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.
Bryan Lee O'Malley is a Canadian cartoonist. His first original graphic novel was Lost at Sea (2003), and he is best-known for the six-volume Scott Pilgrim series (2004 to 2010). All of his Scott Pilgrim graphic novels were published by Portland, Oregon-based Oni Press. In July 2014 his graphic novel Seconds was released by Ballantine Books. He is also a songwriter and musician (as Kupek and formerly in several short-lived Toronto bands). -Wikipedia
This was so great! One of the best graphic novels I've read. I wasn't expecting the dark turn it took there towards the end. I would definitely recommend this for those who are wanting to get into graphic novels.
Katie is a chef that is doing well. She has built a reputation as a great cook and is opening her own restaurant. One night her ex comes into the restaurant and then her best waitress gets horribly burned. Then that night she finds a box in her dresser left by the house elf. BAM! Instant redo. The thing is Katie keeps wanting to change things. Why not have that instant redo. So easy..Just write it in the book and have a mushroom. Lis the house elf is not happy with Katie. Only one redo was allowed. Katie begins to get very greedy with those little easy mushrooms. This book is a decent little tale of working for what you want instead of just wishing for magic. It's not my favorite book but definitely not the worst ever.
This follows Katie, a talented young chef. She runs a successful restaurant, and has big plans to open an even better one.
This review contains *spoilers*.
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 (Hazel) 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.
Katie has been given a second chance. And it seems like she was the only one who knew.
Also, can I just comment on how utterly beautiful the colors and art style were in this graphic novel? It blew me away,
Also also, I really loved how the narrator and Katie “interacted”:
But Katie soon discovers that taking the mushrooms comes with a price. In this case, a house spirit.
If the house spirit (Lis) stops being happy, it will make your life a living hell. But if you make things good for her, she will make things good for you.
And Hazel’s character arc and connection to Lis was incredibly intriguing.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with this poignant story. And the humor did not disappoint even one bit.
Some of my favorite bits:
(I was 100% the same while binge-watching Breaking Bad a couple of years back.)
(And look at this beauty!! the colors and art and ahhh it's just so good.)
*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buyingSeconds, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*
Kinda shits the bed in end, its one of those books, but the two-hundred pages leading up to the reveal are nearly perfect. What struck me reading this was that the conversation about Seconds will always only ever be about its relationship with Scott Pilgrim and and not about the fact that this book does the thing all good YA* does: it gets really fucked up, really fast.
When O'Malley wants it to get dark, it gets fucking dark.
People will talk about the time travel and the in-jokes, cute art style, char'cter 'ships, outfits. You know what people won't talk about? The desperation.
Seconds is a book about selfishness and desperation and, eventually, disorientation. The protagonist is one of those jovially oblivious adult-children who refuses to accept that their actions have consequences for anyone other than themselves. In the beginning O'Malley runs with that, gets mileage out of it, makes a joke of it and then strips it bare and calls it ugly.
Seconds is the Wake in Fright of josei time-travel comics.
Makes it kinda a shame when O'Malley throws away all that goodwill for a magical quick-fix and the type of moral gets delivered to you at the end of Disney Channel movies.
*feels like YA, looks like YA, Bryan Lee O'Malley has never really shown any inclination to do anything other than manga influenced YA deconstructions, imma call it...
What could possibly go wrong with eating a random mushroom left for you with those instructions? Katie should have probably asked Alice about that . . .
Actually, in Katie’s case the magic ‘shroom simply gives her a chance at a “re-do.” And boy could she use one in order to get the renovations on her dream restaurant back on track and stop just being the chef at Seconds. Unfortunately, when a waitress gets badly burned Katie uses her “do over” in order to prevent that from happening instead. Luckily for Katie she finds a treasure trove of these delicious little morsels growing under the floor. If changing one thing worked out fine then changing everything she doesn’t like about her life should be great, right?
This was a pretty enjoyable way to spend my coffee time on Saturday morning. The story was interesting throughout, the “Revisions” were sometimes hilarious . . .
(I mean, who doesn’t laugh at a good diarrhea scene, right?)
And I love O’Malley’s art. You’re either going to be a fan of his “cartoony” style or not and I’m a fan . . .
The only downside? All that restaurant talk made me a hungry hungry hippo. Mushroom risotto, mmmmmmmmm. It also made me think of all the times Brad Pitt eats in movies. That boy has got a purrrty mouth . . .
