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The Year of Yes

3.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,442 ratings  ·  269 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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3.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,442 ratings  ·  269 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,
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  "Astute Crabbist"
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
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-awa
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.
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.)

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.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Girl in NY says yes to every guy who asks her out for a year. Girl is a play write student (or something of that nature) at NYU. One of those whimsy emo people from Idaho, whose parents are probably a little nuts and she was a drama dork in high school and still is today. I can't relate to people that this at all. Oh boohoo, I am so exotic looking, everyone has crashes on me, I get asked so much that I have to say no to almost everyone. BOOFUCKINGHOO! Also, the direction of this book, something ...more
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is a lot like a really long episode of Sex and the City, but less funny. I was prepared for this book to be hilarious and I thought I would enjoy it. Instead, it was disjointed and repetitive.

The premise of the book is that author decides that instead of saying no to men who asked her out on dates, she would say yes to everyone who asked her. A few pages in to the book, I couldn't really tell how her "new" philosophy was so different from her former and that conclusion was reinforced o
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Recommended by Kaysootee. Good so far. The author keeps explaining how unattractive she is, and every time I look at the jacket photo and think the exact opposite. Guess she has self image issues. Anyway, it's been pretty amusing, and also a bit insightful. Thanks for the lend, K. ^_^

6/21 - The author is just a bit full of herself. Sometimes it's entertaining, sometimes less so. I'm finding that I am more or less enjoying reading it in chunks, but cannot sustain the necessary attention to read m
Christina Mortellaro
Really, I want to rate this book 3.5 stars but Goodreads won't let me. I enjoyed the premise and the humor of the book but like others, I found that it was hard to relate to the narrator. Of course, relating to the narrator isn't necessarily a dealbreaker when it comes to the memoir. I think because the author is a playwright and admits to having a penchant for the dramatic, I wondered often which details were being really embellished for comedic effect.

There's a lot of "telling" that goes on i
David Jay
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Huge disappointment. I thought the premise sounded so interesting... woman is tired of making bad choices regarding men and decides to date everyone who asks her for an entire year. Great potential but it really fell flat. First of all, I think writing a memoir when you're in your 20s is beyond ridiculous. I assumed, from the premise, that the woman in question was middle aged, or thereabouts. She's in college!! How on Earth can you have dated that much that you're burned out on men, when you're ...more
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what made me pick this book up. Like the musical Avenue Q, it is on the surface remarkably funny - chock full of those embarrassing/funny stories that happen to frequently. However, once you look through the veneer of humor Headley's story is both sad and, at times, pathetic. Tired of dating losers and feeling like all of her life is a big "no" Headley decides to start saying "yes" to any man that asks her out (barring a few things like being married or dangerous). She chronicles he ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
The Year of Yes chronicles the author's decision to say "yes" to every man who asks her on a date for one year. This decision is precipitated by her lack of luck in the romance department. She tells herself she obviously isn't picking the right man on her own so why not just say "yes" to everyone who asks her on a date and see what happens. And did I mention that she lives in New York City? So you can imagine that she "yeses" quite a wide variety of men. There are some real comic moments in the ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, memoir, adult
This is the memoir of a young woman who decided that her method for choosing a potential boyfriend was not working since they all ended up being losers. So she decides that for a whole year, she will say yes to a date with anyone that asks her. She ends up going out with a wide variety of people including a millionaire who still lives with his mother, a homeless guy, a married man, etc.

I like her attitude about saying yes, but she really did end up in what could have been unsafe situations. Howe
Natalie Rooney
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
"I wasn't making enough money, but I was making more than I ever had before. I wasn't finding love, but I was finding more than I'd ever found before. Little scraps of it, in every person I met. Everyone had something to give me. Maybe I had something to give them, too. I hoped so. I was collecting. It seemed like my cup was starting to spill over, and so what if it wasn't just from loving one person, but from loving all of them? Maybe I wouldn't find everything I was looking for in one place, b ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book for a $1 from the clearance rack at Books-a-Million nearly six years ago but didn't start it until a few months. It was one of those casual reads ever you worked at it slowly until the last half of the book, and then I was hooked. I would had liked to see the author give more detail into her relationship with Robert in the end, but I was definitely entertained by this book.

