Sunday, March 24, 2013

Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham.

I give the driver my address and though he grumbles about the distance to Brooklyn, he finally agrees to take me, and we race down Ninth Avenue. The neon signs that sometimes glare too loud and lonely seem somehow warm and friendly tonight. Tonight, they blink cheerfully at me, almost in unison, as if in celebration, letting me know they're glad I decided to stay.

Lauren Graham
This book is written by Lauren Graham, the actress from Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, among other shows, and so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. I never watched Gilmore Girls, although I've seen her in the movie Bad Santa and a few others. What I did not know is that she has a BA in English from Barnard College, and it makes sense, because I was highly impressed by this book.

Official synopsis:
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.
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So I knew finding an acting job was tough, especially at the beginning, but I didn't know how tough until I read this novel! Franny gives herself three years to "make it" in NYC, and she's beginning to panic because her deadline is fast approaching. She waitresses to earn money, but when she has to start balancing that with going out for auditions, she eventually gets fired for missing too many shifts. The novel has datebook entries scattered throughout, and a few of them say things like "ASK DAD FOR MONEY???" or "Do NOT ask Dad for money," etcetera.

I loved all the references to NYC in the '90s, as well - the subway had tokens to use, rather than swipe cards, and of course if she wanted to call home and check her email, she had to use a pay phone (remember those?). Parts of the book were a little predictable, like which guy she would end up with, but the journey to getting there, and the mistakes made in between, were fun to read.

My only issue with this novel is the ending; it was far too abrupt for my taste. Graham definitely leaves it open for a sequel, and although I don't know if she has any plans on writing one, I would read it if it was made. I would also read any other books she decides to pen, because the writing was excellent and so were the characters - they felt like real people, which is often hard to accomplish in these types of novels.

The book was based on Graham's real life experiences with acting and getting jobs, as well, which is probably part of why it feels so realistic; she moved to L.A. in 1995 to start her acting career.

Someday, Someday, Maybe will be in stores on April 30th. 4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a NetGalley of this book to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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