Only my second graphic novel and what a delightful one my GR friend Keen Reader recommended to me. Seconds is wonderful, with characters that are more realistic and interesting than in some of the novels I've read. The title is a clever pun since Katie's restaurant is named Seconds and she finds a way to have a second chance at something. But sometimes a taste is not enough and she wants another chance and another, because each new fix brings a new mistake. Katie hasn't realized nothing and no one is perfect. Will she ever? The supporting characters are terrific as are the locations. All are cleverly conceived and beautifully drawn. There's a bit of Katie in everyone and so much to relate to and besides romance and career there's also sinister stuff going on that makes the book suspenseful, well-rounded and a captivating read.
This week I'm doing a project called Hype Week, where I read the really popular books I've been putting off reading for years. Since graphic novels are pretty niche, this one might be cheating, but it was a nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2014, which I'd say at least nudges it at least partially into the mainstream.
SECONDS is a really good book and it wasn't what I was expecting at all. It's also totally different from the Scott Pilgrim series, which doesn't really age all that well. This standalone is about a woman named Katie, who's twenty-nine, and is a chef at a pretty successful restaurant and is now on the verge of opening her own. One day, one of her staff suffers a horrible accident in the kitchen, and she sees a mysterious girl in her room perching on an old dresser. Inside one of the drawers is a notepad for writing down mistakes, a list of instructions, and some mushrooms. When Katie eats the mushroom, the server is no longer burned. Everything is completely different.
...or is it?
This is like a cross between Groundhog's Day, Mirrormask, and Coraline, and I really, really enjoyed it. Katie is a perfect flawed heroine and even though she behaved selfishly, you could see how she was really trying to get her life to be the way she wanted it and how her perfectionism and impulsivity were constantly at war with each other, and how quickly that mix turned self-destructive. There's also a fairytale bent to this story that starts to turn really creepy towards the end. There were a couple parts that gave me actual chills. Less is definitely more going into this book, but I loved how strange it was, and I could totally see this being a movie, especially a creepy stop-motion one.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could correct our mistakes in life; reverse bad choices and undo wrong things we did or said? Imagine you only had to write down your mistake, ingest a magical mushroom, go to sleep, and the next day your blunder would have been erased and you would wake up in a life that has been set on a different course. An instant redo, with little effort, and no more struggling with regret, acceptance and even apologizing!
After she meets the house ghost Lis in the restaurant ‘Seconds’ where she works and lives, Katie, a twenty something chef, gets a chance to dream up a do-over when a fellow worker is injured at work for which Katie feels responsible. But soon, chaos ensues when Katie gets addicted to these magical mushrooms!
I’m not sure how this fantasy graphic novel landed on my bookshelf, because I’m not a big fan of fantasy stories and I don’t believe in magic nor in ghosts. Anyway, and although I would have preferred a more mature treatment of the story, it was a fun, entertaining read, and the illustrations were nice and cute.
What is the deal with manga about food and wine? Wildly popular, I am told, in Japan, especially: Oshinbo, Antique Bakery, Drops of Wine, others, and now this Canadian/LA manga guy known for his amazing and funny Scott Pilgrim series writes a book about a 29 year old female chef and her two restaurants. Where he includes recipes periodically amidst the story line.
So this is really colorful and splashy and light and funny, with a woman chef who is in her late twenties and dealing with men and being a (not entirely convincing) super chef (she doesn't eat drink and sleep food, she's more about her ex Max and friend Hazel and restaurant politics rather than chef stuff, really). Maybe it's that O'Malley doesn't really convince he knows restaurants? But he knows humor and young hipster dialogue as with everything he does, they all talk like twenty somethings and are convincing and entertaining.
The coolest thing about this book is the magical realism, the spirit Lis (with magic mushrooms) in her apartment and the restaurant spirits she sees that may just be a manifestation of all the mushrooms she is taking in this crisis point in her life. It is light, not deep, though, and goes for the jokes and fun as much as it can.
I guess Seconds is the title because her first restaurant is called Seconds, as in second helpings, but also second chances emerges as a theme throughout. It did not have the same impact as Scott Pilgrim, nor would I expect it to, but I still like O'Malley's style and voice.
