“Once again, I've been thwarted by the massive difference between my vision of the successful me and the me I'm currently stuck with.”
The appeal of this book for me was instant. Lauren Graham, my beloved Lorelai Gilmore, wrote a book?? About a struggling New York actress?? Done. I was ready to be absolutely in love. I wouldn't say it left me with as many warm fuzzies as I had about the idea, but I did enjoy it.
This book is the story of Franny Banks, aspiring actress and hot mess. She has given herself a deadline to make real progress in her career, and if she doesn't, the idea is that she'll move out of NYC, marry her college sweetie, and take a job that is more stable. In addition to her professional woes, she's got romantic ones as well. While she has that other guy on hold (in a My Best Friend's Wedding kind of way), they are both allowed to see other people, and this creates some bonus drama to Franny's life.
Honestly, the romance subplot I could have done without, at least as far as the one element goes. Without being spoilerific, there's more than one guy interested in Franny (this will not be a surprise to anyone reading this book) and there's only one of them I was interested in hearing more about.
As to Franny's professional life, that hit a little closer to home than I'd care to admit. I'm currently taking a year to try and make it work as an actress, an incredibly daunting prospect if you know anything about how random and slow it can be to break in at all. Her naivete about a lot of the industry frustrated me, but she's younger than I am, didn't grow up watching her mother do it, and it's set in a time when it was much harder to know things. Nowadays, I can look up contracts on my union's webpage, ask about on set protocol on message boards, etc. She didn't have those resources. Still, there are moments where, as a pro, I shuddered to see her do things that were just so profoundly stupid.
Still, this is a good read, and one I'd be more inclined to suggest for slightly younger readers. There's some sex in it, but none of it is actually described, just sort of referred to. And reading the struggles of a performer in NY may actually be great for aspiring actors. As they say, if you can see yourself doing *anything* else, you should do that thing instead. Because this business we call show is NOT for the weak. It's for the crazy.