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Year of Yes

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  70,430 ratings  ·  7,353 reviews
In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood's most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and Catch, reveals how saying YES changed her life - and how it can change yours too. With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lot ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 20th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published November 10th 2015)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  70,430 ratings  ·  7,353 reviews

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Dec 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ok so I know this review is more of a personal vendetta than an actual reflection of the book itself, but I had to stop reading 5 minutes in when she criticized the idea of being "a quiet librarian in Ohio." As an actual quiet librarian living in Ohio, all I have to say is: what's wrong with that?! ...more
Darth J
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
300 pages of Shonda rambling

Oh, how I wanted to like this. To think the book from the woman who owns Thursday night prime time could be so trivial is more shocking than most of the characters she kills off. I wanted to root for her like Tyra, but kept feeling like she was just meandering and bragging about things while rarely reaching a cohesive point.

The thing is that the book isn't boring, and her writing style seems much like her personality: quite pleasant. She just has such a roundabout way
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bipoc, memoirs
I like the spirit behind this book and I like the author a lot, but I really disliked the tone of the writing. I just felt like: get to the point already.
Lucy Haynes
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was OK - it wasn't what I expected it to be.... an inspiring tale of someone taking on the world with one simple response to any question - "YES!". It was sadly more egotistical and focused around a handful of experiences within that year - no doubt profound to Shonda, but not thoroughly inspiring to the reader.

If you like Shonda Rhimes and want to learn more about her, then great, this book is for you.

For someone that doesn't like talking about herself, she does a really fabulous job of tal
Jeremy Klavens
Feb 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Honestly, this book could've have been 150 pages. She repeats herself SOOOOOOO much. Did you know she's a writer? She is. She's a writer. She makes stuff up for a living, cuz guess what? She's a writer.

Although the focus of the book is purportedly about how Shonda Rhimes finds a way to love herself, I can't help but think she loves herself quite a lot. Part of me hates saying that because, well, good for her. She should be proud, happy, and fulfilled. I think that's great. Even though I don't c
Gary Anderson
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wasn't going to say anything about this book because I abandoned it. Then the publisher advertised it on my Facebook feed, inviting my comments. I left a negative comment based on what I read, which the publisher then deleted. So here goes.

The self-indulgent twaddle in this book became nauseous early on. Rimes spends a surprising amount of time talking about whether or not certain situations will cause her to poop her pants. I pulled the plug when she speculated about the sex life and drug abu
Heidi The Reader
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Shonda Rhimes' heartfelt memoir about the power of embracing who you are and having the courage to set aside what you are not.

Though outwardly successful, Shonda was miserable. Between over-working and her introverted tendencies, she turned down every invitation and social event. The ones that she was forced to accept were anxiety inducing trials or complete blanks because of panic attacks.

Shonda didn't even realize she was unhappy until, one Thanksgiving, her sister tells her that she doesn't s
Jenny Kim
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dear Ms. Shonda Rhimes,

I want to be your friend. You don't know me but I want to be your friend. Since I'm requesting a friendship I should start by being honest first. I'm sorry but I've never watch any of your show. And I have to apology again since I will unlikely watch them in the future. It's not you, it's me.
But thank you for saying yes for a year, and writing your experiences in a funny, frank, honest book which felt like we had a long conversation over a delicious lunch as if we were f
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Diane by: Eryn
This was a surprisingly good book about confronting your fears and being more open to new experiences. Shonda Rhimes is the writer and producer of several popular TV shows, including "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder." A self-described introvert, she realized she was always turning down opportunities to attend gatherings because she would rather stay home with her kids or just keep working.

So she challenged herself to spend a year saying yes to things that scared her,
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is an American television writer, showrunner, producer and director. She created the medical drama Grey's Anatomy, its spin-off, Private Practice, the political thriller Scandal, and the legal suspense drama How to Get Away with Murder.

Being a celebrity television writer Rhimes got many invitations to speak at conferences, attend glamorous parties, be a guest on talk shows, travel to other countries to meet royalty, and more. Rhimes bragged about the invites to her f
Brown Girl Reading
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who love Shonda Rhimes but like reading humanistic memoirs
Recommended to Brown Girl Reading by: Simon & Schuster
I was happily surprised when I was approached by a representative from Simon & Schuster asking me if I was interested in reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes in exchange for an honest review. I couldn’t refuse. I knew Rhimes’s book was due to be released soon and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pick it up to give it a try.

Even though my work schedule has butchered my reading and blogging for the moment, I’m still managing to read a bit here and there. Year of Yes was my latest conquest and it arri
Jessica Woodbury
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I do not like many memoirs. And I do not like many inspirational books. And yet here I am, really liking Shonda Rhimes' inspirational memoir. Initially I had my doubts. I'm a divorced single parent trying to make waves in a new career and scraping through to get food on the table. She's arguably the biggest thing in television, running her own production company, and while she's a single mom, she's got a nanny, a support system, and plenty of money. How does someone who has it all inspire you? H ...more
Liz Logan
Nov 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shockingly, the problems of a zillionaire TV mogul and my problems have zero overlap. So: nope.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shonda Rhimes narrates the audio version of this book, which took this book to the next level for me. This book read just like one of her famously written shows. I could her the characters she created coming to life and spinning off parts of Shonda. While she certainly didn't share any tough childhood experiences, or struggles. She managed to inspire and give hope for those that don't dream, but do. She shares real instances of body image and stage fright, and breathed life into the woman behind ...more
Welp. I'm kind of torn here because I see the value in this book, but it wasn't my cuppa. The reason it wasn't my cuppa is because my perception of myself is deeper than a puddle. Simply put, I found this book to be shallow and surface-y, and superficial. There is no wisdom given in this book that is unknown to people like me. No earth shattering revelations, not even a morsel to ponder more deeply. Nope this was a book for fans of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Rhimes expresses herself through cha ...more
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think Shonda Rhimes is something special? She has got it all going on, creating TV characters (in a time frame that would cripple most of us) for several shows that reflect the best and worst of ourselves. She is a genuinely interesting personality. So it was something of a shock to discover she is an introvert who would much rather stay home reading and writing in her PJs than get out there and take her place on stage.

