Friday, 16 January 2015

Seconds - Bryan Lee O'Malley


George bought me the graphic novel Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley for Christmas and I love it. It's by the same author as the Scott Pilgrim series, which was made into a film with Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and I really hope Seconds gets made into a film too.

"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".

The idea of wanting to change mistakes or preventing something in past from happening has probably gone through everyone's minds. But this morality tale style novel teaches us that it isn't that simple. Katie (the main character) has to learn to change her life for the better without magic and spirits and mushrooms. The concept does sound a bit strange but the characters are so normal that you don't question the strange-ness when reading it. 

The characters are the similar to Scott Pilgrim, nerdy, hipster, 20-30 year olds, however each character has a different personality which makes it more interesting. Katie seems to have mood swings and a bad temper but she's still a likeable character. Hazel, a waitress at the restaurant, is a shy and awkward art student so she is quite different to Katie.Max, Katie's ex boyfriend is charming, beautiful and seems to have it more together than Katie does.

The colour scheme of the book is beautiful. Mostly blue and orange/red colours, but the colours cleverly change depending on Katie's emotions (blue when she's worried, red when she's angry etc). This is the first graphic novel I've read in colour and I think it can really make a difference to the feel of the story (but black and white ones are still good too!).

Although the book is 321 pages long, I read it in 2 sittings, I really couldn't put it down. It's fasted paced and full of suspense. You can really imagine yourself in the situation even though it's surreal and strange you can still relate to it, and that's something I always look for in books. 

I recommend that everyone read this. Can be bought from Amazon for £16.87.

Sophie x

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