It's the story of Katie, a chef who wants to open her own restaurant, and she also wishes she could get back with her ex-boyfriend, Max. Katie lives in an apartment above a restaurant named Seconds, and one night she meets Lis, the spirit of the house. Katie finds some mushrooms and a notebook in an old dresser, and by writing down a mistake and eating the mushroom, the past will be changed.
Katie quickly gets addicted trying to fix all of her mistakes, and each revision changes the universe. First she tries to prevent an accident in the kitchen that injured her friend, Hazel. Then she goes farther back in time and totally changes her relationship with Max, a decision that has serious consequences.
But Katie can't stop trying to change things and make her life "perfect." Each morning she wakes up, she isn't sure exactly how the world will be different, and her life has changed so dramatically that she doesn't remember whole parts of it anymore, because they never really happened.
And by constantly changing the universe, Katie has angered the house spirit, and she accidentally created a monster. In the end, after multiple lives and some scary situations, Katie finally stops fighting herself and accepts things as they are.
"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."
The book was written by Bryan Lee O'Malley, author of the popular Scott Pilgrim series, and I picked it up because I had also enjoyed that graphic novel. The artwork is beautiful and I really liked the story. It's a good reminder that even though we wish we could change our past, actually doing so would have unintended consequences. Maybe we should just accept our mistakes as part of life, and move on.
This new self-contained story from Bryan Lee O'Malley swaps the geeky pyrotechnics of his SCOTT PILGRIM series for the more sedate story of Katie, a restaurateur who gains the ability to magically undo her own mistakes.
I really wanted to like this. It's a tremendously handsome volume, and the colouring is gorgeous. I just couldn't get past the one-dimensional and unengaging main character. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker: after all, Scott Pilgrim is also incredibly shallow and unsympathetic -- but he's part of an exciting story with a vibrant ensemble cast. SECONDS, by contrast, really is a single-hander; for me, none of the supporting cast here were developed much beyond turning up to make a bit of plot happen.
O'Malley is an immensely talented cartoonist and there were some amusing bits in the story, but I think there will be a lot of pristine copies of SECONDS sitting on bookshelves next to increasingly dog-eared SCOTT PILGRIM volumes in the months and years to come.
The book is about a chef named Katie who used to own a well-known restaurant called Seconds.
She's trying to start a new restaurant after leaving her first one in capable hands, but it is proving to be more difficult than she could have imagined.
Upon trying to progress her career and reach more success she comes across trying times when her relationship with some of the previous restaurant staff goes bad and she finds out that she isn't happy with her life choices.
There may be a way out, or so Katie thought when she came across some magic mushrooms she found in her dresser drawer.
Things change for Katie, some good and some terrible.
I really liked this, it was very well-paced, plot-driven, dark and mysterious.
Usually, when I finish a graphic novel, it's rare for me to think I'd read it again; but I'd re-read this again someday because it was a pleasure.
Fantastic. I love this story. It is about Katie and her restaurant. She is a chef. The story is a foodie story. It's also about mushrooms and I love mushrooms. Yum. There is a house spirit, which I think is the twist that I really love. There is other dimensions and witches and all kinds of cool things. There is a love story and there is snow! I mean this has everything. I think it's set in London, could be wrong about that, but it seems British.
There is a notebook and if you write: 1 Your mistake, 2 Ingest one mushroom, 3 Go to sleep, 4 Wake anew, you can correct a mistake you made in life. Sounds great right? It creates a great story.
I am a fan of the art and I loved Katie as an imperfect character. Her restaurant 'Seconds' sounds so good and I would love to eat the food. I'm so glad I read this. This is by the buy who did Scott Pilgrim. Of course it's good.
Apparently I can’t stop reading graphic novels. How was this genre unknown to me all this time? It’s so much work and talent to appreciate and also so much fun to read.
Seconds was definitely good. The.Art.Is.Fantastic! Bold ,beautiful colors, simple but really cute drawings; the city especially was stunningly drawn and colored. I loved everything about that. The story is also a strong point. It reminded me so much of Anya’s Ghost but for me Seconds is like a 2.0 version. It is more complex, longer, with a larger cast of characters and grown-up main character. And let’s not forget a stunning color palette 😍
Seconds is a successful restaurant, thanks in large part to Katie’s cooking and dedication – but she doesn’t own the place. So she’s been scrimping and saving to buy her own restaurant, move out of Seconds, and live happily ever after. Except there are delays in the renovation of the dump she bought with her business partner. Oh, and the house spirit of Seconds has issues with Katie.
