Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley Review


Artist/Illustrator: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Published: 15 July 2014

Rating: 8/10

I knew I wanted to expand the genres of literature I was reading. I’ve been fascinated by graphic novels and am a religious reader of the Saga series. I saw this recommended in a YouTube haul when I was flicking through videos and was drawn to the vibrant red and white character on the dust sleeve. Adding it to my list, I didn’t expect to purchase it any time soon, but a friend of mine selected a few of my wanted-reads and sent me an Amazon package of them in the mail. This was included and I was ecstatic.

IMG_7472Seconds is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley. It tells the tale of a chef called Katie Clay who is the head of a restaurant called Seconds. After an exchange between the house spirit who resides in her flat, she is introduced to a means to fix any mistake she makes in the past simply by writing them in a notebook, eating a mushroom, and falling asleep. Armed with this power Katie begins to use it consistently, creating a universe she doesn’t know how to get out of.


First thing to mention is the art. Each page is more beautiful than the last and the colour schematic is so pleasant to have (blue-red-yellow).
Something I always appreciate is consistency and that was present here. The next thing is the authenticity of the characters. They all felt real, genuine; humans that make mistakes.

What came to my mind while I was reading was how this book made me feel as if I was watching a movie. Most stories I read these days, I wonder how it could be adapted into a screenplay; which actor would play their role etc. This book was so beautifully done that it felt as if it should be left just like this.

A masterpiece in it’s own.

What would you do if you had the chance to go back to the biggest mistake of your life? Would you change it? Or would you accept the past and reject the offer?

Faced with the choice, I’m not exactly sure I would take it. That’s a lie. I probably would take it, being the impulsive human that I am, and then immediately regret it because it wouldn’t have turned out the way that I wanted it to. At the end of the day, I think the real lesson here is: don’t take mushrooms from strangers kids.

Bryan Lee O’Malley really plays with this concept of the butterfly effect and what the consequences of our actions really means. I think anybody who reads this can see a little Katie in them.

I genuinely loved every “second” of it. (Man that made me cringe just writing that.)

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