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The Year of Yes

3.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,484 ratings  ·  274 reviews
"Why not go out on a date with everyone who asks you? Plenty of reasons. They might be crazy. They might be creepy. They might be something other than what you're looking for. But then again, how would you know? Isn't love supposed to be blind? Isn't it supposed to be about who the person really is, not about what they look like?"

The Year of Yes is an account of one woman

Paperback, 275 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Hyperion Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,484 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Akemi G.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I read this book when it first came out and totally enjoyed it. Funny it's getting so many unfavorable reviews -- do they even understand that the author was not sleeping with all her dates? Meanwhile a book like My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands is well-recieved. Huh?

My guess is that most people who judged this book didn't really read it. Personally I'm not comfortable rating books that I didn't read to the end. If I cannot finish a book, it simply means that the book is not
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
So this books sounded good in theory. A woman decides that for one year she will accept date from anyone who asks her, man or woman, homeless crazy person, 60 year old man who does not speak English, it doesn't matter, she'll date them. I found the author annoying and a lot of the book ridiculous. I wanted to finish is (or maybe I just wanted it to end!) so I figured I'd give it 2 stars, but really not that great.
May 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is 275 pages of masturbatory, pathological nonsense, an ill-conceived love letter to herself that should have stayed scrawled by ironic quill in Maria Dahvana Headley's coffee-stained moleskine journal. Maria Dahvana Headley has tried to convince the audience how incredible she is and succeeded only in irritating and enraging me.

This is the most self-indulgent, ridiculous, racist, appallingly idiotic, pretentious, and misguided memoir ever written. The shaky and dubious premise aside,
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: female-2020
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Leah by: Peter
The premise is very interesting: a young women decides that her standards for dating are too high (and thusly leading to her overall unhappiness and lack of love). She decides that, for a year, she will abandon all of her ideals and simply say 'yes' to every man (and woman!) who asks her out.

The problem with the books premise is, of course, a sort-of catch-22. In one sense, The Year of Yes is empowering to read as a single woman: to see another woman throw caution to the wind for love and happin
Jeanette (Again)
I enjoyed this book simply because it was so far outside of anything I would ever want to experience!
At the age of 20, the author was living in NYC. In the hopes of finding true love, she decided that for an entire year, she would go out with ANYONE who asked her. (She did put a FEW limits on this.)
She went out with some truly bizarre guys, some of whom you'd pretty much only meet in a place like NYC!
She did end up finding a prize, but not in New York.
The one thing I found disturbing was how q
Elliot Ratzman
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
“I’d decided, in the moment, to do with men as I’d done with books. Read them all.” A promising premise, a lackluster execution. Maria is all of 21, from Idaho to NYC, and, alas, no true love yet! So for a year she decides to date any person that asks from cab driver to crazy. Clearly she is the wrong person to write this book—name-droppingly well-read, poor NYU theater student and apparently a smiling, short, heartbreaking beauty in NYC. Though she meets a terrible parade of neurotic guys, her ...more
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a cute, fast read. Not to be confused with "Yes, Man", which was developed into a movie. This dealt with Headley's year of yes as it relates to dating in New York. Now, if you decide to read this book - please keep in mind that you are reading a work by a woman that loves witty wording, obtuse historical cross cultural references and attended NYU. So, if you don't like Gilmore Girls meets pretentious wittiness on a New York level - take a shot of Jack D before you sit down and start tur ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quest
It's not a big story or a happy story or even an important story or, I hope, a common story, but I liked it. Maria, after years of experiencing romance horror stories, decides to accept every invitation for a date for the next year. And she winds up on some doozies. Fun.

(I've decided to name a new genre, a genre that seems to be popular right now: the challenge book. Into this category, I'd place Julie and Julia, The Know-It-All, and this book. I like this genre.)

Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Maria Dahvana Headley's persona in this memoir, where she describes a year in which she goes out on dates with anyone who asks her, is at once charming and irritating. There's a series of really bad choices, only some of which she clearly identifies as such. At the same time, I found myself liking her. She seems fun, if immature. The time period she writes about is during her time as a college student at NYU, so her general immaturity and ego makes a good deal of sense. One thing that's a little ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
In theory, The Year of Yes sounded interesting and inspiring. In practice, it's 300 pages of a 21-year old bemoaning her love life while attempting to be witty. The only time Maria felt real was when she reminded us that people do crazy things when they think they're in love and especially when that love is gone, and that it's normal, if not necessarily "okay." Otherwise, her self-alienation (too smart for the normal people, too "real" for the intellectuals, too normal for her classmates, too we ...more
May 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Shelves: book-club
My book club chose this with the expectation of a fun, light read as we approach warmer weather.