Katie dreams about a strange girl crouching atop her cabinet and, after a disastrous night in the kitchen, she looks inside to find a notebook and a mushroom. If she writes down a wish in the notebook, eats the mushroom, and goes to sleep, when she awakens the wish will have come true. So begins a brilliant “be careful what you wish for” type story.
It’s been four years since the final Scott Pilgrim, though Seconds is more of a sequel to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first book, Lost At Sea. Both feature protagonists searching for something they had all along. It’s also less fantastical than Scott Pilgrim, though, from the setup alone, you can tell O’Malley hasn’t left magical realism behind.
While Katie is written as this master chef, O’Malley doesn’t dwell on that aspect too long and so the food element to the character doesn’t seem convincing. But what O’Malley does know is relationships and the heart of the book is Katie’s attempts to get her ex-boyfriend, Max, back. The snappy, smart ‘n’ sassy dialogue is one of O’Malley’s strengths and everyone here (all under 30 of course) sounds very real. Katie also interacts with the omniscient narrator which is an ingenious touch from the author and something I’ve never seen before in a comic.
This is also O’Malley’s first book that’s been published in full colour (though the Scott Pilgrim books have been recently re-released in full colour hardbacks) and, if you’re unfamiliar with his style, the art is strongly anime-influenced. In fact, a lot of the art is done in the chibi-style. And though that might make the art seem overly cutesy and cartoony, you’ll be blown away with how affecting O’Malley can make his characters appear, especially as chibis!
Seconds is a slightly more mature book than O’Malley’s previous publications, though it’s full of the author’s usual wit and humour. The kind of story it is, and its message of trying to fix things in the present to make things better in the future, rather than wishing to change the past, isn’t original; but O’Malley’s treatment of them in Seconds is. His writing and art is top notch throughout and Seconds is an absolute joy to read. I loved Seconds and recommend it to anyone who enjoys quality, fun comics!
Eu estou apaixonado por esse quadrinho. Mais um pra lista. Sério, foi uma leitura perfeita pro momento. Amei os personagens, a história, a narrativa, tudo. Ele tem um senso de humor ótimo, que não impede a seriedade ou deixa bobinho. Também achei um quadrinho bem imersivo, os desenhos passam MUITA coisa, dentre elas, movimento e expressão.
Adorei a parte mágica da história; foi o toque perfeito. Achei bem criativo e diferente. A utilização desses elementos pra passar a mensagem (E QUE MENSAGEM) foi simplesmente a melhor escolha. Queria muito mais dos personagens e de tudo isso. Cadê???
Muito bem desenvolvido, e com bastante sensibilidade (do jeito que o moço aqui gosta). <3
Antes que nada: ¡gracias, novelas gráficas, por existir y sacarme de mis reading slumps ocasionales!
Seconds es una historia rarísima: Katie trabaja en un restaurante, pero su sueño es abrir uno propio, así que desde hace tiempo está trabajando en ello, aunque eso le ha costado muchísimo dinero, una que otra amistad e incluso su novio. Sin embargo, un día, Katie encontrará a una especie de espíritu que la guía hacia una libreta y una seta mágica, muy al estilo de Alicia en el País de las Maravillas. Cada que Katie escriba uno de sus errores en esa libreta y se coma una de las setas podrá resarcir uno de sus errores pasados... Pero lo que ella no sabe es que jugar con el tiempo, con el destino y con las grandes fuerzas mágicas no es algo que se deba tomar a la ligera.
Sí, la historia es tan enredada como suena. Con saltos temporales y líneas de historia que ni tú ni Katie entienden de dónde van saliendo, el libro se va desarrollando con una estética genial, diálogos sencillos y graciosos y un montón de rayadas mentales. Me gustó muchísimo la división de los capítulos en los que conocemos un poco más a cada personaje, especialmente los de Katie, por supuesto, Lis y Hazel. ¿Qué no me gustó? Que la única motivación de Katie para corregir todos sus errores fuera estar bien con Max... aunque quizá eso quiera dejarnos como enseñanza que hacer todo para recuperar a un chico al que claramente no le importamos nunca sale bien (?).
Pd: si alguien lo ha leído, ¿no les pareció que el árbol era muuuuuy Yggdrasil?
Esta es la historia de Katie, una chef de 29 años que trabaja como jefa de cocina en un restaurante llamado “Seconds”.
