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How Does Today Work for You?

A review of Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham [yes, THAT Lauren Graham! (yes, I did recycle that from my earlier post)].

How Does Today Work for You?

BOOK REPORT for Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Cover Story: Dreamy
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Lorelei Braverman
Bonus Factors: NYC, The '90s, Cliff Huxtable Award for Awesome Dadhood
Relationship Status: Roomies

Cover Story: Dreamy

I really like this cover -- the soft focus, the bright red jacket, the fairy lights on the bridge, the utter lack of traffic on the bridge … okay, obviously it has dreamlike qualities in more than one way, but that fits the book, which is all about following dreams. Plus, it's SUPER great not to have any pink or high-heeled shoes or shopping bags anywhere on this book (not that the book is about pink or shopping or shoes, but that doesn't always stop cover designers).

The Deal:

Franny Banks has six months to live. Well, not technically LIVE, but six months until her self-imposed deadline comes up. Six months to make it as an actor in New York until she has to throw in the towel and get her teaching certificate like her dad wants her to. The only problem is she has nothing. No agent, no prospects, no work, except a tenuous waitressing job at a comedy club and a commercial for heinous Christmas sweaters (is there any other kind?). She doesn't even have a boyfriend, unless you count Clark, her college-boyfriend-turned-backup-plan.

Things she does have: a great sense of humor (too bad the same can't be said about her sense of style), a place in a famous acting class, two rad and supportive roommates, an awesome dad, and truly terrible hair. Oh, and a dream she desperately wants, and maybe the talent -- and drive -- to see it happen.

BFF Charm: Yay!

As if I could give a protagonist dreamed up by Lauren Graham anything but a BFF charm. Franny's my kind of funny, which mainly means cynical, distracted and a bit of a disaster. I couldn't help her out with her hair, since my answer to terrible hair is to chop it off, and certainly have no advice in the wardrobe department, but she'd be welcome to my last $20 if she needed cab fare, and I'd show her how to make truly great margaritas and queso that'd kick the ass of the swill I'm sure she's getting up there in New York City.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

So, yeah, for a grownup book that's pretty low! But while there's definitely a strong romantic co-plot (it's too much of a plot to be a subplot), the book is ultimately about Franny learning about herself. Also, I couldn't stop picturing James Franco as James Franklin, the bad-boy romantic lead in the triangle* and I think he's so gross, so I had a hard time swooning, even though I don't think I was supposed to swoon anyway. The good-boy romantic lead is totally adorable, and holds up all 4 points on his own, plus the 2 I deducted from James Franco, but there's not enough heat to bump up the swoon any higher, ifyouknowwhatimean.

*Cut the triangle some slack, though. It's totally self aware and there's a funny little riff on triangles, and a super cute reference to that riff later in a dorky-sweet answering machine message. The triangle has a sort of metapurpose, is what I'm saying.

Talky Talk: Lorelei Braverman

The book reads a lot like Lauren Graham's TV characters. Sassy, quick, lots of funny observations, some total Lucille-Ball-esque disasters. I'll just share a couple of quotes to illustrate my point, because let's be honest here. I just had a baby a month ago, and my brain still isn't doing all it should be doing, and the book is much better at making this point than I am.

There are ... several girls who remind me of me, but a better, more put-together me. The me who would play me in the TV movie of the fictional life of the real me.

And

[T]he three of us went out to the upstairs Chinese place whose name we can never remember, to celebrate. The commercial happened to come on a few weeks later, while we were all together watching Law and Order, and first we all screamed, then Jane practically fell down lauging. Not in a mean way, but she just couldn't believe I'd managed to appear happy while wearing such an ugly sweater. It was shocking to see myself on television. I wished I could watch it again right away to get over the first wave of trauma, but no one had thought to set the VCR, and it was gone in what felt like a few seconds.

Bonus Factor: NYC

New York is always a great bonus factor, and when you throw in Broadway and the chandelier from Phantom, you can't go wrong.

Bonus Factor: The '90s

A book set in the '90s for people who REMEMBER the '90s! Holla! There's a wedding scene, and the playlist takes me back to too many high school band dances (one band dance is one too many). The pop culture is just enough to make you smile and say, "Ooh! Before Sunrise!" but not enough to feel like it's relying on nostalgia to do the setting, plot and characterization for it.

Bonus Factor: Cliff Huxtable Award of Awesome Dadhood

Sure, Franny's a grownup, but even grownups need awesome dads. Franny's dad leaves the cutest messages on her machine, and is so supportive and adorable.

Casting Call:

Lauren Graham as Franny (okay, yes, I'm lazy)

James Franco as James Franklin

Winona Ryder circa 1995 as Jane

Relationship Status: Roomies

I'd definitely stay up late bitching about work and bad dates with this book, and we'd never fight over who was messier or whose turn it was to mail the rent check. I'd even let it borrow my favorite sweaters, as long as it promised not to stretch them out.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Random House and Big Honcho Media.  I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Someday, Someday, Maybe will be available April 30.

Want to win a copy of the book? Check out this post for more details!

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.