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Lightening review: Year of Yes

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People, get Shonda Rimes‘ Year of Yes on your library waiting list right now. You might even want to go down to the bookstore and pick up your own copy, because it could become a favourite that you want to read over and over. The woman behind Grey’s Anatamy, Scandal, and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder, Shonda Rimes is fantastic.

Confession: this is my second time reading Year of Yes. Last year, in early summer, I read it and enjoyed it so much I binged through the first eleven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. I figured if someone could write a book like that, her TV show must be fantastic as well. (Although I was startled to realize what a huge commitment the show was – I’d imagined a three- or four-season show.)

Somehow both entertaining and instructive, Rimes’s book details how an offhand comment from her sister made her realize that she was letting life slip by while she worked and went home without really living. In a comfortable, effortless style, she invites you in, and then takes you through the journey she went on through her Year of Yes.

She tells about making Thanksgiving dinner with her sister and having the light bulb moment not long after; she describes being oblivious to flirting attempts in an elevator; she learns how to receive a compliment. But she also talks about the joy and the privilege and the challenge of being a mother and having a job – and how saying yes to one thing always means saying no to something else; she talks about how saying ‘yes’ wound up with her losing over a hundred pounds and delves into why she gained all the weight; she talks about how women learn to be invisible rather than awesome badasses. She even defines badassery, after describing her realization that she needs more of it in her life.

Insightful, wise, and snorting-laugh hilarious, this book was a pleasure to read. Don’t waste more time – go out and get it.


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