Book Review: The Year of Yes

The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Every year, it seems the market is flooded with books by celebrities. Autobiographies, stories, cookbooks – there could be a whole section of the bookstore devoted to books by that guy from…/the lady who…/the star of…. as with any genre or group of books, it’s a mixed bag of quality, but there are gems to be found, and I always sit up and take notice when an actor, singer, or other creative I admire releases a book (same goes for great sportspeople, journalists, bloggers, businesspeople, and chefs). Some of my favorite books of recent years have sprung from the pens (or perhaps the keyboards?) of folk I knew for something else entirely.

Aside: if you haven’t yet read Bossypants or Yes Please, please considering doing so. Fey and Poehler both give *excellent* book.

But back to The Year of Yes. Shonda Rhimes is the uber-famous creator/showrunner of the Shondaland stable of programmes- Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, and my personal favourite, Scandal. Hugely professionally successful, she has a come to Jesus moment over just how she’s living her life over thanksgiving meal prep with her sister. Spurred on by this, Shonda resolves to change things up and embrace the power of YES, and this book is all about this journey. 

And what a journey it is. Rhimes is a gifted writer, as her hugely successful TV career would suggest, but in this autobiographical setting it’s a great tone she sets – charming, conversational, deep, with just enough silly to lighten the mood when necessary. This is a book about saying yes to yourself, yes to life, and Rhimes emerges happier, healthier, and more at peace with herself than ever.

It’s a premise that I’ve read before (most memorably in Danny Wallace’s Yes Man), but this book opened up some new ideas and was full of energy and inspiration. Some chapters spoke to me hugely, and throughout the book I was entertained and diverted. The parts on health and weight loss and being fat personally gave me a tonne of food for thought, if you’ll forgive the unintentional pun; and the chapter on friendship made me both grateful for the friends I’ve have and the friends I’ve had. Truly people enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

Just as she sprinkles her magic on Thursday night television schedules, Shonda Rhimes brings a lot of wit, intelligence and humour to the page. I whipped through the book in under 48 hours (hey, when I like a book, I really like a book!), but I just know it’s the kind of book I’ll be returning to again. And gifting to several of my friends, too. A great, warm, honest read in the vein of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)


  1. Ali - We Made This Life
    27th October 2016 / 8:29 am

    This sounds great, I love Shonda Rhimes, I'll be putting this on my christmas list!

  2. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
    27th October 2016 / 8:33 am

    This book sounds awesome. I need to check it out.

  3. Rhian Westbury
    27th October 2016 / 8:39 am

    Oh this sounds great as I loved the Mindy Kaling book you likened it to. I have just bought Yes Please and I can not wait to get stuck into it x

  4. Dannii Martin
    27th October 2016 / 9:09 am

    I actually have this book on my wishlist – I need to actually order it and start reading.

  5. S, x
    27th October 2016 / 9:09 am

    I really enjoyed this book too – it felt less cliched than I expected it to be! xSophie Cliff

  6. LaaLaa Monroe
    27th October 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Oh I didn't know Miss Shonda had a book, I must check it out, I love her programmes x

  7. Claire Cly
    27th October 2016 / 1:21 pm

    This sounds like a great read, I must put it on my list 🙂

  8. Liz Mays
    27th October 2016 / 1:37 pm

    Like you, I'm a HUGE Scandal fan and Shonda fan. I'd really love to hear what she has to say here!

  9. Caffeinated Reactions
    27th October 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I love Shonda Rhymes! Massive Grey's Anatomy fan so this book is right up my street!

  10. Baby Isabella
    27th October 2016 / 7:05 pm

    We've sadly never seen her in anything, is this like a type of self help positivity book? If so, my mummy could happily read it x

  11. Kathryn Watson
    27th October 2016 / 7:51 pm

    Ooh I like the sound of this book xx

  12. Emma Julia
    27th October 2016 / 10:23 pm

    Ooooh now this has me intrigued (and reaching for my kindle…)

  13. Emma Julia
    27th October 2016 / 10:23 pm

    Ooooh now this has me intrigued (and reaching for my kindle…)

  14. Laura Ferry
    28th October 2016 / 1:04 am

    This sounds like one of those books that everyone should read! I'll definitely be picking up a copy xxx

  15. Elizabeth S
    28th October 2016 / 5:39 am

    Sounds like a great book, very inspiring! Will have to add it to my Christmas stocking list. 🙂

  16. Nikki
    28th October 2016 / 10:54 am

    THis sounds like a great book, have added it to my amazon wish list!

  17. Stephanie Merry
    28th October 2016 / 2:59 pm

    This sounds like the kind of book I'd love to read – thanks for the recommendation x

  18. Harriet Shearsmith
    28th October 2016 / 5:21 pm

    This sounds awesome, a really interesting read and one I think I'll seek out! H x

  19. Melissa Major
    28th October 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Sounds like a brilliant book! Might just get it for Christmas for myself

  20. Kira L Curtis
    28th October 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I've recently really got into books like these that really inspire you and make you want to be better, so I'm sure I'd love to read this!

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