Adult · Graphic Novel · review

Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley


Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Ballantine Books
Source: Publisher


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.


I really liked this graphic novel. I can’t find anyone who didn’t actually. The graphic novel follows this incredibly flawed chef who finds mushrooms that can help her correct mistakes, any mistake that she has made by letting her relive the day and not make the mistake. She was supposed to correct her mistake only once but when she finds a stash of those mushrooms, well, that just gives her free rein to live her days without thinking of the consequences or being careful of her behaviour because she can always go back and correct things if they turn out wrong.

The novel has a diverse set of characters who are all awesome for different reasons.


My favourite character is a toss up between Lis, the house spirit, and the waitress who becomes Katie’s close friends, the only one who seems to believe in Lis besides Katie who can see her.


The novel is about consequences. It tackles big questions and reveals big things – like, just because you can erase a mistake doesn’t mean the consequences are also erased. Until and unless you confront your own self, your own flaws, honestly, you will continue to make the same mistakes in one way or another. I especially liked the friendship between the two girls. I also like the focus on relationships people have with things, especially houses. Yep. Really, there is nothing much to say except read this book. The main character can be difficult to take at times but she is a reflection (a manifestation in graphic 2-d form) of all of us. Plus, it’s a darned good story and the art is fantastic and just, read it.


2 thoughts on “Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s