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year of yes book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Shonda Rhimes is the mastermind behind popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. She’s created complex and bold characters like Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang–strong women that have encouraged their audience to live with passion and boldness. But in the Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Shonda admits what some would never believe: she’s an introvert!

Shonda’s story begins in Thanksgiving 2013 when her sister spoke these words to her: “You never say yes to anything”. This exchange set events in motion that Shonda could have never predicted. Her sister’s words challenged her to step out of her comfort zone; to make a commitment to saying yes to everything that terrified her for one year.

This memoir is equal parts poignant and hilarious, as Shonda takes readers on a journey through past, present and future. In her childhood, as the youngest of six, Shonda was a self-professed nerd, writing stories and creating characters at a young age. In the present, she’s a busy single mom trying to balance a successful career and life with her children. The book also follows her year of yes, from appearing on Jimmy Kimmel, giving a commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth, and prioritizing her health.

As expected, this book is full of wisdom, humor and lots of heart. As an introvert myself, I can relate to the fear of taking on new challenges. I also understand the difficulty of balancing work and family. Much like my favorite episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda’s book inspired me and motivated me to say yes in my own life, to live with passion and joy. If you are a fan of Shonda, you’re sure to love this very real, thought-provoking and fun memoir.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.