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  • Year of Yes

  • How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
  • By: Shonda Rhimes
  • Narrated by: Shonda Rhimes
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (375 ratings)

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Year of Yes cover art

Year of Yes

By: Shonda Rhimes
Narrated by: Shonda Rhimes
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Publisher's Summary

2017 Audie Award Finalist for Audiobook of the Year

The megatalented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder chronicles how saying yes for one year changed her life - and how it can change yours, too. 

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the ubertalented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say no when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. 

And there was the side benefit of saying no for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear. 

Then Shonda's sister laid down a challenge: Just for one year, try to say yes to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed - and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life - and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes. 

©2015 Ships at a Distance, Inc. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"What makes this such a powerful audiobook is that, behind her colloquial language and assertive style, you can appreciate the work it took for someone this shy to begin making public appearances and to perform this excellent inspirational audio." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Year of Yes

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I couldn't stop listening!

What did you like most about Year of Yes?

I loved the way she presented such a deep vulnerable message. It was a wake up call for me and I'm totally inspired by it.

What did you like best about this story?

It was raw. It's a true representation of the vulnerability of being comfortable with ourselves.

Which character – as performed by Shonda Rhimes – was your favourite?

Her defiant resistance is something I could seriously relate to.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was like she was speaking about me not to me. It was a wake up call and I could totally relate so at times I was shocked and stunned and others I was feeling inspired and empowered.

Any additional comments?

I thank Shonda for sharing this journey with us and presenting it in such an entertaining way that you can't help but accept the messages she is telling us. Loved it!

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Repetitive drivel from an entitled workaholic.

I struggled to finish this. The concept and title sounded enticing, and this was my reason for purchasing. However, discovering this author also wrote Grey's Anatomy explained a lot of my irritation as I detest that show, and always found the main female character infuriating.

Summary: Wildly successful and overachieving woman gets really busy with work and kids and starts going out socializing again. She then attaches inflated, trite, philosophical tenets to this change in lifestyle by endlessly repeating herself and trying to be witty.

Terrible. Awful. Don't bother.

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Say YES to this book

I loved this book. I feel like Shonda is my friend. I spent the last 30 minutes listening in my car driving and smiling like an absolute idiot ear to ear. Shes obviously an incredible writer, but shes also an awesome orator and a really cool person. The book is fantastic and I would go as far to say the audiobook is even better.

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An uplifting listen

A book full of Shonda’s big beautiful personality disguised as a self help book. I just love books that are narrated by the author. If you love Becoming, Michelle Obama, you will love this.

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Great writer but boring content

She is a very good and definitely can write a hell long story of anything - even boring things. I thought the book is about how she faced and overcame real challenges but nope, it’s about how difficult it is to say yes to self care and be social and talk more to people. I got to chapter 6. The whole chapter is about how hard it is say yes to hiring a nanny because she wants to be a proud mum who brings up good kids herself but she couldn’t and doesn’t like to be seen as one who relies on nanny. First world problems. I skipped to some chapters but couldn’t found any good stories. Disappointing

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Amazing and insightful

Loved this book! So vulnerable and raw, and it gave me a deeper understanding of her incredible characters. There were parts that were so brilliant I had to pause and re-listen.

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I thought I knew all my Yeses

But Shonda Rhimes taught me there were more yeses to say. Yes, to play. Yes, to me. Yes, to writing my own story.

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Yes!!!

What is there left to say???
Yes!!!
Brilliant book. Written as wonderfully as everything else she writes.
Love that it’s narrated by Shonda herself. I really feel like we’ve spent quality time together and I’m better for the experience

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Amazon

A fabulous story and very thought provoking. Shonda raises a number of issues that will resonate with women of all ages.

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  • J
  • 24-03-2022

yes.... I loved it

be kind to yourself and listen to Shonda's fascinating insight on turning herself towards the sun.... brilliant stuff.

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  • Gary
  • 30-11-2015

Began well, but disappointing

What disappointed you about Year of Yes?

I liked the idea the book is based upon, but after the first few chapters, it became more about her life as opposed to the idea of saying YES; besides, simply saying yes to accepting awards and attending parties with celebrities, is a little difficult to relate to.

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  • Andrea Inouye
  • 05-12-2015

Say YES to reading this book!

I have been a long time admirer of Shonda and her work and this book is one more thing to add to that list. She is amazing, she is more than just her talents she is an inspiration. This book came to me at a time when I was having severe self doubt. I knew my life was no where close to the path that I always thought it would be on but I did not know how to change. I was just sinking deeper into a pit of pain, anguish, desperation and hate. The first day I started listening I got half way through the book, I walked for miles just listening. Each day I felt myself getting stronger, I observed areas of my life I wanted to change. I started a journal to track my progress and thought of steps I could take to reach my goals.

