Friday, February 12, 2016

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Title: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
Author: Shonda Rhimes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Purchased
On Sale Date: November 10, 2015

Year of Yes was written by none other than Shonda Rhimes. You know who she is - TGIT, HTGAWM, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy - THAT Shonda Rhimes.Like many people, I buckle down on Thursday nights and immerse myself in all that Shondaland has to offer. So, needless to say, when I found out she had a new book, I was already sold.

Six words, "You never say yes to anything". Those six words, uttered under her sister's breath kick started a year of change. Year of Yes her personal account of that year. Shonda Rhimes decided she would no longer shy away from the things that intimidated her. Instead, she would tackle her fears head on. In the pages that follow contain a hilarious and empowering story.

Shonda's style of writing is so captivating, I mean, it's what she does. She's responsible for three hours of television every week. What I enjoyed most about the book was the hints of sarcasm that she would throw in to drive her points home. This was her reaction shortly she was asked to appear live Jimmy Kimmel:

"You know what happens on live TV? Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Boob happens on live TV. Adele Dazeem happens on live TV. President Al Gore happens on live TV." (Loc 594)

As Shonda continues to contemplate the decision to do a live television show, her imagination kicks in:

"You can die from the hiccups. For real. I'm a fake doctor who writes fake medicine for TV. So I know stuff. And I am telling you, we killed Meredith’s stepmother with hiccups and that could happen to me. I could laugh until I hiccup and hiccup and die. I could DIE on live TV. Literally die." (Loc 609)

Year of Yes also had some inspiring points. This quick lesson details how one can empower themselves to come out of their shell and build confidence:

"Power posing like Wonder Woman is when you stand up like a badass—legs in a wide stance, chin up, hands on your hips. Like you own the place. Like you have on magical silver bracelets and know how to use them. Like your superhero cape is flapping in the wind behind you. I’m not just some dork telling you to pretend to be Wonder Woman. It’s a real thing." (Loc 772)

"Standing around like Wonder Woman in the morning can make people think you are more amazing at lunchtime." (Loc 777)

Shonda's take on motherhood is another one that I took to heart. On top of owning the television universe, she is also a single mother of three. She is a firm believer that being a mother is NOT a job, and I completely and wholeheartedly agree with her.

"Being a mother isn’t a job. It’s who someone is. It’s who I am. You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-to-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages. (Loc 1200)

In the chapter that speaks about her motherhood and her children. She notes that the single most important thing she has said "Yes" to is the question, "Do you want to play?". I reflected on all the times I have said no to this question because I was too tired, on my phone, or reading a book. My own children are craving my attention and say no. I've since taken Shonda's advice and now say, "Yes!". When I'm asked to play no matter what I'm doing, I stop, and I give my kids 15 minutes (they usually move on to something new before the time is up) of undivided play time.

"I have shifted my priorities. My job is still incredibly important. It’s just that playing with my kids is now more important than my job." (Loc 1360)

Shonda also openly discusses her battle with weight loss, relationships and just trying to balance her success and family life. All of it is quite intriguing and gives you a glimpse of what it's like to rule the world. I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book and continue quoting her for days. I will simply leave you with these inspiring words:

"Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it."  (Loc 2992)  


  1. Nice review and I really liked that you included the quotes :)
    I have followed you back on Bloglovin. I tried to follow you on GFC but I kept getting an error :/

    1. Hi Nita! Thank you for the note. I have been having a ton of issues with GFC and all my Google accounts. Appreciate the follow!

  2. Great review, I read this in January also. The mom quotes and part in book I totally agree also, being a mom is not a job, we cannot quit, HA. Great review.

    1. Her view on motherhood hits the nail on the head. I would quote the entire chapter if I could.

  3. Great review! Great choice of quotes - this book sounds really interesting. I'm actually not familiar with the author (yes, I live under a rock), but I'm always intrigued when it comes to more "positive" books.


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