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Review: Someday, Someday Maybe

May 30, 2013

Title: Someday, Someday Maybe
Author: Lauren Graham
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Format: eGalley 
 
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.—via Goodreads

Y’all. Lauren Graham can write!

Clearly, this shocks no one. But it’s just so nice to know that she’s good at everything.

I say that with zero maliciousness. She’s one of those people who you want to be able to do everything so that you can like her that much more. (Other people in this category: Connie Britton, Emma Stone, Claire Danes, Jason Segel, Zachary Levi, Jennifer Lawrence.)

 So, this book, Someday, Someday Maybe. What I liked most about is how damn relatable it is. Maybe it’s because I live in New York City currently and, though I’m not an actor, have friends who are. But in general, New York is one of those places that gets under your skin to the point that you want to throw in the towel and move back home and get a sensible job somewhere, but you know that you can’t. The city burrows itself into your very self somehow and you know better than to try to leave.

It’s a bit like an abusive boyfriend, actually.

But! Graham captures that sense of place and the desperate desire to stay and make your mark on it even though you know that perhaps you’d be healtheir, wealthier (ha!), and less stressed out if you moved elsewhere. Additionally, she’s able to communicate the angst and frustration and uncertainty that is so intrisic to being in your twenties—You’re an adult, but you don’t feel grown up. You like the idea of your serious boyfriend, but maybe don’t like your serious boyfriend. You love your friends, but somehow don’t have enough time for them. You want to be a proactive go-getter, but also want to lay around the house.—in a way that is perhaps the best I’ve seen it done other than in Girls. (I like that show. Get off my lawn.)

But what Graham is able to do that Girls doesn’t (at least, doesn’t yet), is communicate all of that without being cynical or cloying or, well, naked all the time.  The book moves at a pace that feels real to life—the main character, Franny, has huge successes followed by droughts of feeling like a failure. These aren’t  small droughts—they’re big, gaping, seemingly unending droughts. She loses hope and faith and battles depression, but, thanks to her friends and her spirit, is able to pull herself out of it and begin to see who she is as a person, instead of who she thinks she should be.

Overall, Someday, Someday Maybe is a compulsively readable, true-to-life story that is wickedly funny and full of personality. If you don’t already want to be friends with Ms. Graham, this book will definitely convince you that that’s exactly what you want.

   Someday, Someday, Maybe

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