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Posts Tagged ‘fiction review’

Fiction Review – Someday, Someday, Maybe

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

 

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

So, I suppose I should start this review with a disclaimer.  I love Lauren Graham.  I loved her in The Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.  When I found out Lauren had written a novel (yes, we’re on a first name basis), I had to add it to my list of books to read.  Granted, it took me a few years to get to it (I mean, in my defense, I’ve moved twice and had four surgeries since it was released so I’ve had some things going on).  But, this summer, it was the perfect go-to for pool reading.

Here’s the breakdown of Someday, Someday, Maybe: Franny Banks has placed herself on a timeline to become a successful actress.  She has given herself three years to really be able to make a living as an actress, no more waitressing and odd jobs to make ends meet.  Someday, Someday, Maybe picks up with only six months to go on Franny’s timeline.  We follow Franny on her ups and downs during these final months of auditions, call backs, agent interviews, acting class, waitressing gigs, boyfriend drama, and a family wedding.

I won’t give away the ending, you’ll have to read the novel yourself to determine if Franny finds her success as an actress.  With excerpts from a handwritten daily planner dispersed amongst the chapters, Graham has a funny, fast-paced novel that was quirky but enjoyable.  The sections of daily planner really took me back to my college days when my life was chronicled by the notes in my daily planner.  I’m not sure that was even an intention of Lauren’s, but I rather loved it!

I also really enjoyed the reader’s guide at the end of the paperback edition I read that included a conversation with Lauren and her Parenthood co-star Mae Whitman, whom I also love. But the thing I loved most about this novel was the character of Dan.  Dan is one of Franny’s roommates and the scenes with him are some of the best in the novel.  His personality is endearing and his changing relationship with Franny was, for me, what pushed the novel along. The questions about their relationship kept me interested almost as much as wanting to know if Franny would get that big break for her acting career!

If you want a novel that is both lighthearted and heartwarming this summer, give Someday, Someday, Maybe a chance.

 

 

 

 

Young Adult Fiction Review – Paper Towns

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Paper Towns by John Green

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

Paper Towns won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery, was number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and was written by the same author who gave us The Fault in Our Stars.  I had very high expectations.

Meet Quentin and Margo, neighbors who were close as children, but who have grown apart as teenagers.  They have had very little to do with one another until Margo climbs into Quentin’s window one night during their senior year of high school.  Margo takes Quentin on a reckless ‘adventure’. Margo dishes out some teenage justice to those who have wronged her and Quentin lets go of some of his ‘good boy’ personality for a few hours.  And then Margo is gone.  Did she run away or did something more malevolent happen to her?  Thus, begins a quest to find Margo.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this book.  One, Quentin’s friendship with Ben and Radar and two, the dialogue between the characters. Ben and Radar reminded me of those fabulous friendships where you can say almost anything to one another and still be loved.  They provided the brutal honesty and constant ribbing perfect for any situation or for any emotion.  Ben and Radar provided the levity that was much-needed in the more complex, difficult to understand mentality of Margo.  And Green did not disappoint with the dialogue between the characters.  Witty and quick-paced, it read like a natural conversation and had me smiling or laughing out loud at times.

While there were things I liked about the book, I did feel it was a bit of a letdown in the end.  In my opinion, the character of Margo and her perceived complexities came off as artificial and forced. I thought the other characters were much stronger, so having the character I considered the weakest at the center of the story made it a bit harder to truly appreciate the novel as a whole.

Overall, I think the premise was a good one but the lack of character in Margo impacted the result in the end, so I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend The Fault in Our Stars more heartily than Paper Towns.  You can also read my review of The Fault in Our Stars on the PaperBackSwap.com blog.