Being that most of my reading is for practical reasons, this was a refreshing changes. Ms. Headley did
Oct 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
At first I didn't think I'd be able to finish reading this book. The dark, gothic type culture that Maria is interested in while in New York is so unnatural to me, I felt sick for the first 2 chapters. But, I started looking at it as an episode of Sex and the City, and it made it a little bit better.

The book has a good idea behind all the sex and dating. She learns a lot about herself...which I think is ultimately all she wanted to do. There are portions of this book that really hit home, about
Debbie D
Dec 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
It seemed like a very interesting idea for a book. A woman frustrated with lack of quality men comes to the conclusion she is being to picky decides to say yes to any guy (within reason, she does have some common sense rules) who asks her out.

What this book develops into is a very self absorb recall of practically every man in NYC that is breathing and upright hitting on her. I find it very hard to believe that anyone not super famous as in Madonna would have that much attention from men. Had t
Allison Renner
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non
The Year of Yes is amazing. Read it. Tell them I sent you. In the first third, you're wanting to be single so you can accept any date thrown your way. Never mind I can't remember someone asking me out since, well... The second third, you're a little scared for humanity. Last third, you're so thankful for your hunny that you pull them into bed on top of you to squeeze them tight and smother them with kisses. When you read dedication to her husband in the acknowledgment section, you will be bawlin ...more
I read this book when I was in ju early twenties....and didn't like it but somehow it inspired me and all of a sudden I tried saying yes to more dates. While I did get a bunch of great stories and my life became hilariously interesting, I didn't meet someone stable through this method. A decade later, I saw it and read's just as terrible, but in a very entertaining way. Could just be the memories of how it impacted my life rather than headley's writing. I'm not sure. It got four stars ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was going to be like the Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man" where a life changes for the better because of a positive attitude and willingness to try anything. Not quite. By "Yes", Maria Headley is referring to the answer she gave whenever anyone asked her out- homeless people, men in their 70s, train conductors.

The writing style was a little hard to get into at the start because of her abundant descriptions...of everything...that went on and on, sometimes not quite in order of how t
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I originally picked this up, thinking it was the other Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, since that one is oft spoken about in the BuJo community, like so many of the other books I've been reading lately.

I'm so happy it wasn't, though! Maria Headley has such a great voice. I'd hate to have not read this book just for that alone! Reading about her life as a young adult in the big city reminds me a lot of when I first moved out and into my own place with c
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
The premise of this book is great. A young woman, Maria, living in NYC is tired of dating and decides to spend a year saying "Yes" to every single person who asks her out on a date. I really enjoyed reading "Around the World in 80 Dates" and I thought this might be similar. While the book was good, I wasn't blown away or captivated by her story. Maybe it was her writing style/humor, but I was actually turned off by her as the main character. I think I might have been better friends with her room ...more
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
Somewhat self-indulgent? Yes. Somewhat overwritten? Yes. Somewhat contrived? Yes. However, I found this HIGHLY amusing and a genuine page-turner. Plus, the self-indulgence, the overwriting, the contrivance conspired to allow me to brush off the author's attempts at pathos without any noticeable effect on my mirth (it's a sad fact that if I sign on to read a book about how you will go on a date with seriously anyone with wacky consequences, I will not be all that up for tales of your sad Midweste ...more
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
I enjoyed the style of this book: twitchy at times, often witty, Headley has a nice voice for storytelling. Quick paced, just like the city in which she lived in, the book tells the story of a girl bumping around, meeting and unmeeting people, each making some kind of impression on her outlook. The point isn't that she dated a string of strange people, that she met her husband in the end, although this did tie in with her preferred happily-ever-after scenario, but instead, that she opened up her ...more
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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
“I was a protestor. I was such a protestor that I regularly protested things that might have been good for me.” 12 likes
“I was becoming convinced that I was going to be lonely for the rest of my life. It wasn't that I wasn't meeting men. I was. It was just that they all drove me crazy.” 8 likes
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