Although I have not yet finished reading the Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes, I can confidently say this book has joined my list of favorite reads. It shouldn't come as a surprise; Ms. Rhimes is a dominant figure in television as the creator/writer of TV's biggest hits such as Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, How to Get Away with Murder through her production company ShondaLand.
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I was intrigued to learn how she'd come to achieve so much as a Black woman in Hollywood. However, the book is not autobiographical, although she does write about her life and upbringing, the book is mainly about her effort to commit to saying 'yes' for one single calendar year, hence the title, 'Year of Yes.' In other words, Shonda writes about leaving her introverted comfort zone to experience life as she describes, "in the sun." The challenge initiated when Rhimes tried desperately to impress her older sister by sharing details of invitations to various incredible events. She didn't quite get the reaction she was hoping for. Instead, her sister questioned whether she would actually accept any of these offers. This leads Shonda to the realization that she always says 'no' to just about everything simply because she had been afraid of showing her quirky, awkward, and shy character. Rhimes writes that she hired a publicist--get this-- so that she would never have to do any publicity. It's the craziest thing!
Contrary to Shonda's intricate plots displayed through her production, the book is written in simple English. I would describe it as being written in a format of having a conversation with a good friend. I felt as if I sat across from Rhimes at dinner while she told me stories. It's also laugh-out-loud hilarious, who would have thought, since Rhimes' best-known works are drama.
This book is not only funny and an easy read, but it's also inspiring. It encourages readers to try new experiences, even if it scares you. I highly recommend, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person.