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O’Malley, Bryan Lee and Nathan Fairbairn. Seconds. 2014.

So, I picked this up off the new book cart at one of my libraries, and saw that the author of Scott Pilgrim wrote it, and promptly put it back down. I do not like Scott Pilgrim. I just don’t, and I never understood why. It has all these elements that I like thrown together in a way that I should like. But I just don’t. It’s unexplainable. One of my new coworkers put it back in my hand and told me I’d like it, so I reluctantly opened it.

Seconds is the name of the restaurant that Katie owns. She’s planning to open another one and call it Katie’s, at an abandoned building that used to be called Lucky’s. She’s young, she’s a talented chef, and she has big plans for Katie’s. But suddenly, her ex shows back up, starting a chain of events that causes Katie’s fling to break up with her and one of her waitresses, Hazel, to get hurt in a terrible accident. That night, she opens her dresser drawer to get changed for bed. There is a mushroom inside, along with a notebook and a set of instructions:

  1. Write your mistake
  2. Ingest one mushroom
  3. Go to sleep
  4. Wake anew

Katie writes what went wrong that day, eats a mushroom, and goes to sleep. When she wakes, the skin on Hazel’s arms are soft and smooth – no longer burnt. No one else remembers the events of the previous day. Thus begins Katie’s adventure, eating magic mushrooms every night to fix every mistake she made the day before. It seems great at first – a literal new beginning every day – but she soon realizes that the more she tries to fix, the more she breaks, and that she’s playing with things far more mysterious and sinister than she could have ever imagined…

I’m happy to say I loved it. The art was cute, with a warm palette, lots of reds and other bold colors. It was both a modern coming-of-age and a timeless fantasy epic, blended incredibly seamlessly. It had an overall warm and fun tone though, and I laughed out loud multiple times. I sympathized with Katie more than I’d like to admit. When I was done, I thanked my coworker for talking me into it. I never, ever would have picked it up otherwise.

– Kathleen

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