Saturday, February 27, 2016
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
I read this book to fit under the 2016 Reading Challenge "Book written by a celebrity". I *love* Lauren Graham. I loved Gilmore Girls and someday I want to watch the Parenthood series because I heard great things about it.
This book was a little disappointing to me given how much I like Lauren Graham. I just feel that it fell short of its potential. Or maybe I was just hoping the main character would remind me more of Lauren and it didn't. Anyhow, it was a great throwback to the era I grew up in-remembering 1995 in all its pager-is-the-only-on-the-go-communicator-answering-machine-message-phone-tag-filofax glory. It was NOT that long ago, but it was such a different world when it came to communication. I do feel I have a bit more empathy for hopeful stars just wanting to survive by doing what they love. As a classical musician, there are plenty of people out there who are required to have "real jobs" in addition to doing what they love, so acting doesn't have a monopoly on that type of mentality. Visual artists probably run into the same problem. I did like the confusion that Franny had about who she was-having pretended so much. It makes me wonder if that's why Hollywood relationships (especially the ones where they're both celebrities) rarely last-how could you ever know if you REALLY TRULY knew the REAL person underneath all those acting jobs? How do the celebrities even know who they truly are themselves? I'm sure there are several who feel grounded in who their true self is, but for every one of those, I'm sure there are others who really aren't sure and just play a part all the time depending on what they need to be and who they need to be it for.
It seemed a little stereotypical, since to the reader, the "right" choice was quite obvious, even though it wasn't obvious to Franny. The one fun thing was that one character, whom Franny viewed as a threat towards the beginning turned into a pleasant friendship.
I liked how there are comparisons to different professions and how they measure and/or define "success". Lots of professions have more concrete ways to measure success because it can be shown with numbers on a page. In the arts (and I would dare say education), not all "success" is completely measurable. I mean, how do you measure giving a student more self esteem? It's not quantifiable. A failed audition doesn't mean that you are "the worst" but just that you weren't "the best" on "that particular day". I'm living in a community right now that's quite large. There are 2 large symphonies and several small spin off groups. I had an audition and I got nervous and probably talked too much and then I made a couple mistakes that I've NEVER made in EASY places and was one of the final TWO people to get cut. (This was for a spot playing flute). I've since joined a flute choir just to have some outlet to play in and have discovered that there are several other players who are playing in other, heterogenous groups (which is my favorite-I love mixed instrument groups and enjoy playing in them immensely) who are not as good as I am. As in, they have trouble counting, or keeping intonation consistent or things that I think are pretty basic. BUT they were here first. Those other groups aren't looking for anyone better than what they have. So it's very political, it's very much about relationships (not always talent-which this point is in the book too!), and it's also about seniority and loyalty. I knew that going in to moving here, luckily, because a fellow flutist who is light years better than me warned me. It's really a shame.
Anyhow, back to the book....I liked the best friend Jane a lot, she was a VERY real person to me. Dan was also a fun character and I thought he brought a dose of reality as well. Quintessential nerd who is going against the families wishes to do something practical like become another generation of Dr. and instead wants to write science fiction or at least a screen play. This story is told all over music history with composers. Either the composer came from a musical family and was pretty much expected to continue in music or the family was highly disappointed with a chosen career in music.
I think my absolute favorite character, though, is Franny's dad. He's an English teacher and measures time by his course syllabus. That is EXACTLY how I would measure time as an English teacher. And what I love even MORE is the fact that since he asks Franny to get back to him before he reaches the next novel in the syllabus, you know Franny probably has his syllabus memorized by default as well.
I guess I liked it more than I thought, although I would have liked a slightly more conclusive ending, I mean, you are PRETTY sure things are going to end the way you think they are, or at least you have really good HOPE for it, but it's not for SURE. but I guess nothing in life is.....Anyway, I guess the last part I liked was the universal desire to be liked and accepted by the "right" people. This is shown in two ways with Franny. One is in her choice of agents and the other is in her choice of guy. It's pretty obvious to the reader, like I mentioned before, but I know that as a real human being, I have been in positions where I think the answer should be obvious about which crowd to associate myself with, but I don't necessarily want to go with that answer and I second guess myself. As a species, even if we have strong self esteem and all that, I think we all have this inner desire to be accepted and we feel that because relationships are SO incredibly important that we have to associate ourselves with a specific person or group of people or we will be jeopardizing our future. But, as this story plays out, we realize that sometimes we need to go with our gut and what's best for us, not who we think others would be more impressed by.
So on Goodreads, I gave it a 3, in reality it's a solid 3.5