Sunday, 20 April 2014
Author: Lauren Graham
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 30 April 2013
Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.
I have been a massive fan of the TV show 'The Gilmore Girls' for years and so when I heard that the actress that plays Laurelie Gilmore had written a book I knew I would have to read it. So I put an order in for it at the library and waited it's arrival. It took ages to come in and I had a massive pile of books by then so I admit it's been in my cupboard for a while. But someone else has requested it so as I have a couple of days off for Easter weekend I decided now was the time.
Franny Banks set herself a target - 3 years in New York to become a successful actress, no longer. If she doesn't succeed by then she would move back home. The story starts with 6 months left of her 3 year challenge and all she has to show for her troubles is a commercial for Christmas jumpers. Can she turn everything round in 6 months, and finally catch her break or should she just give up now. Follow Franny as she struggles with casting calls, agents, boyfriends and rival actresses, no one said it would be easy but does everything have to be this hard?
I liked Franny as a character, she was funny, witty and a bit hopeless. A bit clumsy and always seeming to do and say the wrong thing. She has no real idea of how good she is, always putting herself down and fighting along. But no matter how bad things seem to get she still struggles on and refuses to give up. She actually reminded me of myself a bit, apart from the fact I'm not trying to be an actress, hehe.
For a first time novel I was very impressed, it was well written and captivating, I found it hard to put it down and ended up reading it pretty much in one go. I wanted to know what would become of Franny and I felt my heart go out to her, I desperately wanted her to succeed, she had my backing and I wanted to see it through. The only time she irritated me was her choice in men, I was desperate for her to wake up and see the one in front of her and dump the egotistical pig that everyone fawns over.
This story will have you rooting for Franny and you'll be laughing throughout. Every character, no matter how minor plays an important part and really sets the world of the book. I felt like I knew these people.
For a fairly light-hearted, enjoyable read I would recommend this book, it's fun and will have you turning the pages quicker as you absorb every word. I am impressed by Lauren Graham's work and hope she does more in the future.
Posted by barmybex at 21:46