By Bryan Lee O'Malley
New York: Ballantine Books, 2014. 321 pp. Graphic Novel
Katie's life is in a state of flux. After several years as lead chef at Seconds, a successful restaurant she help build from its beginning, she is anxious to start a new restaurant of her own. Hanging out at Seconds while this agonizing process continues, she finds herself canoodling with a co-worker. Shortly thereafter, one of the waitresses is seriously hurt. Katie feels responsible for this, having pulled away the new lead chef. That night she is visited in a dream by a spirit and is presented with an opportunity to erase her mistake and prevent her friend's injury. She does so and soon thereafter discovers that she can undo life decisions again and again. Heedless of the spirit's warnings, she succumbs to the temptation only to discover that with each attempt to make her life more perfect, unintended consequences threaten everything she holds dear.
As with his Scott Pilgrim series, O'Malley crafts a wonderful, funny and engaging story. I love the art, somewhat manga-esque, dynamic but without some of the frenetic qualities often found in that style. This story is a bit more adult (but no less fantastic) in tone and content than the Scott Pilgrim series, sure to appeal to older teens and younger adults both. For graphic novel fans, this is a must read.
For similar reads, I would suggest The Shoplifter by Michael Cho or Solanin by Inio Asano.