I love ARCs and I love participating in blog tours. I also love getting early reader copies of books that I am not REQUIRED to review, but they end up being so good that I can’t resist doing so.
And at times I have friends in the publishing industry that send out emails asking if people in the book industry, such as myself, might be interested in this particular book.
The latter was the case with this book. I received an email from a publicist at Simon and Schuster asking if I might be interested in this particular title. Honestly, I said yes because it was Shonda Rhimes.
But never, never, ever in my life, in a million years did I expect to fall in love with or to be so deeply touched by a book as I was by this one. I typically don’t read non-fiction. As I stated previously, the fact that this book was written by Shonda Rhimes was pretty much what had me on board from the get go.
I mean seriously. Even if you think that you don’t know who Shonda Rhimes is, you probably still do. You have probably at least heard of How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, and/ or Grey’s Anatomy. Better still, you probably watch at least one (or all) of them.
I’m a Shonda fan. I got sucked into the Grey’s Anatomy world, and eventually the Scandal world. And the same friend that got me hooked on Scandal is “pressuring” me into watching HTGAWM. So there.
Okay back to the book. I literally couldn’t put it down. I felt like I was having a face to face conversation with Shonda. I teared up a little, laughed a lot, but most of all I related to Shonda. In so many ways.
I related to her as a single mom. I related to her as a businesswoman, just trying to get things done. I related to her as an introvert, who had to step outside of her comfort zone. But most of all, I related to her as a woman. Just trying to find her place in this world.
Basically, Shonda decided to step outside of her comfort zone for a whole year and say yes to things that she would normally decline. This includes but is not limited to speeches, interviews, being a guest on live television talk shows, and being a guest star on television shows.
What was so beautiful about this book, is that Shonda does all of this, she says yes to all the things she’s afraid to say yes to, and she takes us along for the ride. When she was asked to make a speech of some sort, did she just stride up to the podium, look at the crowd and take the microphone and say “I’m Shonda Rhimes, b*tch.”
No. She did not.
She probably could have. And probably could have gotten away with it. But, Shonda is human just like the rest of us. She has flaws, but more importantly she has fears. And she deals with those fears head on in The Year of Yes. I laughed when she told the story of how times were so hard she had to choose between wine and toilet paper, and that the toilet paper didn’t always win. She also talks about her struggle with her weight (most all women can relate to this), being a single mom, and saying yes to saying no, especially to toxic people.
I was already a Shonda fan before I read this book.
But I was a Shonda Rhimes fan. A fan of the television show writer. The genius mind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.
And after reading this, I am still a Shonda fan. I am an even bigger Shonda fan. But I am a fan of Shonda, the writer. Shonda, the single mom, who decided that marriage just wasn’t for her. Shonda, the writer, who took a huge leap and bore herself, and all of her insecurities, for all to see.
I almost forgive her for killing Derek. Not quite………..but almost 😉