‘Seconds’ by Bran Lee O’Malley is a graphic novel about Katie who owns a restaurant, she’s talented and extremely successful. However! She is not fully happy with her life (who is, unless you’re like THE QUEEN). So she decides to open up a new, bigger, better than life restaurant.
The work on her new restaurant is going pretty badly, a bit of a nightmare really for Katie. Her ex-boyfriend shows up at her current place and one of her employees gets hurt on the job (totally in need of one of those ‘HAVE YOU HURT YOURSELF AT WORK, TELL US!?!’ adverts). She starts to realise that things are not going her way and totally needs a second chance.
This graphic novel is amazing, I read this in a couple of hours. Totally engrossed by the cute drawings, compelling story and did I say cute drawings?! Written by the guy who wrote Scott Pilgrim you kind of know this is going to be hot damn good. It gets dark in places, and makes you realise and Katie (the silly girl) that you can not just wish for change, wish for a better life… THIS IS NOT ALADDIN KATIE WE DO NOT HAVE GENIES HERE.
One night she wakes up to find instructions:
1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew
Obviously she does this, and the rest is to unfold. (I don’t want to ruin it for ya!) Kidding, Read on if you want to ruin it for yourself. (Red text for total DANGER)
I think Katie is really relatable, she is a woman who wants to continue her success that she has built up and worked damn hard for. She makes mistakes and wants to rewind time (over and over again) to apparently ‘fix’ those mistakes. But news flash Katie, you ruined it! Obviously being human she continues to take these mushrooms that change her life for apparently the better (they totally don’t), eventually realising they belong to a spirit that is living within her restaurant. Said spirit is not pleased, in fact… very angry. If you think spirits are stupid, do not read this book.
Katie is waking up every morning to a different life, a different way of life. Was I OK with that? No, and that became unsettling, eventually knowing that she was continuously going to be unhappy with her life made me slightly annoyed while reading. But was that the aim? Did lovely Bryan Lee O’Malley WANT readers to feel this frustration, if he did, it totally worked.
I think I found myself struggling to relate to any of the other characters apart from Katie. Even though the look of the characters has been portrayed well through the artwork I didn’t feel sad when Katie cheated on her boyfriend, I didn’t feel like she had totally let him down to the point of no return. I think there could have been more short back stories on the characters (instead of continuous morning of Katie’s drab life) for me to really care about Katie messing up their lives as well as hers. (Soz guys)
Katie finally realises after taking around 1 million mushrooms (gross) that she has to accept things as they are and live her life as it is when she really sees the worst it could possibly bring for her and I liked that, the fact that this wasn’t a happy story… and a life lesson was actually part of it. (it does have a happy ending though fear not)
“Listen: This is what I’ve learned. There are things we can’t change, and we just have to accept that. And maybe that’s some kind of grace.”
SO! Happy ending takes place, which I was so glad about after reading some dark times for Katie. It was a quick read for me, as I was totally into it and was also getting my hair cut… (perfect time to read by the way). Bryan Lee O’Malley does an amazing job at keeping this story original, with some cute and detailed artwork to go with it. Possibly character progression could have been better in my eyes. However I would seriously recommend this book, whether you are ‘into’ comics or not, this book is certain to make you happy with your decision to be.
See?! Totally cute drawings.
Hasta la vista!