But of course Rhimes is an introvert.
Kristy K
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

There’s something to be said for reading the right book at the right time. I’ve had this book for years and have always put it off. Celebrity memoirs, self-help, and inspirational books just aren’t my thing. And Year of Yes looked to me like it’d be all three of those wrapped into one. And it kind of was. But it spoke to me in ways I didn’t think it could. I am an intense introvert. My goal is to be invisible. I also have a huge fear of failure. I say no to so much or never even try bec
Jan 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. HATED IT. Did you hear me? Hated. It. (For those who have not read the book, that is the writing style she overuses throughout.) Shonda Rhimes describes herself as an introvert who uses wine to get through difficult social situations. She turns down invitations because she's terrified and wants to avoid attention. So, she decides to say yes to everything that scares her. Great premise, horrible execution. I did not come away with any inspiration or motivation. I did come away ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I love love love this book. It makes me want to really take care of myself and love myself more. If anyone needs an inspirational self-help kinda read, whatever your main struggle in life, this book will help make you feel so much better. Even if you're not looking for particular advice on a thing, like me, read it too. Because we can always do with more self-encouragement and love from others, and Shonda Rhimes gives that here! She is such a lovely role model and friend! Yeah I do feel like we' ...more
Tracy Womack
Dec 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
The writing style was annoying... Very self centered and stream of thought based. I love her shows but didn't enjoy her book. ...more
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was slow to warm to this book - I loved the idea of the topic and enjoy Rhimes' work on television, but initially found her writing to be too casual and chatty to really hold my attention. After putting it down for a few days, I picked it up again and found that I read half the book in one sitting. Rhimes is confessional and funny, writing with a wit and rhythm that probably works best when read aloud (of course, she writes for TV!). Once I adjusted to that rhythm, I couldn't get enough - many ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
A fun and sometimes enlightening journey of personal growth. I enjoyed myself a lot on various occasions but it failed to truly hit the spot. It was funny, honest, and entertaining non the less. I'd still recommend it especially if you are a fan of her work. One of those quick/nice treats that come in book form. ...more
Julie Ehlers
At first glance, I'm not the obvious audience for this book: I've never seen even a single episode of one of Shonda Rhimes's shows. (I'm not bragging or anything—I'm just not a big TV watcher.) So I didn't pick up Year of Yes because I was a big fan. I picked it up because the description resonated with me: Shonda and I are both introverts who have to work to force ourselves out of our comfort zone. I've even done something similar to the Year of Yes already; a few years back, I chose a word of ...more

Originally Posted at: Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

I like to start every year with a memoir/autobiography/Non-fiction book by someone who I respect and who inspires me. As an aspiring television writer who wants to turn at least one of my many pilot scripts into an actual TV show you can imagine that Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are on my “read” shelf. I love those women and they inspire me in every way, but do you know who my be all and end all of TV inspiration is? You gues
I would say I'm a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the Shonda-Rhimes-Television-Show-Enjoyment-Index-That-I-Just-Made-Up-Right-Now. I watched maybe two seasons of Grey's Anatomy and then stopped. I watched two seasons of Scandal and then gave it up. I watched a few episodes of How to Get Away with Murder and then never watched any more. I think those shows are better than a lot of what's out there, but I just never found myself compelled to keep going. I felt exactly the same way about this audiobook. I like ...more
A combination of memoir and self-help book, The Year of Yes was a quick and easy read. It is written in a very conversational tone (unlike many books in the self-help genre) and that may put off some readers. So help me, I had absolutely no idea who Shonda Rhimes was and I must confess that I have never seen any of her TV shows. The writing in this book left me wondering about the writing for the shows—she must put on a different hat for writing those, for I can’t imagine this style producing aw ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 - Although I've never seen any of Shonda Rhimes's TV shows, I picked this up excited to hear how an introvert flipped the switch to say yes to so many terrifying (yet exciting) opportunities. Oddly, I found the passages where she talks about being a parent to be the most powerful. I loved the content, but I personally had trouble getting paster her writing style - again, I'm not familiar with her writing from her shows, but it often felt just a little bit cringy. I would still 100% recomme ...more
There's so much I want to say about this book but it appears I have no way to express myself.
I'd started to review it a few times but backspaced my words away. One review was a letter to Shonda, explaining why we should be friends. Nothing has felt right, though.

All I can say that I felt an outpouring of love for this book.

I wasn't necessarily in this to get pointers from her journey; I took my own version of that journey years ago and mine was much different and much shorter. But I loved hearin
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @ 45%

Ahhh, alas, I have my first DNF book of the year - three days in - and one I thought I would enjoy immensely. I have faithfully watched Grey's Anatomy from the beginning (no matter who left the show) and (while I am behind) How to Get Away with Murder. I admire Shonda Rimes and loved the premise of her book. I picked this one up from my days at the library and also bought the companion journal (at Homesense). I forgot I had picked it up about two years ago, I believe, and found it while
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In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life—and how it can change yours too.

She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today: Grey’s Anatomy,

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