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Year of Yes

Year of Yes, November 2015
by Shonda Rhimes

Simon & Schuster
Featuring: Shonda Rimes
336 pages
ISBN: 1476777098
EAN: 9781476777092
Kindle: B00YTG3C0G
Hardcover / e-Book
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"An amazing, fun and inspiring memoir about fear, strength and change."

Fresh Fiction Review

Year of Yes
Shonda Rhimes

Reviewed by Auriette Lindsey
Posted February 14, 2016

Non-Fiction Memoir | Non-Fiction Inspirational | Multicultural

I must admit, I don't watch Shonda Rhimes' TV shows. She is the creator and showrunner for "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder." They're all very popular, but the subjects just never interested me.

I do like television, in general, and I love reading about the creative process, so I was thrilled to have the chance to read Rhimes book, YEAR OF YES. Turns out that it's less about her creative process (though it does give some insight) and more about how she pushed herself to overcome her fears and change her life. It is fun and funny, inspiring and hopeful, and maybe a little defensive in places, but overall a very positive book.

The book starts with a snide comment from Rhimes' sister about how she had these great opportunities as a superstar TV producer and she never said yes to any of them. She realized her sister was right and forced herself to examine why she always turned down public appearances and interviews. She challenged herself to say yes to everything that scared her for one year.

She talks you through her terror at saying yes, how she prepared for each event or interview or photo shoot. She opens up about her family, her childhood, her influences, her friends. She even explains the moment she realized that some of her friends were just users.

Reading this book, it's hard to imagine that Shonda Rhimes was ever anything but fearless. She comes across as strong, self-confident, assured, and unwilling to fail. It makes you realize that great women have all the same feelings you do, they just get past it to get the job done.

The only thing that keeps me from saying this book is absolutely perfect is that her writing gets a bit repetitive. She'll go over the same thing three times before she gets to the point, and then sometimes she'll say it again. That's her style, but it made me want to shout, "Get on with it!" a few times.

That said, this is a wonderful book for anyone who's a little shy or introverted, who ever let an opportunity go by because you were overly conscious of how you looked, afraid of what you'd say or do that might embarrass yourself. Shonda Rhimes said yes and found out things usually go a lot better than you expect. You don't have to watch her #TGIT shows, but I have a feeling if you do, you'll get even more out of this telling book than I did.

Learn more about Year of Yes


The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

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