Groundwood Books

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Written by Mariko Tamaki • Illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

For kids 14 years old | Published May 21, 2019 | ISBN 9781773063638
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBT

Cover of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Regular price $19.95 CAD

304 pages | 8.5 in × 6 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Mariko Tamaki • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

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.

About the Creators

Mariko Tamaki

Mariko Tamaki is a Canadian writer of comics and prose. She is the co-creator with Jillian Tamaki of Skim and of Caldecott and Printz Honor book This One Summer. Mariko also writes about superheroes for Marvel and DC Comics. She lives in Oakland, California.

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell has done work for DC Comics, BOOM! Studios, CAPY Games and Mondo Tees, among others. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators and shown in galleries both locally and internationally.

Awards and Praise

Praise for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me:

NPR’s Best Books of 2019
Walter Award, Teen Category
Harvey Award for Best Children’s or Young Adult Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Lambda Literary Awards, LGBTQ Comics Nominee

“This exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its cast, sharp and dazzling." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Tamaki explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink...a triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar." — Kirkus, starred review

“[A] relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel . . .” — Horn Book, starred review

“In their first collaboration, Tamaki and Valero-O’Connell have developed a sophisticated storytelling dynamic . . . . fresh and exhilarating . . .” — Quill & Quire, starred review

“It’s a special work, as we might expect from inspirational Canadian creator Mariko Tamaki and the elegant, accessible art style of Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. But the best part is this team showed that a story about a lovelorn queer teenage girl, published in a YA book, can be relatable to anyone who’s ever had a bad relationship. . . . The narrative is framed around Freddy’s letters to an advice columnist and it’ll hit you right in the feels. It ends with a message that (no spoilers) everybody should hear.” — Toronto Star

“By framing the dangers of normalizing toxic relationships within a wider context, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me presents healthy, respectful connection not just as an act of self-preservation but as care for your friends and community, too, doubly so within marginalized groups.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Beautiful and bracing. Tamaki and Valero-O’Connell capture Freddy on the cusp of adulthood and in the throes of perpetual heartache. Good God, I wanted to break up with Laura Dean.” — Rainbow Rowell, Number 1 New York Times–bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Carry On

“Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell expertly capture the awkwardness, tragedy and hope of figuring out love.” — Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese

Praise for This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki:

Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album
Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel
Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration
Randolph Caldecott Honor Book
Harvey Award for Best Children’s or Young Adult Book

“The Tamakis have raised the bar for young adult comics.” — Hope Larson, illustrator of A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

“With a light touch, the Tamakis capture the struggle of growing up in a patchwork of summer moments … Wistful, touching, and perfectly bittersweet.” — Booklist, starred review

“Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated — a triumph.” — Kirkus, starred review

Praise for Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki:

Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel
Joe Shuster Award for Writer
New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book

“All in all, Skim offers a startlingly clear and painful view into adolescence for those of us who possess it only as a distant memory. It’s a story that deepens with successive rereadings.” — New York Times

“Skim is a funny, poignant, memorable drama of navigating adolescence.” — Quill & Quire, starred review

“[A] stunningly emotional graphic novel …” — Horn Book, starred review

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