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The title, Seconds, has several meanings in this story about Katie, a restaurant chef who seems to be living her dreams. The restaurant she helped create (called Seconds) has won the "Best Dinner Spot" award three years running, the staff and owners treat her with respect, and the customers love her food. Plus, after scrimping and saving and finding a business partner, Katie is on her way to opening her second restaurant, this time as a chef-owner.
Then one day, everything changes: the renovators at the new building want more money, her business partner is not answering his email, her ex-boyfriend shows up at Seconds, a flirtation with a fellow chef has gone sour, and a waitress suffers a bad burn. If only Katie could start this day over.
Sometimes it's best not to get what one wishes for. When Katie awakes from a dream to discover there is indeed a way to have a revised life, she decides to try it. But soon she becomes desperate to keep trying until everything is perfect, which, of course, can never be. Will she ever get out from under the horrible mess she's made?
Although this book is over 300 pages, I read it in one sitting. I liked Katie and the people in her life, especially Hazel and the young women's developing friendship. The premise is intriguing; who hasn't wished for a second chance to say something different, to make a better choice, to be a stronger person?
The colorful and nicely detailed artwork quickly drew me into the story. The characters' expressions and body language speak volumes, and I particularly like that the panels show a variety of perspectives--sometimes it's as if we were in the same room with Katie and other times we are given a bird's-eye view or see things from a character's perspective. I also like the way the colors change to signal Katie's dream states and the rewinding of the clock as she is about to start a second chance.
The scans of pages 22 and 23 show Katie and Seconds before things begin to go wrong. You can get a sense of Katie's personality and see what she likes to cook. (Click the image to see the scans full size.)
Seconds may not have recipes, but I loved the restaurant setting, following Katie's second chances, and thinking about the consequences of getting what one wishes for.
Random House / Ballantine, 2014
Source: Bought (see review policy)
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