El sueño de la protagonista es abrir un restaurante propio, y hace cuatro años que pone todo su tiempo y dinero en hacer que esto ocurra. Pero sus esfuerzos parecen no ser suficientes, así que para lograrlo, decide tratar de corregir sus errores con ayuda de unas setas mágicas que le ha dejado un “espíritu” en su casa.
Es muy loco, tiene partes que me recordaron a Alicia en el país de las maravillas, otras a Stranger things, y otras a Coraline.
Además de fantasía, hay romance, humor y una pizca de suspenso/terror pero no da miedo. Jaja
Los dibujos son una pasada y encima son a color.! 😍
Espero que le den una oportunidad, se los recomiendo sobre todo a los que andan con poco tiempo para leer ya que se lee en un rato.!! Saludos!!!! 🙂
WOAH! The colouring and illustrations in this graphic novel are the most beautiful that I have ever read, and unlike most graphic novels where I struggle to form any real connection with the characters, in this everyone feels so real! The plot is really quite meaningful too and is a lot darker than you think it will be at the start... I loved it!
I loved this so much, it was the perfect balance of and utterly bizarre and utterly brilliant. It was funny, creepy, suspenseful, intense, adorable and impossible to put down (literally. I was reading it at 4am...) The artwork was gorgeous and the unique concept had me hooked from the first page until the last. I absolutely loved that it followed a cast of characters in their twenties and the fact that it centred around a restaurant was so much fun. It had a diverse cast of characters, all of which I instantly warmed too. I thought the occasional interactions between the narrator and Katie (the main character) were so much fun and so different from any graphic novel I've read. It was a blend of multiple genres and not at all what I was expecting, although I hadn't a clue what to expect going into it but I think that made it all the more intriguing? I had a huge amount of fun reading this and I'm certain it will be one I'll reread in the future.
This was a trip. I've never read anything by Bryan Lee O'Malley, but I love the Scott Pilgrim movie. And the humor in this was very similar. The artwork was adorable; it's like little chibi characters. And one of my favorite things was the interactions between Katie, the main character, and the third-person narrator of the story. It was fun to have her directly respond to the narration with snide remarks or contradictions. I also really enjoyed the use of slang and "like" and "literally," because it made it very relatable.
I appreciated how it presented a generally common theme, such as appreciating life for how it is instead of always trying to change things, and doing it in such a unique, trippy way. I mean, she literally eats mushrooms and has the ability to alter her reality...
Overall, this was a quick, really fun read. I'd heard high praise for it, and I can say that it definitely lives up to it.
Fun, funny, but also dark. Katie messes with things she doesn't understand and ends up whizzing through different realities, making her realise what really matters and other such deep messages.
Katie's one of those characters that I both like and dislike, but she did make me laugh. Her little banter with the narrator (herself?) was fun, breaking down the fourth wall a little.
I like the artwork, but what I liked more was the PRESENTATION of the artwork. Switching between standard cell work or full page illustrations to a top-down floorplan view... it felt like a nice mix that made it fun to read.
At over 300 pages there's a lot to this graphic novel, and it's a beautiful thing to have on my shelf.
Así que esta es básicamente la historia de Katie, una chica —no tan chica— que abrió junto con sus amigos un restaurante llamado "Seconds", que mas temprano que tarde obtuvo popularidad; y en el lapso, vio muchas cosas pasar. El tiempo ha transcurrido y Katie lo que quiere es abrir un nuevo restaurante, uno que le pertenezca y la aleje de aquello que ocurrió en el anterior. En una serie de eventos que involucran a un adorable espíritu, Katie se ve envuelta en un misterio que le permitirá cambiar su presente.
Graciosa y encantadora. Bryan lo hizo de nuevo; con personajes bien formados, y adorables ilustraciones, Seconds, atrapa desde el comienzo, y no te permite soltarlo hasta que lo hayas finalizado.
No podía evitar pensar en Scott y Ramona cada vez que veía a Katie. Estoy bastante contento con el resultado.
"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."
It didn't "wow" me but yeah it was okay.The illustrations are just adorable and I love Hazel😳👉👈!! Besides this I found the plot quite boring and it seemed to drag on forever.... All you need to know before reading this book is that it deals with house spirits, Seconds(a restaurant where mystifying events occurred often) and mushrooms that can change your fate! But there's always a terrible price awaiting every irrational decision made by Katie(the protagonist).
We are granted the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference.