Emily's Reviews > Yes Please

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
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YES REALLY. I almost gave this two stars, except it includes George Clooney and that would be a crime.

This book is fine. It didn't charm me. It actually took me about three or four days to read 288 pages, which is funny because a lot of those pages don't include any actual words (she's got a ton of photocopies and inspirational signs intermixed with the text). It just wasn't as fun to read as I anticipated.

The problem is that she spends most of the book talking about how hard it is to write a book, or how she struggles with her self perception, or how she doesn’t like people knowing her business. (Incidentally, I think self-perception is an extremely valuable topic for women and teenagers, but perhaps not what I was interested in reading when I picked this up.) Sometimes she’s able to turn the “I don’t actually want to tell you anything about myself” into a pretty funny chapter, like when she writes out the descriptions of divorce self-help books she’d like to write. (Spoiler alert: she doesn’t want to talk about her relationship with Will Arnett at all, which is certainly her right.)

But this means that she skips over many of the periods of her life that I was most interested in, like the founding of UCB and her subsequent success. She goes through a lot of, “Then we got a bigger theater, and then a bigger one, and then I was hired at SNL." For most of the book, I felt like she was skipping over the truly interesting side stories. There are some anecdotes from SNL and Parks and Rec, but there are surprisingly few given how much time she's spent on both shows.

Then again, back to George Clooney:

(view spoiler)



Perhaps if I’d listened to this as an audiobook, I might have enjoyed it more. When I went back to read some sentences over and consciously tried to hear her voice, I definitely thought some of it was funnier. But overall, I vacillated between two and three stars, and landed on three only because this is Amy Poehler’s book. YES, REALLY.
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Reading Progress

May 28, 2014 – Shelved
October 18, 2014 – Started Reading
October 19, 2014 –
page 45
19.48% "On Amy Poehler's laugh: "The writer Alex Baze described it as the sound one hears when running over a raven's foot with a shopping cart.""
October 20, 2014 –
page 142
61.47% ""I once wrote a sketch where Steve Martin and I were two drunk people applying for a bank loan. It didn't make air, but he sometimes asks me about it, which is better.""
October 20, 2014 –
page 164
71.0% "This story about George Clooney is everything"
October 21, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)


Emily I hate everything so you will probably like it!!!!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Wait. I hate everything. But I'm a Super-Poehler-Fangirl, so there's a solid chance I'll forgive any of her wrongdoings.


Emily Maybe I'd suggest the audiobook? I think I would have enjoyed it 150% more if I'd listened to it (and I don't listen to anything).


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Yeah, I don't do audio. I have zero patience and need to fly through the pages rather than listen to someone read.


Rebecca Aw man, I hope I enjoy it a lot more than you did.


Emily Rebecca wrote: "Aw man, I hope I enjoy it a lot more than you did."

I think it really depends on what you expect. I hope you enjoy it more too!


Katie Boyer Emily, I have the same feelings as you did. It's very hard for me to write a review because I love her so much but the book was so disappointing. Not that there weren't funny lines and awesome photos but it could have been so much more.


Emily Katie wrote: "Emily, I have the same feelings as you did. It's very hard for me to write a review because I love her so much but the book was so disappointing. Not that there weren't funny lines and awesome phot..."

I totally agree. It lacked cohesiveness, possibly because she didn't want to really dive into her personal life.


message 10: by Jess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jess I also felt like I wished I had listened to it rather than reading it. That is what made me love Mindy Kaling's book, and I know I would have felt differently had I been reading it. I think a lot of it is the series of essays rather than actual topical writing.


message 11: by TL (new)

TL Would you recommend it?


Emily Jess wrote: "I also felt like I wished I had listened to it rather than reading it. That is what made me love Mindy Kaling's book, and I know I would have felt differently had I been reading it. I think a lot o..."

I always wish that I had listened to books like this after the fact, so you think I would have learned my lesson by now.


TL wrote: "Would you recommend it?"

It depends on what you're looking for! If you're a big Amy Poehler fan, yes. If you want a humorous memoir, no. If you want a loosely related series of essays, maybe.


message 13: by TL (new)

TL Emily wrote: "Jess wrote: "I also felt like I wished I had listened to it rather than reading it. That is what made me love Mindy Kaling's book, and I know I would have felt differently had I been reading it. I ..."

mmk thanks:)


Leigh Ann I completely agree! I love amy and I went into this wanting to know so much more about her, but I feel like I learned nothing new. it definitely felt like she skipped over some very funny moments of her life and just left us wondering about what happened that got her to where she is.


Emily Leigh Ann wrote: "I completely agree! I love amy and I went into this wanting to know so much more about her, but I feel like I learned nothing new. it definitely felt like she skipped over some very funny moments o..."

Yes! The main takeaway is that Amy Poehler has a hard time writing books.


message 16: by Jason (last edited Nov 18, 2014 09:11AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason Giant sections of this book are just name-dropping. I love Amy Poehler but this is exactly why I was afraid to read her memoir—because of the inevitable disappointment that seems to come with someone you admire branching out into media they are not masters of.


Emily Jason wrote: "Giant sections of this book are just name-dropping. I love Amy Poehler but this is exactly why I was afraid to read her memoir—because of the inevitable disappointment that seems to come with someo..."

Yeah, the fun name-dropping isn't long enough. I would probably read an entire memoir based on her SNL career if she wrote out better stories.


