December 5, 2014

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

We're all working hard, but so far away from what we actually want to be doing. We're all peering in at the window of a party we aren't invited to yet, a party we wouldn't know how to dress for, or what kind of conversation to make, even if we came as someone's guest.
-from Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

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Lauren Graham's debut novel, Someday, Someday Maybe is the story of struggling actress Franny Banks. Franny has give herself a deadline of three years to "make it" as a successful actress in New York City. This novel begins six months before her deadline with very little Franny has to show for her ambitions doing important work. What transpires from following Franny's journey isn't simply a measure of her success in acting, but also the lessons she learns about love, friendship and everything in between.

While this novel is reportedly not based on Lauren Graham's personal experience struggling for success in the acting world, Franny resembles Graham in a lot of ways fans of the actress may perceive her. Franny is charming in a quirky way, always making the most out of the funny situations in which she finds herself. Franny is likable as a character in the ways Graham is likable on television as a character; while the reader and/or viewer may be frustrated with some of each character's respective choices, the characters are both endearing and therefore lovable in their own rights. 

That said, Franny also frustrated me in a lot of ways. The most irritating thing about this whole novel is how little Franny actually knows about acting, especially auditioning. If she's dedicated two-and-a-half years of her life to "making it" in show business, how has she not done her basic homework on what to expect at an audition or on a commercial set? I just found this incredibly annoying and made me feel like she wasn't working half as hard as she should be. Similarly I really didn't like how she treated her college sweetheart like a backup plan if her life in New York didn't work out. It made me feel like Franny was very self absorbed and took a lot she did have for granted. This distracted from her likability at times. 

The good and the negative aspects of Franny are what really humanizes this character driven novel and made it enjoyable enough to finish. While the novel didn't necessarily enlighten me in any particular way, it was a well-written, warm and funny, coming-of-into-oneself novel that's just as good as the others in its genre. If you're a big fan of Lauren Graham you'll probably enjoy Franny in similar ways; but if you aren't familiar with Graham this novel might not strike you as anything outstanding. 

Bottom Line: Nicely written, quirky, coming-of-age type novel that will probably resonate more with fans of Lauren Graham's acting than the average reader. A good, warm read but not necessarily the best book I've read this year. 3.5/5 stars

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