At the time of this writing Headley, an NYU student, decides to spend a year saying "yes" to all offers of dates for a year. As one would guess, she ends up dating a lot of weirdoes. Headley's writing gave me the impression that she's a smart-alecky know-it-all who's desperately trying to flaunt how intelligent she is. She certainly lacks commonsense at every turn. Her over-the-top forced attempts at
Nov 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
I wasn't expecting much out of this book (grabbed it off my roommate's bookshelf as I needed something to read to sleep) but found the premise and the first 50 pages witty and amusing. And then things got bad. Her literary references, which announced "I'm a smart, well-read girl" and made me feel like part of the club, were not enough to prevent her cute tangents from becoming annoying, somewhat irrelevant, and a bit poorly written. She also sounded more and more naive and unforgivably air-heade ...more
Jul 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really liked the premise of this book. Maria is 21, in Nyc, and unhappy with her love life so she decides to say yes to every offer for a date for an entire year. True story! It's really funny and parts are sad, and overall you feel like you really get to know the author well and relate to her neuroses. Because I have too much time on my hands and am a dork, I made a soundtrack that would go well with the book and the character.
New Soul...Yael Naim
The First Cut Is The Deepest...Cat Stevens
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
I so wanted to like this book. The concept is great and the author is a undoubtedly a great talent. However, she's also so freakin' in love with her giant literary brain and apparently hotness that I had a hard time liking her. That's a problem when you're reading a memoir. there were times when I laughed out loud but more often I was groaning inwardly at her meek tries to be charmingly self-depreciating. Self-depreciation only works when you actually think it's kinda true. Her attempts read lik ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Now I understand all those empty-headed women in college who majored in dating. Headley dates and dumps a long string of men, pausing only to cobble together a book full of her weirdest experiences, minus any self-reflection. It's freakily interesting, until she meets a man as ruthlessly self-absorded as she is, who dates and dumps her. The book then devolves into self-pitying garbage. Until, of course, she accepts a proposal from an older man, who rescues her from her self-imposed misery, pover ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
oh what a disappointment!

ok it's a memoir & not a self-help guide. but really, it's an unevenly written & erratically paced ride in an early twenty-something's love life. the year of yes focuses so much on the inner agonies & dramas of a young, self-involved college kid one cannot take it seriously. the book is not light & frothy reading. yet it doesn't offer substance either. instead, one feels like the author's tale of collegiate self-discovery & gradual dawning of self-awareness & increased s
May 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: women who have ever lived in new york city.
I've been feeling rather uninspired and closed off lately, and on the cover of the paperback version of this book, it said "this book makes you want to be young and in new york city," and that was exactly what I needed. I don't know that I'd go so extreme as to spend a year taking dates from every man I ever meet, but it definitely made me have an open mind about dates and dating. A lot of the dates she accepted didn't lead to romance, but a good story and a strange friendship, so perhaps I shal ...more
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
One of my college professors knows the author, so that's only 3 degrees of separation. And I like the idea of saying yes in life, even if I'm not dating.

