The instant New York Times bestseller from the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder shares how saying YES changed her life. “As fun to read as Rhimes’s TV series are to watch” (Los Angeles Times).
She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today. Her iconic characters live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she suffered panic attacks before media interviews?
With three children at home and three hit television shows, it was easy for Shonda to say she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. And then, over Thanksgiving dinner, her sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything. Shonda knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.
This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her. The book chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.
“Honest, raw, and revelatory” (The Washington Post), this wildly candid and compulsively readable book reveals how the mega talented Shonda Rhimes finally achieved badassery worthy of a Shondaland character. Best of all, she “can help motivate even the most determined homebody to get out and try something new” (Chicago Tribune).
An Amazon Best Book of November 2015: I usually shy away from books with titles like Year of Yes – hokey, I think, or glib. Besides, I don’t need a self-help manual; I like to take my self-empowerment lying down, on the couch. Except… except that Rhimes, the creator/producer of such intelligent TV shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal is not only wiser, funnier, and cooler than your average therapist – she’s also been there, if “there” is the land of the angry, scared and emotionally dysfunctional. Never mind that she graduated from Dartmouth, is a proud and loving mother to her three kids, AND owns Thursday night TV, Rhimes was a mess until her sister made a chance remark at Thanksgiving – “You never say Yes to anything.” That’s when Rhimes decided not only to face her fears but to hug the life out of them. (OK, so some of her fears involve wearing a Carolina Herrera dress, gorgeous shoes and showing up at a star-studded benefit… but hey, fears is fears.) Rhimes found that saying Yes sometimes, paradoxically, also meant saying no, too – as in, and this is my version, Yes, I want to be a thin person. No I don’t want to eat a whole pecan pie in one sitting because I’m more lonely than hungry. She also discovered that self-acceptance doesn’t always go smoothly: as she pithily observes, sometimes the people who loved you when you were angry, dark and “twisty” don’t like to hang around when you lighten up. So what, she says. At least you’ve figured out how to live more or less happily ever after — with yourself. – Sara Nelson
“Rhimes is, unsurprisingly, a fantastic memoirist: Her writing is conversational and witty and lyrical, inflected with the supple human breathiness you might expect from a person who spends her days writing dialogue. It features lots of great punchlines…It features occasional, chatty, second-person asides…[It] is also in many ways a side-door self-help book…[with] pieces of advice that concern not just Rhimes’s readers, but everyone. …Year of Yes is a book about the shifts taking place in Hollywood right now,and in the world right now, in the guise of a friendly memoir. It is, like Shondaland itself, making a statement. It is insisting that it is time for the people who used to be invisible to come forward and be seen.”—Atlantic.com
“Revealing and delightful.”— New York Daily News
“There’s real value in the experiences Rhimes shares… When, for example, she discusses learning to take better care of herself, the memoir feels honest, raw and revelatory.”— The Washington Post
“A sincere and inspiring account of saying yes to life…Rhimes tells us all about it in the speedy, smart style of her much-loved TV shows. She’s warm, eminently relatable, and funny… Like a cashmere shawl you pack just in case, Year of Yes is well worth the purse space, and it would make an equally great gift. Rhimes said “yes” to sharing her insights . Following her may not land you on the cover of a magazine, but you’ll be glad you did.”—Kirkus
“If you enjoy the rapid-fire dialogue of her characters, reading this book will feel like home. Rhimes opens up, and inspires, discussing her personal experiences as a sister, daughter, mother, friend and boss tempered with biting insights on societal expectations of women…[a] blend of biography and badassery.” — Ebony.com