Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

From Goodreads.....

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works. 

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet. 

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

Last year, I found out through a blog post that Lauren Graham was going to publish her first novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe.


I was first introduced to Lauren Graham back in the early 2000’s when I started watching Gilmore Girls.  As Lorelei Gilmore, she was funny and could think of snappy comebacks on the spot.  She lived in the quirky fictional town where everybody knows your name and your personal business.  Lorelei had a close relationship with her daughter Rory, while her relationship with her mother, Emily Gilmore was a bit complicated.

I recently started watching her play the role of Sarah Braverman on Parenthood.  It just hit me that on both shows, Lauren  plays the role of single mom.

I haven’t read a lot of reviews for Someday, Someday, Maybe.  I generally don’t read reviews, but I have read that Someday, Someday, Maybe is a must read.

I eagerly picked up this novel from my local library without reading the first few pages. Someday, Someday, Maybe is the story of Franny Banks who is striving to become an actress in New York City.  She has given herself six months to make it big or move on.  

The story is set in 1995.  I find it interesting that Graham chose to set the story in 1995. I am guessing that the novel is loosely based on Graham’s humble beginnings as an actress.  In 1995, I was 12 years old reading the Baby-Sitters Club series.  In 1995, people called each other on the phone, used Filiofax and weekly planners to keep up with important dates and appointments, and wrote letters when they needed to.  Now, we keep up and communicate with our smartphones and tablets.  However, in 1995 Franny Banks kept up with her important dates, appointments, and randomness in her Filofax.

To be honest, I was bored during the first 100 pages of the novel.  After the first 100 pages, the story began to pick up speed.  Acting doesn't really interest me, but despite wanting to abandon the book, I was willing to see it through to see what happens to Franny.

Readers watch Franny struggle to find acting work.   It seems that the only work she can find is a sweater commercial and dish washing detergent.  Franny has her friends Dan and Jane, and her father for support, but it doesn't seem to be enough.  

Some parts of the novels were funny and it reminded me of Lorelei Gilmore.  I kept picturing Lauren Graham playing the role of Franny.  Franny's father reminded me of Richard Gilmore because he is into classical music and literature.  

There were moments when I wanted to reach out and hug Franny and tell her that everything will be okay.  She thinks that she is on her way when she lands an agent, but he doesn't return her calls.  She looses her waitressing jobs and has to pick up temp work to make ends meet.  Spoiler altert: Franny finally gets an offer, but it is for a zombie movie.  She is desperate to accept, but a classmate talks her out of it.

Franny wonders if being talented is enough to make it in the acting business. She wonders he needs to change the way she looks in order to be noticed.  This story shows the importance of perseverance despite the struggle whether you want to be an actor, writer, artist, musician, or start your own business.  You just can't give up.

I'm glad that I finished the book because Franny finally does land work that is not degrading and can be proud of-all because she didn't give up.

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