Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe
Author: Lauren Graham
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Source: Purchased

From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead―and keep it together―in New York City.

It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing “important” work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates―her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer―are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything—and finding a hair product combination that works.

Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job. 

My Review

I picked this book up so long ago that I really forget where and when I purchased it. I do remember buying it because A. I love Lauren Graham and B. The synopsis really grabbed me at the time. For a bunch of unforeseen reasons, I just never got around to reading it, even though I wanted to.

Fast forward a few years, and I was looking for a book to take to work one day. I didn't want it to be too heavy of a book (literally) because my purse was already weighed down by my daily planner and assortment of pens that I carry on a daily basis. I really just don't travel light! In the chaos of that morning, I grabbed this because it was a paperback and because I really just felt like it was the book I was meant to read at this given point in my life.

I'll admit that I thought of being famous as a kid, but all of that was really just a fantasy. I was thinking that there was no way I could relate to Franny because of her career ambitions, but I was so wrong. You see, I thought I'd be further along in my career by now, so seeing Franny struggle to find steady employment in the field of her dreams really just spoke to me. I felt like I was struggling along with her - that we were on parallel paths in two very different fields in two very different decades. I felt myself rooting for Franny at times, but there were even some times when I felt myself wanting her to fail so she could experience the normal life that she left behind. By the end of the book, I felt like Franny was right where I wanted her to be, and I wished that my life could have taken a similar turn. 

I really enjoyed Graham's writing style, and while parts of me were comparing a lot of this to many of her iconic scenes in Gilmore Girls, I learned that Lauren and her old character, Lorelai, have a lot more in common than I could have imagined. The book is full of pop culture and literary references, so any fan of Gilmore Girls could find themselves at home in this novel. It's also full of emotions. You're up. You're down. And then Graham takes you back through everything again. All in all, it's a book that stacks up against many of the popular novels out there.

The main characters in this book are all quirky in their own ways, but I really enjoyed reading about them and their journeys through young adulthood. Like I previously mentioned, I felt like I really connected with Franny, so seeing her go through her ups and downs really made her feel like a friend instead of a character in a book. I also liked reading about Jane, and I really wish Graham would have included a little bit more about the sassy best friend. We all need a little bit more of them in our lives. I also really liked Dan, and I'd have to say that he's book boyfriend material in all of the best ways. I first expected him to be more of a secondary character, but I found myself invested in his story as well. 

The secondary characters in Someday, Someday, Maybe round out the novel. There are some that you will just love and some that you will want to jump in and just tell them off. I really feel like Graham did her homework because every single one of the secondary characters plays some sort of important role, and I can't imagine this novel being complete without them.

The only nit pick I have with Graham is that ending. I was not really expecting a cliffhanger, so it caught me off guard, and kind of made me mad. However, I liked that I was able to imagine what happened to Franny, Dan, and Jane.

If you're looking for something light, quick, and full of wit, definitely give Someday, Someday, Maybe a chance. It's just one of those books that can be read at the beach or on a rainy and cold day. I'm just mad at myself for not reading it sooner.

Lauren Graham is an actor, writer, and producer best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.

She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, Someday, Maybe, and Talking as Fast as I Can.

Graham has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Because I Said So, and Max. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University.

She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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