Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe
By: Lauren Graham
Published By: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Page Count: 352
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a novel of finding yourself, of finding others, and of finding love, in its various and complicated forms. The premise, I’ll give you, sounds clichéd and I am certain you've heard this story before. Franny Banks is a 20-something trying to make it as an actress in New York City. She has the obligatory spunky roommate/best friend; the terminal friend-zone guy friend; the brooding, bad boy love interest; and a relationship with her father that is changing in ways neither of them can control as she asserts herself and enters adulthood. But though the story, the setting, and the characters may be something you’ve seen before, I guarantee you will fall in love with Franny’s personality, her friends, her story, and ultimately with Graham’s storytelling.
It was no surprise to me to find out that Graham holds a bachelors degree in English Literature (from Barnard College/Columbia University no less). This book is incredibly well written for being your basic story of a girl growing up in the big city, finding romantic love, a love of family, a love of friends, and, eventually, a love of self. Graham’s writing is engaging and witty, and she is just as funny on the page as she seems on TV. The relationships between Franny and her friends are genuine, believable, and endearing. And as a parent of a 17-year-old and a one time 20-something myself, the relationship with her father is both heartbreaking and very real.
Oh, and Franny has a Filofax. Yes, a Filofax. And scrunchies. Lots and lots of scrunchies. And Aqua Net hairspray. And she probably watches Leeza while wearing her overalls unlatched on one side and hanging down without the slightest bit of irony. The story is set in the early 1990’s and my favorite part of the whole book was the tiny bits of 90’s pop culture Graham wove seamlessly through the entire novel. So many times authors establish setting and then forget all about it, but not here. I found myself laughing out loud, reminiscing about my own forest green corduroy overalls (they were awe-some) and favorite scrunches (a huge white organza one with a satiny, navy blue ribbon trim), and thoroughly enjoying the trip down memory lane. That isn’t to say if you didn’t grow up in the 90’s you won’t love this book, but it was a little like finding Easter eggs hidden in the pages for me.
Let me wrap up by saying that I can’t remember what possessed me to buy this (hardback prices, eek!), but I’m so glad I did. I’ve enjoyed the occasional episode of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, and while I like her well enough when I started this book I wasn’t a Lauren Graham fangirl by stretch of the imagination. This book, however, may have made me into one. As an author, Graham is better than you’d hoped and all that you want in a well-written summer read. I loved Someday, Someday, Maybe.
Final Word: I loved it! It has just the right balance of self-discovery and romance, humor and heartbreak, and Graham is just as funny and endearing on the page as she seems on TV.
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.