Do you ever come across a book you didn’t know you needed?
I was scouring through the shelves, bypassing titles and skimming through back covers, for a book to read. I didn’t have anything specific in mind so I lingered in the mystery section for a bit, meandered through romance, took a quick look through thriller, and spent a good 20 minutes in fiction until I found myself back in mysteries — only to have a made a full circle and no progress in my search.
Nothing was interesting. I kept going back and forth between sections and, like absentmindedly going through the list of Netflix shows, nothing seemed to be sticking out. It’s not like none of them sounded good, it’s just that none of them sounded good at the time. I’m sure if I came back next week, one of the many books I picked up would be chosen without a second thought.
But I couldn’t come back again and I didn’t want to waste any more time. I was now frustrated and fed up with my ridiculousness for looking at the same books I had considered 2 seconds ago.
So, I settled.
I grabbed a seemingly interesting enough novel that wasn’t too thick or too small, not too expensive or marked on clearance, and made my way out the door. After finishing the book a week later, I can now say that I’m glad I left with a book in my hand because that book was one I didn’t know I needed.
Someday, Someday, Maybe By Lauren Graham is about a girl named Franny Banks who moved to New York City to achieve her dream of becoming a famous actress.
Despite the praise and encouragement from her father, teacher, and friends, she’s bogged down by self-doubts, not quite fitting the mold, and the pressure of trying to make a living in New York City. As her 3-year deadline is approaching, she does whatever she can and desperately seeks out the secret to becoming famous in this industry.
Overall, the novel sends a message of hope. Franny is always trying to pinpoint her place in the world and, with all her self-imposed deadlines, ultimatums, and backup plans, she can’t help but not give up. Through her journey, you see her lose over and over again, and when she does win, it feels like a loss in disguise. But with every mistake, mishap, or misunderstanding, she gets back up and performs better.
What I love most about Franny’s character is her incredibly humane thought-processing. She overthinks, compares herself with others constantly, is severely critical of herself, and doubts whether she’s worthy enough for her jobs. She knows she’s not perfect but she makes what she has her own, whether it’s about her appearance or skills.
I wasn’t too keen on the romance storyline in the second half of the book. I felt like the romance storyline intermingled with the main plot (her dream of becoming an actress) too much and shouldn’t have made as big of an impact as it did. In my opinion, I think it shifted the main plot’s focus.
However, while I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance storyline, I was okay with it overall. It wasn’t supposed to be a focal point, but relationships — especially romantic relationships — affect your work and sense of self especially when it’s fragile. It was sufficient for the story and didn’t deter the main storyline too much.
When I was reading the book, there were a lot of things that just weren’t settling in the right places in my life. I was lost, didn’t know if I should keep doing what I was doing, and, like Franny, was on the brink of my own self-imposed ultimatum. The part of me that wanted to be reasonable urged me to accept that not everyone can be what they dream
But Someday, Someday, Maybe came to me at the right time — or at least that’s what I would like to believe. When I was looking for something to read, I didn’t try to seek out a story that mirrored the phase of my life. In fact, the book made me reflect more and more on my life.
I saw similarities between Franny’s thoughts, actions, and the trajectory of her life, and could relate with her. I heeded the advice given to her by other characters, learned from her mistakes, and was inspired to keep hoping as well.
After finishing the book, I realized I needed a morale booster. I needed a story of someone who decides to keep striving for her dream. Franny taught me it is okay to be lost. It’s okay to fail again and again and to not know what will happen in the future. As long as you keep trying, that’s all that matters.
Next time you’re looking for a book and nothing seems to be piquing your interest, don’t leave empty-handed.
Pick up a book, any book, because it might just be the one you needed.
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