Created by the cartoonist behind the Scott Pilgrim series, Byran Lee O’Malley, this graphic novel is quirky, thought-provoking and beautiful.
The story revolves around Katie, a talented young chef who runs a successful restaurant, with dreams to open another. Everything’s going well for her. But seemingly all at once, her life seems to crumble apart. Her relationship is falling apart, her new business venture is too.
And now she is desperate for a second chance in life.
This is where the novel changes from being about everyday life to being set in an odd parallel universe where strange things happen but it’s accepted as the norm. Similar to Scott Pilgrim and his cute relationship with Ramona, which turns into him fighting evil exes and rollerskating through subspace.
So, a mysterious girl appears in Katie’s bedroom one night with a list of instructions:
1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew
Katie starts changing things, making her life better with the help of these mushrooms. And who wouldn’t want to just simply eat a mushroom and undo something they regret?
The idea of wanting to change mistakes or preventing something in past from happening has probably gone through everyone’s minds. But this morality tale style novel teaches us that it isn’t that simple. Katie has to learn to change her life for the better without magic spirits and mushrooms. Despite the unrealistic elements, the story is completely relatable, even if we could change the past, things happen for a reason and we have to simply learn from our mistakes.
The characters are similar to Scott Pilgrim, nerdy, hipster, 20-30-year-olds and each one is different yet just as likeable as the next. Katie seems to have mood swings and a bad temper but she’s a realistic character with real life problems. Hazel, a waitress at the restaurant, is a shy and awkward art student. Max, Katie’s ex-boyfriend is charming, beautiful and seems to have it more together than Katie does, but even he has his problems.
The colour scheme of the book is beautiful. Mostly blue and orange/red colours, but the colours cleverly change depending on Katie’s emotions. Ranging from blue when she’s worried and more red tones when she’s angry. Even though the story is only told through these three colours it is bright, energetic and I could not put it down until I’d finished it.
About the author: Bryan Lee O’Malley
- Canadian cartoonist born in 1979.
- Best known for Scott Pilgrim, Seconds and Lost at Sea.
- A film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim was released in 2010 starring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
- He is also a musician under the alias Kupek.