Last night I stayed up until midnight, finishing this month’s book club pick: Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. There was no real hurry since we won’t be meeting until the end of the month. It was just that good.
And for a book written by a celebrity, that’s really saying something. You may not know that Lauren Graham, aka Lorelai Gilmore, actually majored in English in college before going on to portray possibly the coolest TV mom in history. So her writing a novel isn’t actually the weirdest thing ever.
The great American novel? Maybe not. But this was definitely a well written story with nicely fleshed out characters and a compelling plot:
Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.
I think you can definitely hear Graham’s voice in this book. The dialog, which is well written and smart, I could totally picture in an episode of Gilmore Girls if Lorelai ever ran off and tried to pursue acting. Graham’s main character, Franny, is kooky and flawed and easy to relate to and she does a good job fleshing out the rest of her characters to make them seem realistic.
Like any good love story, you figure out what guy Franny should be with early on so you can spend the rest of the book eagerly waiting for their connection to come about. Likewise, I found myself quickly disagreeing with some decisions she makes with her career which I think is to be expected. Franny doesn’t quite have it all together yet, but she’s getting there!
She follows a somewhat stereotypical formula but pokes fun at the formula while doing so which I always enjoy. Graham also did a great job with tying themes together in the book. Aspects from her characters’ past clearly influence their present actions and Franny finds herself learning a lot about herself as she pursues her dreams. This was a fun glimpse into the world of acting with fun 90’s era references thrown in for good measure.
I also really enjoyed all the little details of the book – the drawings and notes in her daybook were a fun addition. I can always tell I’m going to enjoy a book when they take the time to throw in things like that. It shows the author and publishers were thinking about the book from every angle and really having fun with it.
So if you’ve been on the fence about giving this one a try, I’d give it the green light (assuming you like light hearted love stories where the characters learn more about themselves while following their dreams). I’m looking forward to hearing what the rest of my book club thinks about this one!