Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Published: 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Personal Development, Self Help, Feminism, Womanhood, Motherhood, Celebrity


In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and Catch, reveals how saying YES changed her life – and how it can change yours too. With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when invitations arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. And to an introvert like Shonda, who describes herself as ‘hugging the walls’ at social events and experiencing panic attacks before press interviews, there was a particular benefit to saying no: nothing new to fear. Then came Thanksgiving 2013, when Shonda’s sister Delorse muttered six little words at her: You never say yes to anything. Profound, impassioned and laugh-out-loud funny, in Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes reveals how saying YES changed – and saved – her life. And inspires readers everywhere to change their own lives with one little word: Yes.


Shonda Rhimes would make an incredible teacher. The world could use a teacher like her—eloquent, understanding, interesting, bold, and so very open-minded. I want her to be my teacher. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good teachers at my uni, but Shonda Rhimes has so much to say and such a fantastic way of expressing herself.

It doesn’t matter if what she’s thinking is unlike what others are thinking. She won’t modify her opinions to fit the common ones. She is loud and clear. Sometimes I would find myself disagreeing with her claims – like her saying women CAN’T have it all. But I would keep on reading and slowly realize where she is coming from. She explores different angles.

I remember reading Drew Barrymore’s memoir – Wildflower – in which she, too, admits to women not being able to have it all and I disliked her statement. It sounded negative. It WAS negative. Turns out, Barrymore didn’t convince me. All she said was that after she started having kids, she didn’t feel like working anymore, preferring to stay home with them. Which is fine, but the way she said it – women CAN’T have it all – seemed like she expected all women to have the same experience.

But then I read Shonda Rhimes’ thoughts on the matter, and suddenly I was like, ‘‘You know what, it makes sense that women can’t be in five different places at the same time and that they need help taking care of their kids and maintaining the house, especially if they (like Shonda Rhimes herself) have one or multiple jobs with long hours. They deserve to not be overwhelmed and stressed all the time.’’ It makes sense.

By the way, this is not all this book is about, but it shows that some people are able to make you see what others can’t. Shonda Rhimes is one of those people and I admire her so, so much. Also, feminism, yay!


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One thought on “Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

  1. Wonderful review… I’ve known about this book since it’s release but never thought about reading it… you seem to have really enjoyed it 😊😊😊


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