About the Book

***AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***

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 nothing afterward?

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.

The 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.

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. She is the author of Year of Yes and The Year of Yes Journal.

About the Reviews

Really well written, this autobiography made me feel that Shonda Rhimes is the funniest woman I know. This book made me laugh out loud while reading, and cry, so much. My face is still wet with tears from the last chapter. You don’t have to be a geeky, bookish, former pantry hider, and writer, working on saying yes to something or anything, like Ms Rhimes (and myself) to LOVE this book. This tome is for anyone, male or female, ready to vicariously experience saying YES to more joy and love (while outgrowing the old patterns of behaviour, default positions, and self sabotage that formerly blocked it). So glad that I bought this for Kindle, instead of checking it out of the library, as each few chapters of reading was like an energy shot to my being. This will be my go to book inspiration to reread and reread as, more and more, I practice saying YES to what I love!

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I purchased this kindle book for a book club I am in. I was previously unaware of Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland, and most of the TV shows she writes. I watched the first 3 seasons of Gray's Anatomy, and then drifted away. I had heard of her other shows, but never seen them. I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book, but the premise seemed valuable, so I read the first chapter, which is available for free on the kindle. I was impressed, so I purchased the book. It is well written, easy to read, and has valuable lessons for business or daily/home life. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I was recommending it to family and friends, even before I finished it. My sister started reading it, and being a fan of Rhimes' shows, told me that there are many references in the text to these shows, like little inside jokes. I didn't get those, but didn't feel left out, due to the writing style. Also, now that I am finishing the book, I actually want to watch her shows now - I want to catch up with Gray's (which will take forever, considering how long it's been on) and start the others. Her passion and hard work are obvious and believable. I felt this book to be honest, inspiring, and a valuable memoir of a hard-working woman dealing with her job, family, her success, and herself. I highly recommend it.

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I have never watched a Shonda Rhimes show but I had heard so many great things about this book and when it went on sale I decided to give it a shot. This book for me was amazing! Yes Shonda is unapologetic about her accomplishments and her suburban upbringing. She never tries to downplay her brilliance or her fortune. What she does do is let us know that in spite of all of these things, she is still a woman finding her way after experiencing a first of it's kind success. Finding her way from behind the scenes to the forefront in HollyWeird. After one no turned into another and another, she loses herself. And after having an ephiphany with her sister, she decides to go on a journey to say yes for an entire year to everything that scared her. This was Shonda's year of yes and it was the most transformative year of her life. I could identify with this book a LOT even tho our lives are nowhere near similar. I hate that I don't watch her shows because I didn't get a lot of her analogies to her shows. I'm glad I read this book and for me it was very empowering. YES it was.

Product Info

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 10, 2015)
Language: English
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,663 customer reviews

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