Year of Yes (Book Review)

Year of Yes (Book Review) - The Palmetto PeachesI have a love/hate relationship with Shonda Rhimes, television titan, the genius behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How to Get Away With Murder. I question my loyalty to a woman who would cause me to spill gallons of tears over fictional characters. And yet, when I was deciding what to put on my 2016 reading list I couldn’t resist her book: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person.

Shonda Rhimes writes this book like she’s having a personal conversation with you. You know just a chat with a good friend – over wine – and I loved it. Year of Yes was an easy and encouraging read. I found myself literally laughing out loud. Shonda Rhimes gets real and talks about her struggles with balancing motherhood, her business and being an introvert in an industry that requires you to be social.

I was hooked from the epigraph page where I found one of my favorite Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy) quotes:

If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand more.

Amen, Mama Shonda. Amen.

Shonda Rhimes takes her readers on a journey of how saying yes changed her life. Through the help of her sister, she realizes that she never said yes to anything. Her no’s were holding her back and she was saying no because of fear. It’s through her stories about relationships, weight loss, and her children that she inspires her readers to find the courage to say yes and change their own lives.

One of my favorite parts of the book is her account of the Dartmouth commencement speech she gave in 2014.  Within the first few lines she says the word poop. So, yup, I’m listening. Forgive me, I’m a 26 year old child. Without giving too much away – here are some of the lessons she shared with the class of 2014.

  • Lesson One: Ditch the dream. Be a doer, not a dreamer.
  • Lesson Two: Tomorrow is going to be the worst day ever for you. (But don’t be an asshole)
  • Lesson Three: Anyone who tells you that they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.

Year of Yes (Book Review) - The Palmetto Peaches

She concludes the commencement speech with the following words:

Be brave. Be amazing. Be worthy. And every single time you get the chance? Stand up in front of people. Let them see you. Speak. Be heard. Go ahead and have the dry mouth Let your hear beat so, so fast. Watch everything move in slow motion. So what. You what? You pass out, you die, you poop? No. (And this is the really the only lesson you’ll ever need to know.) You take it in. You breathe this rare air. You feel alive. You are yourself You are truly always yourself. Thank you. Good luck!

If you’re looking for an inspirational read, I would definitely recommend this book. With each chapter, I found myself wanting to embark on my own year of yes, be my own person, dance it out and stand in the sun. Not convinced Mama Shonda has some words of wisdom to impart on you. Check out another stand out quote:

Happiness comes from living as you need to, as  you want to.

Take the challenge and find the courage to say yes. The opportunities that come from opening yourself up to new experiences could be life-changing. What are some things that you often say no to that you should consider saying yes to? Leave a comment below.

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

19 Replies to “Year of Yes (Book Review)”

  1. Oh my gosh, I love this! I love Shonda and all of her shows, and holy cow I’m right there with you for the gallon of tears, every.single.week! Definitely picking this book up!

    1. She just knows how to make us cry. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.


  2. What a great must-read book! Definately will be checking it out 🙂 Thanks for sharing and of course love Shonda!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…What Are The Four Proven Services That Are In Demand and Are Easily Learned As You Blog?My Profile

  3. Ooo, this book is on my reading list! Can’t wait to get to it!

    1. Awesome! It really it a easy, but encouraging read. I hope you enjoy!


  4. Great review – I actually just heard about this book recently and I was intrigued to give it a go. I’ve been really into inspirational type books lately and this one seems right up my alley. Good to know you liked it!

    1. Thanks! I definitely need to add more books like this to my reading list. What inspirational books have you read lately?


  5. I’ve had this book on hold at the library forever and after reading your review I can’t wait to read it! I love the concept of a year of yes and I’m looking forward to diving in! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

    1. Thanks!! I think you’ll really enjoy it. It’s such a simple concept — say yes, but it actually quite scary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I hope you enjoy.


  6. I had no idea she writes too! I totally understand why you question her. I cry ALL the time in Grey’s Anatomy! It’s really probably pathetic.

    1. The mid season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy… buckets of tears Lexi. So I’m right with you. I have to remember that I’m not watching a documentary and these are fictional characters. 🙂


  7. This is a must read book! I definitely love the powerful message it sends I’ll be looking for it

    1. Such a powerful message. I hope you enjoy the book!


  8. I have heard so many good things about this book. I love the quote you shared. We have to let go of ideas and live.

    1. Absolutely, it’s so easy to get caught chasing what we think is expected of us – rather than just living our life. Thanks for stopping by.


  9. I’m not a huge Shonda Rhimes fan, but I’ve heard so many things about this book that I can’t wait to dive into it the next chance I get. Thanks for your review and convincing me to pick it up.

    1. Shonda isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think her book really sends a powerful message. I hope you enjoy!


  10. Ive been seeing the hype over this book all around, Im going to have to add it to my reading list! It seems like an amazing book!

  11. Definitely going to be reading this in my own book club!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

Comments are closed.