August 11, 2021 7:34 AM EDT

Laura Dean is the coolest, prettiest, most popular girl in high school, and the day that she became Freddy’s girlfriend was the best day of Freddy’s life. But Laura Dean is also a terrible girlfriend who is emotionally manipulative and breaks up with Freddy whenever their relationship becomes inconvenient, only to return a short time later. Freddy, who is a little bit less popular than Laura Dean and has much lower self esteem, can’t resist the urge to get back together after each breakup, and Freddy is so firmly in her thrall that she’s become neglectful of her friends. Author Mariko Tamaki has a knack for tackling serious subjects—her previous books dealt with depression, miscarriage and suicide—without sacrificing narrative richness in order to push issues. She puts that skill to full use in this sensitive exploration of a toxic relationship, a nuanced graphic novel, with illustrations by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, for adolescents learning about partnership and love. —Shay Maunz

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