Monday, February 17, 2014

Someday, Someday, Maybe Review

After all the crying that accompanied my reading of The Fault in Our Stars, my husband told me I had better read something light next. I've had a sample Lauren Graham's Someday, Someday, Maybe on my kindle for ages so it seemed like the perfect book to read next. I love Lauren Graham. I was a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I used to babysit on Tuesday nights during college and started to catch some episodes or parts of episodes after whatever else I was watching that night. However, it wasn't until I was working at Soap Opera Digest that I watched the whole show from beginning to end. I must have watched the early episodes at the same time as the current episodes but I can't exactly remember. I just know I've seen every episode at least once and just loved the whole premise. I tried to follow Graham to Parenthood when it started in 2010 but didn't get sucked in although it's supposed to be fantastic, so I'm thinking of watching it next year (once I'm done rewatching Buffy and Angel and watching all of Fringe). And yes, this is supposed to be a book review blog, but I'm also a bit of a TV junkie.

Which is appropriate, given the subject of Someday, Someday, Maybe. The novel focuses on 26 year old Franny Banks, a struggling NY actress in the mid-1990s (not so coincidentally the time that Lauren Graham was a struggling NY actress). Franny is the daughter of a teacher from Connecticut whose mother passed away when she was in middle school. Due to this loss, Franny dove into acting as it was a place where she could pretend to be someone else. Despite having a serious college boyfriend and the possibility of a teaching career, she moved to NYC and gave herself a three year deadline to find some sort of success. She isn't someone who dreams of being a huge Hollywood star; she wants to be a successful theater actress who eventually can host an evening at the 92nd Street Y in the city.

At the start of the novel, her three year deadline is quickly approaching and she has little to show for her work. She has been accepted into a well known acting class and she had one commercial job, but little else has come to fruition. She works as a waitress for a comedy club to make ends meet but still struggles to pay her third of the rent in a Brooklyn apartment that she shares with two friends - Jane who is trying to become a producer and Dan, who wants to write science fiction or screenplays. Her father wants her to come home and become a teacher. However, Franny is determined to make it.

After a showcase through her acting class, she is approached by two possible agents: one a total character who has worked in the biz for years and the other a flashy agency. While she prefers the older agent, the flashy agency books her in a job almost immediately. She signs with them, even though as a reader, one knows that this wasn't the best move. At first, she gets auditions, but an offer for a bit role in a zombie movie that includes being topless really throws her off. And then the calls start drying up. She can't even reach her agency. In the meantime, romantic tension develops between her and Dan and she is on the verge of losing her comedy club waitressing gig while being desperate for money. She begins dating one of her classmates, a gorgeous actor who has already "made it" to some extent and develops a bit of a rivalry with one of her classmates, Penny.

Through a variety of circumstances, Franny of course, realizes what she really wants out of her career and possibly out of her love life as well. Towards the end of the novel, she begins to make the right decisions and starts to be recognized for her unique talents and looks. The story ends with hints at the good things to come for the plucky up and coming actress and while I don't need a sequel, I would have liked a bit more of a definitive ending to her story. However, I suppose ending on a hopeful note is the next best option. And besides, if Franny really is modeled after Lauren Graham, she got the career in the end and has done quite well for herself! Someday, Someday, Maybe is a good vacation read - light but not dumb and quick to get through. Throw it in your bag if you're heading somewhere warm this winter!

Washington Post Review

TV possibility? 

Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble

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