Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe & Giveaway

Summary: From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead―and keep it together―in New York City.

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. -- Ballantine

When I learned that the actress Lauren Graham had written a novel, part of me was pretty quick to dismiss it. While I think that Ms. Graham is a terrific actress and has loads of loyal fans, I wasn't sure that those "skills" translate to being an author. However, there was another part of me that had a feeling that it might be worth picking up. And guess what... SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE ended up being a very enjoyable read. I think there's a lesson somewhere in this for me!

SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE takes place in New York back in 1995. Franny Banks has given herself an ultimatum -- she has three years to attain a job as a legitimate actress and time is running out. Franny has only six months left and, up to now, she's had only one commercial gig. In the meantime, Franny has been waiting tables (like every other struggling actor) and taking acting lessons in the hopes that she can get an agent and ultimately some auditions!

Despite living from pay check to pay check (and asking her dad for money), Franny has a great support system in place. Her two roommates, Jane and Dan, are encouraging and assure her that success will come to her soon, but her father thinks it might be time for her to come home. Franny definitely feels like times is running out. She sometimes wonders if she should have a back-up plan which includes her long-time boyfriend; however, she's just not ready to give up her dream quite yet. Franny's acting class's showcase just might be her last chance to break into show business and meet the influential people that can make or break her career.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE. I found that I loved the characters, especially Franny and her friends; and I thought their relationships were very realistic. In addition, I thought the dialogue was smart and witty and just rang true for me. And I think those reasons really sum up why I appreciated this book as much as I did. It was a genuine and realistic look at a young woman's struggle to become an actress in the mid 1990s.

I actually am pretty close in age to Franny (or at least I was in the mid 1990s), and while I didn't move to New York after college or decide to try my hand at acting, I could relate to Franny. I realize that sounds strange because of our different paths in life, but somehow Ms. Graham created a character that resonated with me (and probably many other women out there.) Franny was such a sweet character and had her fair share of insecurities, but she also had a strong sense of staying true to herself and not wanting to give up her dream. I loved rooting for her both for success in her career as well as finding some happiness on the relationship front.

I also really liked that the story took place in the mid 1990s. I graduated from college in the early 1990s and, in many ways, this story was a trip down memory lane for me. I had to laugh at the idea of no cell phones (but there were Filofaxes) as well as the constant checking for a blinking light on the answering machine. I also enjoyed all of the references to New York City in 1995 and realizing just how much it's changed in the past 20 years.

Another fun aspect of SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE was that the author included snippets of Franny's Filofax at the beginning of the chapters. These pages had handwritten notes and lots of doodles, and I thought they were hilarious. In addition, many of the chapters began with scripts of Franny's answering machine messages... beeps included! I can't explain why, but I really liked that Ms. Graham included these fun parts to her story.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE; and I know that fans of Lauren Graham's are going to love it. It's just a heartwarming (and very funny!) story about a young woman aspiring to be an actress, and you can't help but get caught up in her story!

Thanks to Big Honcho Media for providing a review copy of this novel.

You can learn more about Lauren Graham and SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE here and follow her on twitter @TheLaurenGraham.

Giveaway alert: I have copies of SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE to giveaway to two lucky readers courtesy of the publisher. To enter, just fill out the form below before Monday, April 29th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!


Beth F said...

I have this to read -- can't wait to get to it!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm always impressed when an actor displays other amazing talents...how can these people be so blessed? She certainly has plenty of experience to draw upon.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I know what you mean about that prejudice. It's unfair to actors but I think we all kind of share it!

bermudaonion said...

I had a baby in the early 1990s but still think I can relate to Franny. I'm looking forward to this book!

Gina R said...

I liked the looks of this one the first time I laid eyes on it...then the author connection had me thinking along the lines of Gilmore Girls (which indeed I adored as well). Definitely on my wish list and from your review, it sounds like it has great potential. Thanks for the chance!

Literary Feline said...

I admit to being leery when a celebrity pens a fiction novel. It sounds like Lauren Graham pulls it off though. It sounds like a fun read!

Heather said...

I would love to read her book. Thanks for doing the giveaway. bluepooh1(AT)hotmail.com(DOT)com

Journey2Goal said...

I can't wait to read this! I love her on Parenthood.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I love Lauren Graham!!! I loved her on Gilmore Girls and still love her on Parenthood. I can't wait to read her book.

Brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I had this book on my wishlist before I even knew who had penned it. Then when I noticed who wrote it, I got even more excited to read it. I love Lauren Graham. I am glad to hear the story doesn't disappoint. I am even more anxious to read it now!

Amy said...

Can't wait to read this one. I loved Lauren in Gilmore Girls. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!