I really enjoyed this humorous memoir. Lots of food for thought, particularly after listening to "Think Out Loud" on OPB about the recent trend of fictionalized memoirs. This is certainly written from the author's point of view with a healthy dose of poetic license, but I throughly enjoyed it.
Dec 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really badly written. Each sentence is crammed full of as many cutesy pop fiction references and elaborate adjectives as possible. It's very affected and it just ended up irritating me to the point where I only read 3/4 of the book before giving up. And I only spent $1.19 on it, too, because I got it from Goodwill. Don't bother.
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
DISAPPOINTING. Great concept--a year of something, a quest...I like that kind of thing. But here's a secret for all you writers out there: I hate the narrator/author. I could care less if she finds happiness, she is weird and unsympathetic in every way. I feel a little sad about this whole thing.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolute rubbish! It sounded like it could be fun to read, but the writing rambled and the anecdotes just sounded far fetched and contrived. And being given life and love lessons by a 21 year old? All due respect to people of that age.....I was there too once. I thought I knew it all too. Boy was I wrong!! Don't waste your time or money on this!
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: if your looking for a funny memoir
Recommended to Debbie by: goodreads
Shelves: self-help
yes. i did read this because it started with a y. but this author is hysterical and likeable and though she went overboard on saying yes to people,her point about opening yourself up to unexpected people is a great one.
Heather Christensen
Sep 17, 2016 rated it liked it
It's easy to skip bits in this book and not feel you have lost any content. In parts the story is uninteresting, other parts intelligent. It's a story of youth, of New York and of the sorrow that can exist in being single. Take it or leave it.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young single women
This was a really quick, easy read about a girl who was fed up with her choices in men so she decided to accept every date offer she received for a year. It didn't have a lot of substance, but definitely made up for that with fun.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
Annoying New York/Manhattan vibe, another memoir by a young author with a gimmicky hook/premise: say yes to every date for a year. Unintentionally funny at times, as when making out with a homeless guy is rendered as some sort of epiphany experience.
Dec 07, 2008 rated it liked it
I thought this book was interesting, as this author accomplished something that I could never see myself doing, which is going out with anyone who asks, without using any real discretion.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ugh. Not sure how she found enough guys to want to date her for an entire year, because she sounds like a very unappealing person. Couldn't finish.
Melyssa Williams
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am loyally bound to give this 5 stars since I was childhood friends with the author! A hilarious read that is perfect for a rainy sunday or a really long soak in the tub.
Mar 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book is funny. She has some excellent stories, and she's a wild woman.
rated it it was ok
Mar 21, 2007
rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2007
marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2007
Mar 28, 2007 is currently reading it
If I learn anything, I'll share. :)
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2007
marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2007
Apr 25, 2007 rated it liked it
So far so good. I'm not sure if this book falls into the "Chick Lit" category, but if so, it does a good job of legitimizing the genre by portraying the experiences of a young woman without relying on romance book style drama. Having said that . . . if women respond to romance book style drama, which they (I) do, then we (I) should not scoff at or be embarrassed by the genre. Similarly, if women respond to stressful situations with tears, they should not have to apologize for it and be more manl ...more
Mary Ann
rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2007
rated it it was ok
May 09, 2007
rated it liked it
May 12, 2007
marked it as to-read
May 14, 2007
May 14, 2007 rated it liked it
you think you've dated losers? just wait until you read what this girl goes through . . .
rated it liked it
May 16, 2007
rated it liked it
May 17, 2007
rated it liked it
May 27, 2007
May 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was a riot! I'd recommend this book for anyone who is dating or has dated disaterously in the past. Maria gladly takes the punches for all of us who would like to throw caution to the wind and find out what it would be like if we said yes instead of no to everyone we met.
Keri Murcray
rated it liked it
May 31, 2007
Jun 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
Expected a little more of this - it is a great plot idea. Couldn't really connect with the main charecter, but liked some of the people she met along the way. Easy quick read.
rated it it was ok
Jun 11, 2007
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational, although I'm not quite convinced that dating is anything I'm going to throw myself into. I may stop using my bar name so often, however.
added it
Jun 18, 2007
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I think I thought this was something else, and while I finished reading it, I was skimming pretty heavily. She has a chatty, breezy style that I enjoyed (but that I didn't find as nearly as novel as all the reviewers seemed to--perhaps they should haul themselves into the new millenium and read a few blogs, because it was just that sort of style) but ultimately, I just wasn't all that terribly interested in the dating trials of an NYU student. Been there, done that, and there's a reason why it's ...more
rated it did not like it
Jun 19, 2007
rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2007
rated it it was ok
Jun 20, 2007
rated it it was ok
Jun 21, 2007
Melisa Kjellander
marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2007
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Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times-bestselling author of, most recently, THE MERE WIFE (out July 17, 2018 from MCD/FSG). Upcoming in 2019 is a new translation of BEOWULF, also from FSG. As well, she is the author of the young adult skyship novels MAGONIA and AERIE from HarperCollins, the dark fantasy/alt-history novel QUEEN OF KINGS, the internationally bestselling memoir THE YEAR OF YES, ...more

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