Author: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Publisher: Random House Canada
Source: Borrowed from brother
Check this book out on Goodreads.
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. (Source: Goodreads)
Katie, a young chef, is trying to open a new restaurant but keeps facing setbacks. She is offered the opportunity to fix the mistakes she makes, and she does just that. But she faces the consequences of changing the past and changing her future. I thought the concept of this comic book was amazing, and it was pulled off so well.
I liked Katie. She’s hard working and loves what she does, having risked relationship, friendships, and her own monetary growth to accomplish her dreams of starting her own restaurant. For that she’s admirable. Like most people, if given the opportunity to change the past, she has a lot of stuff she regrets, including losing the man of her dreams. She goes a little crazy fixing all of her mistakes. Through Katie you learn the consequences of always regretting the past and not living with what there is in front of you.
I found the characters, aside from Katie, really interesting and developed fairly well. Her new best friend, the waitress at the restaurant, was cute and charming. Max, her lost love, was very charming though easy to see as kind of a player because he has that kind of look. I really grew to like the characters and loved the way they were drawn. These two especially seemed kind of different from everyone else, in drawing style, which made them really stand out. Perhaps this signifies their importance to Katie’s life, but it also made them incongruent to the rest of the art for me at least.
I thought the whole concept was really awesome. I liked it as much as, if not better than, Scott Pilgrim. I’m don’t think I can explain why, maybe because Scott is kind of whiny? Katie was whiny sometimes too, but I just found her…less so? I don’t know. I really liked this comic though. There were a couple of really great Scott Pilgrim references in the book. Like Scott and Ramona sitting in the restaurant, and one character saying “Bread makes you fat?” I found these really adorable and they definitely made me smile when I saw them in the book.
Overall, I really liked the art style. I am a fan of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s style, and it was very much what I expected. Despite the somewhat incongruent style I thought that Max and Hazel were really beautifully drawn. I loved the way that the characters looked. Katie was cute and spunky even in appearance. Hazel had a shy but beautiful style. And Max was all mystery and hunk. I think Bryan Lee O’Malley really captured this well.
If you were a fan of Scott Pilgrim this book is really an excellent read for you. I would also say it’s pretty similar to a lot of what First Second Books puts out. I really loved this book, and could not put it down. I highly recommend it!