Sarah Tunstall Well said! You hit on all my feels about it. Although, my favorite bit was the chapter where she talked about her children.


message 19: by Mel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mel I "read" it as an audiobook and I can only imagine it greatly enhanced the book. Hearing her deliver the lines gives them something extra special, plus she has Kathleen Turner, Seth Meyers and Carol Burnett add their voices in. There is also (what I can only assume is) some improv added and the entire last chapter is read live at UCB.
I do agree that the beginning about "writing a book is hard" was wayy too long- you think it's over and then the "How to Use this Book" starts...!


message 20: by Kate (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kate Deeks Exactly. Great review.


Connie I found myself actually liking Amy less after reading her book. Your review is spot on.


Connie I found myself actually liking Amy less after reading her book. Your review is spot on.


Connie Sorry, I don't know how the heck my comment repeated so much.


message 24: by Emily (last edited Jan 12, 2015 11:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emily Connie wrote: "Sorry, I don't know how the heck my comment repeated so much."

Ha, no worries! I'm also a little less enthused about her since reading the book, which is a shame.


Michelle V It took me a lot of time to read the book too. I read a book of 700 pages in four days— while spending 7 hours at school, 1 hour of homework, 30 minutes of studying, and 1 hour of writing. These past 4 days, I was on vacation, without school, no writing, no studying, and I just finished this book.

It felt immense.

And I didn't even read it all correctly. I just saw and skipped some parts of the book because they weren't interesting to me. There were good stories (Clooney's or Seth's) but there were many about her pregnancy. (Perhaps because she has more than one kid?)

She is a comedian and screenwriter, not a book/novel/biography writer, I get that. It wasn't like wow amazing but it was pretty good. Yes please, it was nice.


Emily It sounds like it took us both a long time to get through for very different reasons! I'd say there's no one way to "correctly" read or enjoy a book. :)


Gianna I listened to the audiobook and came out with the exact same opinion as you. It maybe improved the content slightly, but not enough. This book is more for insecure teenage girls than people looking for a laugh.


message 28: by Dean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dean I am halfway through this and bored out of my mind.


Emily Dean wrote: "I am halfway through this and bored out of my mind."

Alas, it does not improve.


message 30: by Jen (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jen Perfect. Thanks. Now I don't have to write a review since I didn't finish the book.


Carol I listened to her narrated audiobook and did not feel it helped. In fact, I thought perhaps it hurt... In the end, concur with your assessment.


Amanda This comment is right on! My thoughts exactly.


message 33: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Spot on. The audiobook didn't help.


Hurricanekerrie I listened to the audiobook. I got the same reaction. Underwhelmed.


message 35: by Surekha (new)

Surekha I'm having a hard time finishing it, now that I'm over halfway through. I always finish books, even bad ones... But I just don't know. Its just not what I was expecting, and unfortunately, I read it right after I finished Bossypants... Which was hilarious and everything that I hoped for.


message 36: by Surekha (new)

Surekha Great review, by the way! Really sums it up for me.


Juliet Slemming a lot how I felt, I'm going with 2 stars because I'm not a Clooney fan.


message 38: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy You should have listened to the audiobook. It's hilarious. Luckily I read before checking it out that the book, as a book is only ok, but the audio version is fantastic!


MissSusie I listened to the audiobook and felt pretty much the same way you do about this book.


Donna I agree with Susie (above) and your review.


Denise I am basically at the end of the book and I 100% agree with your comments. It's okay - I didn't stop reading it, but I thought it glossed over some would-be great topics. She was likely given a ton of money to publish this as its on the heels of success stories of comediennes writing books like Mindy Kaling.


Emily Interesting review... I completely disagree with your assessment -- loved the book -- but perhaps that was because I didn't come in with any expectations to read about her divorce, etc... It's helpful that you point out this stuff isn't in the book. Overall, I thought that made it better -- just hearing what she thinks about life, rather than a tell-all on her life, divorce, etc...


Jacob Estrada I have committed a "crime" of yours. I gave this book two stars.


message 44: by Neha (new) - rated it 2 stars

Neha I heard the audio book. You still feel frustrated when she rushes through details. You're like seriously?!? Plus you feel the repetitiveness of he saying how hard it is to write a book more when you hear it on audio.


Ginger My thoughts exactly. Thanks for putting it better than I could.


message 46: by Che (new) - rated it 1 star

Che I only gave it one star. Bored me to tears. Mainly for the reasons you listed.


message 47: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Demunda I felt like this book was boring and disappointed I wasted my free time reading it. I love books with details and this one had none. It was I did this and did that. It was list a to do list she was checking off. Next.


message 48: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather I love Amy but started listening to the audiobook on a road trip one time and stopped pretty soon when all she was talking about was how hard it was to write a book and what would she write about. Glad I didn't keep going. I'll just enjoy her acting. Sometimes the books either pop the bubble or cause you to enjoy them more. Not a risk I want to take with a few people I really like. Example: I really enjoyed Tina Fey's book but for some reason I thought she was a lot more like her character Liz Lemon in real life. Turns out she isn't. So it changed my perspective on her. Not bad, but a little bit of bubble popping.


Cristina So interesting to read the different perspectives because I thought the preface was hilarious.. loved her nod to "the men reading the book." I listened to the audiobook and thought that helped. I agree that it felt like she skimmed over some parts of her life, it would have been interesting to hear about.


Terri Well said. I felt the same.


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