Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham ( tweet )
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: NYC in the 90s, acting, success
Format read: ARC from NetGalley via Publisher. (Thanks!)
Summary: Franny always dreamed of being an actress (preferably working in the theatre). After college, she sets a three-year goal to make it in the entertainment industry in New York City. With six months left to get the ball rolling, Franny’s not sure she’s any closer to making her big break.
There’s a certain amount of trepidation when a celebrity writes a book. Especially a celebrity you really like: one you’ve seen in both her hit television shows and singing and dancing on Broadway. As an extension of your fandom, you want to like everything else they do. Right? But the fear! The fear!
Friends, I tell you: fear not and get your hands on a copy of Someday, Someday, Maybe as soon as you can.
It’s hard to hack it in New York City. And no one knows that better than Franny. Sometimes the city can feel oh-so magical, and other times it can chew you up and spit you out. With six months left to go in her self-created goal to become an actress, her “big break” comes unexpectedly when she messes up her scene in a showcase for her acting class. Soon she has an agent (although maybe he’s not the perfect fit), and a spot on a TV show (even though there’s no air date), and James Franklin, an actor who has had actual roles in movies (!!), is looking her way.
This is SO happening, right?
Well, kind of. Graham shapes a really great story around a 27-year old who doesn’t have it all figured out. One minute her phone is ringing with opportunities and other times it’s like they forgot her number. She thinks about going home and being an English teacher (like her dad) or finally settling down in the suburbs with Clark (her sort of boyfriend). She bumps into other friends who are her age and successful while she’s working some crummy part-time job to pay her rent. There aren’t enough books written about people in their late 20s who may not be on a straight and narrow path, and I really appreciated how Franny could strike gold one day and be flailing the next. (So relatable!)
Set in 1990, every few chapters begin with a glimpse into Franny’s datebook (cheese puffs, call backs, rent checks, a tally of margaritas drank in a night) and messages left on her answering machine (some of the best are from her adorable dad). There are also a few tongue-in-cheek NYC jokes that made me giggle. Best of all, though, were her roommates: best friend from college, Jane, who was the kind of friend who nicknamed all of Franny’s boyfriends and could tell her she’s watching too much Leeza (do you remember that show?) and Dan, an engaged guy and budding writer, quietly working on some science fiction while sipping a beer. We never get to spend an unbelievable amount of time with either (it was so well-balanced) but I loved how close you could see Jane and Franny were, and ya know, for some reason, I kept on rooting for the endearing Dan who had much more in common with Franny than she realized.
When I first started the book, I did struggle with the fact that it was so heavy into the acting. How am I going to relate to this? I thought. But pretty soon after that, Someday, Someday, Maybe, came to be about so much more. When we are little kids we are taught we can be anything, but I don’t think the reality hits that maybe that won’t come true or it’s harder than we think until we are knee deep in it. Not to mention the discovery that not everyone takes the same path. There really is no right one, no matter how many naysayers you encounter. It’s really nice to have a book that explores that other side.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is so charming, so authentic, and so special.
Also I dare you to read this without picturing Franny as Lauren Graham. Go ahead. I, indeed, failed this challenge.
Note: I found out after I finished that Jennifer E. Smith (This is What Happy Looks Like) was the editor of this book. Really. Can this book get any better?