Book Review: Year of Yes

I feel kinda weird showing up here, which is a shame because umm.. it's my blog? But it's been like a month since I've spoken to you guys. Hi! Hope all is well. Now into this book, because my goodness, did I love it!

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Published: November 10, 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Genre: Nonfiction, Adult, Self Help

Pages: 336

Links: GoodreadsAmazon,Barnes & Noble

Other Work: Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, The Catch




What do you do when saying 'no' is holding you back? You start saying 'yes'. Shonda Rhimes fits an entire year of adventure, experiences and self-improvement within the 336 pages of this book. And all by simply saying 'yes' to the scary, unexpected things that life throws at you one after another.   


                              5 Cups of Coffee - Stay Up All Night!

                              5 Cups of Coffee - Stay Up All Night!


Nonfiction isn't my thing. I don't read much of it and when I do, it doesn't blow me away. So when I saw that Shonda Rhimes was releasing a book, I was conflicted. I enjoy all of her television shows. Some more than others. I like her writing style, her characters, her powerful monologues. But as stated, nonfiction? Non-my-thing. 

Turns out, I loved it. 

It spoke to me. It seemed like it entered my life at exactly the right time and so I read it with a fine-tooth comb, looking to glean any grain of knowledge I could from it. I'm aware that for some it might not hit home in the same way. Some people are 'yes' people already. Some of you reading this might accept all kinds of invitations to places and travel all over. I, well, I use to be. But recently, like for the past couple of years, I haven't been. So when Shonda's sister tells her, "you never say yes to anything," and that statement alone nagged at her until she did something about it? I immediately related. It was like they were talking to me - Shonda and her sister. "Kari, you never do anything." "Kari, let's promise to do things this year."

To say I simply enjoyed this book is an understatement. Shonda wrote this book like she does her shows, with a whole lot of sass and a serving of realness. She says the things you'd think she'd hide away. She tells us stories of her unusual childhood sentencing empty cans to death in the corner of a pantry and fear-induced memories of that time she threw a chicken bone across the room. She gives speeches that involve graduation and poop, gravity and glass ceilings. She talks about the fear of speaking your mind and having your characters say it for you, and the hard work of whipping one's self in shape. I read it all bit by bit, a chapter here and there, sometimes in the morning to start my day. And I always closed it with a new lesson. Sometimes there were tears because damn it if Shonda wasn't carving those words from my soul. About 2/3 of the way through, she writes a chapter that reduced me to tears with a few lines: 

The years and years of saying no were, for me, a quiet way of letting go. A silent means of giving up. An easy withdrawal from the world, from light, from life. Saying no was a way to disappear. Saying no was my own slow form of suicide. Which is crazy because I do not want to die.

I read that and through tears whispered to no one, "I don't want to die either." It seems a little over the top, fine, but I'm stating nothing but facts. Year of Yes kinda changed me.

It's not that I think about it all the time, or that I've created my own year of yes to follow. It's not anything as conscious as that. But a few weeks ago, on the way to the gym, I told my boyfriend that I felt more like me than I had in a long time. "What do you mean?," he asked. "It's hard to explain, but I feel like I'm living. And kinda like I can do anything and also like I'm doing enough." When he asked where it was all coming from, I didn't have an answer. But I knew that I'd made a decision to really live because anything less than that was equivalent to dying. I'm not saying Year of Yes is responsible for this change in my attitude, in me. But I'm also not saying it isn't either.



Did you read Year of Yes with us this month? Leave your review and/or comment below!


For the month of April we will be reading, The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry, a novel that I have been dying to read ever since it started popping up in book boxes with that pretty ass cover!

And for May, we're lucky to be reading Exposure to a Billionaire by Ann Menke. We won't be discussing this one until June 7th, but just to give you plenty of time to join in! 

Goodreads says: Exposure to a Billionaire is a fictional account based on author Ann Menke's twenty-five-year-plus career as a corporate flight attendant. She takes readers on an adventure spanning the globe and gives them an inside look into the world of flying the rich and famous. Get ready for the heroine, Anna St. James, to take off on a fast-paced journey into the exclusive club of private airplanes, yachts, exotic travel, and greed, while trying to stay true to herself. 

Better yet? You're getting a free ARC to read along with us. Correction, if you are a part of the Literary Ladies book club, then you are getting a free ARC to read along with us. The author is giving away free copies of the book to all book members :) Just fill out this form!