Freddy Riley is looking forward to spending Valentine’s Day with her girlfriend at their high school dance party, but instead of offering her an evening of romance, Laura Dean breaks up with Freddy. For the third time!
Created by Mariko Tamaki and Valero-O’Connell, “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me” is a dreamily drawn graphic novel that will keep art enthusiasts hooked until the end based on its beautiful illustrations alone. I loved the artwork; it’s so fluid, and each panel feels like it seamlessly spills onto the next, like ocean waves. However, the plot about 17-year-old Freddy being stuck in a relationship with the popular, self-centered, cheating Laura Dean wasn’t all that captivating. But I get it, what does a completely smitten seventeen-year-old know about love anyway. It’s all about messing up and learning things the hard way.
The protagonist, Freddie, is very one-dimensional, with her primary focus being on worrying about her complicated relationship for most of the story. All her close friends are supportive but dislike Lara Dean, who is clearly unpleasant, yet Freddie would abandon her friends in a heartbeat for Dean. Freddie’s best friend, Doodle, is the sweetest character in the book, always there for her friends, even when they don’t necessarily deserve her loyalty. It takes the kindness and wise words of strangers for Freddie to finally realize there’s a whole world outside the cycle of break-ups she’s trapped in. The moral of the story? Don’t let love blind you!
Anyway, the LGBTQ+ representation throughout the graphic novel is wholesome. For example, Freddie is Asian-American, and both her parents are completely comfortable with her sexuality. Although the plot and characterization could have used some more work, the artwork makes “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me” absolutely worth a read.
It’s a 4 on 5 from me.