Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley - Book Review

Seconds: A Graphic Novel - Bryan Lee O'Malley

Published: 15 July 2014 - Ballantine Books

Pages: 323 (Hardcover)

Genre: Graphic Novel

Goodreads Rating: 4.02/5

Buy it: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble


Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.
This is the first graphic novel that I've been truly blown away by. With the graphic novels I've read, I haven't really felt anything. There was no deeper meaning, nothing I had to ponder after finishing. That was quite the opposite with Seconds. The title Seconds demeans many things: a second serving, a second chance, a second glance at someone you thought was gone from your life.

All three of the above apply to Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel. Now, I haven't read as many graphic novels as many reviewers, so I'd take this with a grain of salt, but only a grain because I believe that anyone, no matter how much experience they have, can recognize a piece of art when you see one.

The art style in this book is beautiful and the most so that I have ever seen in a graphic novel. The plot becomes darker and deeper than one would expect at first glance, but it is so meaningful. O'Malley creates a main character that feels like she could be a real person, something I've found hard to come across in graphic novels.

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