I've spent the last month trying to write a review for the book, Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes. How do you review a book so good, so entertaining and so eye opening as this one without giving it away?
To say that I loved every single word of this book is a severe injustice to the words in this book. Not since college have I felt the need to take a highlighter to a book, and this wasn't even required reading. The quotes, the ideas, the commands are just that good.
There were so many times that I had to put the book down and say, "All hail Queen Shonda".
Anyone who knows me in real life, or has read this blog for a while knows that I love Queen Shonda. I've been watching Grey's Anatomy since season one, back when the Hubbs and I lived in a little house with the box TV he bought in college. I fell in love with Dr. Grey and company. I've spent hours watching and re watching my favorite episodes, especially my favorite when George O'Malley delivers Dr. Bailey's baby. I watched Private Practice and fell in love with Cooper, who would one day become Leo on Scandal. I devoted my Thursday nights to Scandal and Olivia and Fitz, and then to Olivia and Jake, and then back to Olivia and Fitz. I carefully watch and re watch Annalise Keating and her kids episode by episode trying to crack the codes. I even watched that short lived series she did, set in the central American jungle where all the doctors wore Toms, and then went out and bought Toms.
So yes. All hail Queen Shonda.
Still, this book. This is the one book you must read this year. It's warm and funny. It makes you want to be her friend and argue with her at the same time. It makes you want to drink wine with her and travel the world, and tell her to stop putting Meredith Grey in such dire situations. Love Shonda or hate her, the woman can write. The woman can feel. The woman can make you want to start your own year of yes today.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Year of Yes, out of context of course because you should read the book yourself. I've included page numbers so you can skip ahead and have your mind blown.
"Motherhood remains equally, painfully death defying and difficult either way", page 108.
"I am never more sure of myself about a topic than when I have absolutely no experience with it", page 100.
"You can quit motherhood, but I can't quit being a mother", page 107
"And I'm always going to yell, 'What the fuck', at the PTA meeting if you tell me the brownies need to be homemade", page 110
On Accepting Compliments:
"Thank you. Smile. Shut up", all of chapter 10, but pages 192-193 are specifically hilarious.
On Doing it All:
"Anyone who tells you they are doing it all PERFECTLY is a LIAR", page 88.
On Dreaming vs. Doing:
"And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing", page 78.
On Yes to Saying No:
"No is powerful. It's a bigger weapon to have in your arsenal. But it is a very tough weapon to deploy", page 216.
On "Normalizing TV":
Her entire Human Rights Campaign Speech that starts on page 232.
On Toxic People:
"Unhappy people do not like it when a fellow unhappy person becomes happy", page 244
On Glass Ceilings:
All of Chapter nine. I promise. Starts on page 165.
On saying Yes to who you are:
"Happiness comes from being who you are instead of who you think you are supposed to be", page 286.
I swear I didn't give anything away, I promise, the entire book is so good and so worth your time. You don't have to be a Grey's fan or a Scandal fan to appreciate a strong intelligent woman. You don't even have to be a woman to appreciate Shonda Rhimes. Her take on life, love, work, motherhood, body image, and intelligence is not only refreshing, it is affirming. You could pick any of her word on any of the 300 plus pages and turn them into a mantra. You could find inspiration and advice in any of the fifteen chapters. As you read you become so inspired that before you know it, you are at the end, and you only have one thing to say,
Yes. Yes. Hell Yes.
This is not a paid or sponsored review.
I just like to read and I love all things Shonda Rhimes.