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review 2016-10-18 00:42
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes

I knew of Shonda Rhimes only vaguely before picking up this book for a Women's Book Club hosted by my employer. I knew she was a TV powerhouse, but I'd never watched Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, and while I loved the one episode of How to Get Away with Murder I'd seen, I quickly fell behind. Oh, to be a millennial cord cutter! 

 

Even with my sketchy knowledge of Shonda Rhimes, I felt a closeness and interest almost immediately. The narrative style is extremely causal and conversational, but it sparkled on the page. I love the idea of saying "Yes!" to the things that scare us. And I've found myself thinking about this question posed at book club...

 

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

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review 2015-11-21 23:27
I just...don't get it.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person - Shonda Rhimes

I had a hard time relating to 'Grey's Anatomy.' I discovered the re-runs one summer and watched for maybe a season and then found myself pretty bored by the night time soap opera concept. When I heard of 'Scandal' I *completely* loved the idea and the concept and thought it might be something would fill the gap 'The West Wing' left for me. But as time went on and I learned more (I had no TV anyway), I realized it wasn't a show that was going to appeal to me either. While I appreciate the work Rhimes has done and understand why her shows are successful...I found the book lacking.

 

When I heard Rhimes considers herself an introvert I thought I'd give this a shot. Learning to step out of one's comfort zone, be assertive, speaking up, etc. are all things I have issues with and I wondered if perhaps this would be helpful for me. Initially I had no intention whatsoever to read this book but the news that she's an introvert appealed to me.

 

She writes in her prologue that she's an introvert. "To the bone" (xxi in the hardcover version). I was like, YES, maybe I'll think of her differently! And then I kept reading.

 

I liked the concept and commend her for writing this book (which she admits was hard because of her introversion). Having *more* than one successful TV show that have been nominated/have won numerous awards is nothing to laugh at either. But it was tough to separate the TV anecdotes, the occasional rambles, the funny stories, etc. from the helpful tips or suggestions.

 

There are too many one-sentence paragraphs, like she has a thought then has another thought and then another. There are some books that I've read recently that seem to ignore the conventions of quotation marks and use a similar style for dialogue, but I'm not sure that's what Rhimes intends (unless maybe it's an internal dialogue?). No matter, the intent does not translate and honestly it felt like if the book's structure had been adjusted the book would be shorter.

 

To me one of the most interesting things was her dislike of what's been called "hashtag activism" on Twitter, where a hashtag takes off due to a news event, movement, meme, etc. To Rhimes she seems to think it's a waste of time and urges the reader to volunteer their time, to "focus on something outside of yourself" (83). Although I can't disagree with her point, the timing of this publication is interesting considering the #blacklivesmatter movement. Regardless of how one feels, this is still a hashtag/phrase that remains in the news while the ones she names are perhaps not so prevalent anymore or have not necessarily evolved into something more.

 

Overall, this wasn't a book for me. I would imagine her fans might really enjoy this. But I agree with a lot of negative reviews or criticisms with this. It's not particularly memorable, it seems like it takes forever to get to the point, and I could not relate to a lot of this. I tried to go in with an open mind (haven't watched any episode of any of her shows for years) but it just didn't work. I'm currently also reading Chris Hadfield's "An Honest Guide to Life on Earth" and honestly I'm getting a lot more out of his work despite never having gone to space or undergone anything remotely like what he's done.

 

For a Rhimes fan they might really love it. But in the end I was sadly disappointed. Recommend the library.

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review 2013-07-21 20:58
The Year of Yes: The Story of a Girl, a Few Hundred Dates, and Fate
The Year Of Yes: The True Story of a Girl, a Few Hundred Dates, and Fate - Maria Dahvana Headley What do you get when a woman from rural America decides one year while studying in New York that her answer to any reasonable question should be yes? This book. Sex and the City meets reality. Instead of coming up with pseudonyms for many of the characters she uses nicknames and honestly her soul searching seemed to be more attempting to justify herself rather than examining the issues. Honestly by the end of it I didn't care.
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review 2008-03-06 00:00
The Year of Yes
The Year of Yes - Maria Dahvana Headley What do you get when a woman from rural America decides one year while studying in New York that her answer to any reasonable question should be yes? This book. Sex and the City meets reality. Instead of coming up with pseudonyms for many of the characters she uses nicknames and honestly her soul searching seemed to be more attempting to justify herself rather than examining the issues.Honestly by the end of it I didn't care.
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review 2007-05-01 00:00
The Year of Yes - Maria Dahvana Headley 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 quickly she hopped in the sack with some of these guys! Not that I'm a prude, but she could have used a tiny bit more discretion.
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