Synopses & Reviews
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 reveals how saying YES changed her life — and how it can change yours too.
She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder.
Her iconic characters—Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Olivia Pope,
Annalise Keating — live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect
that Shonda Rhimes, the mega talent who owns Thursday night television
(#TGIT), is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid
public appearances? That she hugged walls at splashy parties and
suffered panic attacks before media interviews so severe she remembered
Before her Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes was an
expert at declining invitations others would leap to accept. With three
children at home and three hit television shows on TV, it was easy to
say that she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid.
Afraid of cocktail party faux pas like chucking a chicken bone across a
room; petrified of live television appearances where Shonda Rhimes could
trip and fall and bleed out right there in front of a live studio
audience; terrified of the difficult conversations that came so easily
to her characters on-screen. In the before, Shonda’s introvert life revolved around burying herself in work, snuggling her children, and comforting herself with food.
And then, on Thanksgiving 2013, Shonda’s sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything.
comment sat like a grenade, until it detonated. Then Shonda, the
youngest of six children from a supremely competitive family, 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 creating
imaginary friends to her devotion to creating television characters who
reflected the world she saw around her (like Cristina Yang, whose
ultimate goal wasn’t marriage, and Cyrus Beene, who is a Republican and gay). And it chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun — when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live,
and giving the Dartmouth Commencement speech; when she learned to say
yes to her health, yes to play and she stepped out of the shadows and
into the sun; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love
her truest self. Yes.
This wildly candid and compulsively
readable book reveals how the mega talented Shonda Rhimes, an unexpected
introvert, achieved badassery worthy of a Shondaland character. And how
you can, too.
From the creator of the hit TV series Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder comes a powerful memoir and self help book that promotes saying "Yes!" to life. In 2013 Rhimes's sister challenged her over Thanksgiving meal prep and Rhimes formed a dare for herself: an entire year of saying "yes" to the things that scared her. The results were spectacular: Rhimes learned to live life to the fullest and on her own terms. She agreed to public speaking events that helped move her career forward; spent more time playing with her children and less time working; and shed weight as well as the toxic people and users in her life. Rhimes found saying "yes" so valuable that she resolved to extend her year long promise into a lifetime. Now she shares some of the key beliefs and events behind this transformation all with good humor and vivid prose. Rhimes comes across as inspiring and real every bit the heroine whom readers need to inspire such a change in themselves. Agent: Jennifer Joel ICM. (Nov.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"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
"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. "
"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 Reviews
"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
About the Author
Shonda Rhimes is the critically acclaimed and award-winning creator and executive producer of the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal and the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder. Her writing credits also include Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement, Crossroads, and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.
Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College in English Literature with
Creative Writing and received her MFA from the USC School of
Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg
Writing Fellowship. Rhimes was born and raised outside of Chicago,
Illinois, and now runs her production company, Shondaland, from Los
Angeles, where she lives with her three daughters.