Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review - Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Book Summary

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

My Review - 4 1/2

I have been a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy from the beginning and continue to be. I watched a little of Private Practice but that isn't a miss even though I loved Addison as an actress.  Scandal became my new love but the way the season ended in November, I have no interest in continuing and I had made a decision not to even start with How to Get Away with Murder.  So over all, I'm a Grey's fan.  This is not my kind of book but I downloaded the sample and was laughing, became engaged and had to read it.  I'm glad I did, very fun book.

Shonda is a successful female but she is an introvert.  I am not like Shonda but I was able to appreciate her story and laugh at her or with her.  I thought she did a great job on balancing, allowing us in but not with the details of to much personal.  Her ride to die friend, who is also badass is Christina Yang, not Sandra Oh the real person but Christina.  I loved everything about Christina, she could do no wrong and Shonda wrote her in order to have someone on her side.  The parts of Christina in the book were my favourite, I understood.

I won't go into it but the way Shonda ended the season of Scandal, uggggh, I had anger for a few days until I finally told myself to get over it but getting over it means giving up on Scandal, I'm done.  Shonda definitely showed herself in Year of Yes and it explains the decision on why she decided to end the way she did.  I still don't agree and hate that story line and will continue to feel like Liv could have had it all in Liv's way, the Gladiator way, the unmarried but still with the man she loved way.  ANGRY.....  I will accept it as I have no other choice but i'm done, I'm glad Shonda found her way of saying Yes and eventually No also.  This worked for her and she creates the story lines, so it is what it is.

So many debatable topics, the stay at home mom which should not be in the category of work.  She hates the word diversity, her word is normalizing, she says "I'm normalizing TV.  The dancing Meredith and Christina did is a way of living for Shonda, sweet moments.  Sharing some of her speeches, all had inspiring moments, I appreciated this being shared.  All these areas were favourites of mine in the book,

I think there will be a few that hates this book but I think that would be the category of thinking celebrities are not real people.  Shonda showed us who she is and writing was what she loved, the pretend world.  The speeches, social media, events etc came during her Year of Yes which she acknowledges change, she is not perfect.  In my head now, she is laugh out loud hilarious, she had me crying at times.  I would love to go to a games night with her.  It is not a game to her, she actually is not allowed to host or be invited to games anymore due to her inappropriate intensity.  We all have that 1 friend, dancing and saying "IN YOUR FACE, BITCHES!!!"  I seriously was cracking up.

I was happy to see the inside of a celebrity from their point of view.  I found it light, fun, badassary (Shonda added this to her Dictionary as a new word).  I was a Grey's Anatomy fan but now I can say I'm a Shonda fan. 

The Year of Yes can be very inspiring for some, and it all started with her sister saying "You never say yes to anything."  It was a great fun read for me, this was more about Shonda, her own personal challenge then a book about inspiring us.


That's my superpower - telling good stories.  Smooth stories.  Funny stories.  Epic stories.  Kindle 9%

With the empty whiteboard of an episode before me, I slip into a zone of calm confidence.  I feel the hum.  Making television for me is.....blissful.  Kindle 45%

A Favourite Quote, great debate this would start

I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job.
Being a mother isn't a job.
It's who someone is.
It's who I am.
You can quit a job.  I can't quit being a mother.  Kindle 36%


  1. Marce, I think this is the first review I've read of this book. I wondered about it, but it's not really my sort of book (non-fiction - LOL!). I am a Grey's fan too, but dare I admit that when Christina left, I kind of quit watching. So, I'm about 3 seasons behind. I didn't care for Private Practice and have never watched Scandal or the Murder show. And likely won't. This was interesting though, hearing about Shonda.

    1. Kay, I so get it. I loved everything about Christina but I so understood that move in her story. I still miss her though.

      Reading this really helped me with my decision on Scandal.

      As you are a Grey's and Christina fan, I would recommend. Not my normal read either.

  2. This sounds like it would be a very interesting read for me. I pride myself on being able to say no as I've gotten older. I wonder if it's too easy to say no these days.

    1. It's amazing how when we get older we understand the importance of Yes or No. It was a fun read. I don't think it is easy to say no but I do understand the importance of it.

  3. I'm not a follower of Shonda Rhimes nor do I watch her shows, but I would still read this book to know more about Shonda. I like her title and what this book is supposed to be about.

  4. Definitely putting this high up on my list for this year after reading your review!

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