December 6, 2014

Book Review: "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler

Let me just say right off the bat - I love Amy Poehler. So I had high expectations for her memoir, Yes Please. I was sadly disappointed. A book that I thought I would finish in two short sittings like Tina Fey's Bossypants instead took me all month. Tina Fey's 272 page book felt like a feather compared to Amy's 329 page book. Thankfully it was broken up by pictures and fun quotes. It hops all over the place and I often found it tedious to read at times (confession: I skipped some chapters). As Dwight Garner said in his New York Times review "her heart wasn't in it."

I didn't want to write a scathing review because I love Amy. She's a great role model for women. Also, I've never written a book so who am I to judge? I just think this could have been a better opportunity to enlighten women like myself on how she got to where she is and earned the confidence she has. As she says several times throughout the book, writing a book is really hard so props to her for writing one. She does drop nuggets of advice, you just have to keep an eye out for them.

"There is a difference between determination and talent."

By page 222, she did get to some career advice. "Treat Your Career Like A Bad Boyfriend" was the title. She said getting famous is not as glamorous as many say it is. It took her 15 years before she got any kind of "break" in Hollywood. "Your career won't take care of you. It won't call you back or introduce to its parents... Your career will never marry you." She makes the distinction between being creative and having a career. "A career is the stringing together of opportunities and jobs. Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lots of financial uncertainly. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren't." So I'm learning from these women I love that they got that awesome "not giving a fuck" confidence by many years of hard work + time + success. So I'm a still a ways off...

"Ambivalence is key to success"

The people listening to the audiobook version seem to be enjoying it more. I think hearing her words in her voice would be the best way to enjoy this book. Perhaps I'll attempt to reread it again and perhaps enjoy it more. I am excited about my next read, Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. Been hearing many great things!

What are you reading?


  1. I was thinking of picking this up. I really enjoyed Mindy Kaling's book, if you want something similar.

  2. I actually just finished Lena Dunham's book. It was not great. It was well-written, because she's undeniably talented, but it was sort of all over the place. And it made me not like her very much. I know she doesn't care that I don't like her very much now, but I just don't.

  3. I love her so much, but felt the same way as you. Such a bummer. (My review will be on my blog tomorrow.) My sister got the audio book and still didn't really like it. She said Amy was a cutesy version of herself. I have Bad Feminist a few books down on my list!

  4. Awww, I'm sorry you were disappointed in this! As you know, I listened to the audiobook and I loved it. Now I really wonder if I would have liked it less if I read it first, instead of listening to it. I think I didn't mind the jumping around because it felt conversational- like she was telling me different little anecdotes from her life. If you do try the audiobook, I'd love to hear how they compared for you!


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