. This is a sweet, sad, and hopeful comic and I really, really loved it. I would recommend you pick it up if you’re at all into queer romances and slice-of-life/coming-of-age type stories with a focus on relationships and friendships.

Mariko Tamaki: Twitter
Rosemary Valero-O’Connell: WebsiteTwitterInstagram

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