May 20, 2016

Needs less drama and more food

2016 has been the year of the graphic novel for me. In the past, I had given one or two of them a shot but I guess I was making the wrong choices because I thought it was a medium that held no interest for me. Thankfully, I've been getting really great recommendations and the ones I've read thus far this year have been for the most part very enjoyable.

Today's review is about Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley. I picked this book up because I kept hearing how great it was especially in regards to the artwork. I have to say that I've read better graphic novels. The art alternated between beautiful and just okay. (I'm certainly not an art critic but this is how I felt about it so...) The main protagonist is a chef named Katie who was the co-creator of a restaurant named Seconds. However, at the start of the narrative we learn that Katie has stepped down as Head Chef because she's in the process of opening a new restaurant across town in a decrepit building that she's always 'had a feeling about'. (Spoiler: The new restaurant is very unimaginatively named.) She has a dream one night that there's this girl in her room who shows her a magic mushroom that if eaten in conjunction with writing down a mistake she can then go back in time and 'correct' things. (Was this the 60's?) Through a series of missteps which were pretty predictable Katie discovers that while she can go back again and again to 'fix' things she's in actuality just making things worse. (I had kinda hoped that this would be more about food to be honest (darn you, Lucy Knisley!)). To sum up, this one was right on the line for me. I'd say it was a solid 'meh'. It was a basic morality tale about wish fulfillment and the consequences of not learning from your mistakes. 5/10

PS I didn't like Katie.

The best bit of art in the book. Source:

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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