This book to me was the kick in the butt I needed to realize my own strength which I lost after getting kicked down a few times. I retreated from life, I stopped trying. For me making excuses was much easier than doing something. I'm still getting knocked down but he difference is I'm still trying, I will forever try my best for ME!

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  • ccreads
  • 20-02-2016

Best 7 Hours Listening to an Audio Book Ever!

What made the experience of listening to Year of Yes the most enjoyable?

Shonda adds so much personality to the narration. She's sassy, fun, and honest about struggling with the same doubts that we all have.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Year of Yes?

What I found most touching was the chapter about her weight/image problem and how she confronted it and took care of business--losing 127lbs!

What does Shonda Rhimes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Herself. Listening to the audio book was like sitting down with a girlfriend and a glass of wine to hear about her deepest fears and failures and how she overcame them and that you can too.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and I cried...

Any additional comments?

Listen to the audio book, even if you've already read the book. Shonda's narration adds so much more depth to the experience. And as an added bonus she includes recordings of three inspiring speeches she made during her "Year of Yes" experiment.

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  • Elle O
  • 18-11-2015

Excellent book!

I've never watched any of her television shows but she nailed this book and narration. Shonda keeps you engaged, she is funny, charming, and makes you want to say yes to everything. Well done....

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  • Jennie Ofstein
  • 11-11-2015

Like a Visit with an Old Friend

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

This book is fun, interesting, thoughtful and thought provoking. It feels like a visit from one of your old friends, and then ya kinda realize it maybe is. If you are a fan of Rhimes' work, then listening to this feels just like that! Then you remember that she is the person behind the characters you have loved for years and you can identify a little bit of her in every one of them. It's great. I found it very relatable and a enjoyable. I am not a book-mark user, but there were places I marked to make sure I shared with others.

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  • joand6
  • 20-02-2016

meh!

I think i got suckered into this book by the title which sounded really cool. This book has some good points, but is mostly just her story of her year, and it is very very long winded. I also felt it had a pretty strong political agenda, . i wouldn't listen to this book again. The book takes a really long time to get going. i kept thinking, when is she going to get to the point in her story.

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  • WildGoose
  • 13-11-2015

I wish there were more than five stars...

If I liked Shonda before, I love her now. Her journey of transformation is inspiring. But the best part about the Year of Yes, is that the actual live recordings of some of her speeches are terrific. One of the best audio book productions I have ever heard. In terms of "personal journey" books, Shonda leaves Liz Gilbert in the dust. Thanks Shonda.

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  • Violet Trout
  • 11-11-2015

Vulnerability

I've just finished listening and I feel rather indicted because I so identify with so many of her challenges, her questions of self. As I listened, especially the last few chapters, I too felt I needed to ask many of the same profound questions. I've had a year of sometimes yes, and I too found profound gifts. Perhaps it time to open myself to more yeses!
It was lovely to hear the flower of Shondra open into a full bloom. I'm certain her continued search will create a vast garden of joyous love for her and hers! Thank you for your vulnerable sharing !

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  • Cissy S
  • 26-11-2015

Amazing book and well read

Loved the book! Made me feel like she was the best friend I needed to push me be the best me!

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  • GPA
  • 29-11-2015

GREAT READ!

Inspirational read for all people. I laughed out loud often, as she spins the story of saying yes. Shonda is a great narrator, and paints a revealing portrait of her struggles, background, and transformation. Her story definitely is a page turner. You will enjoy this read!

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  • Mrs. E. J. Gibson
  • 09-06-2016

Life changing

I'm starting this again immediately. I don't know how to describe how I've been feeling listening to this book, but it has changed the way I am, with everything and everyone.

I loved it so much I bought a hard-copy to highlight and keep with me. I bought copies for my friends.

I'm saying yes to being the best me I can be and thank you Shonda.

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  • Angie
  • 04-12-2015

Fantastic!

Where does Year of Yes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book has got to be my favourite audiobook I have listened to this year.

What does Shonda Rhimes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Shonda Rhimes completely draws you in from the very beginning of this book. I expected to be taken on a journey by a very accomplished storyteller and I was not disappointed! Shonda's unique brand of wit, humour and personality comes across fantastically on audio, which made me so glad I chose to listen rather than read. I became completely immersed in her story, I laughed, cried and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. An inspired book, that I cannot recommend highly enough!

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  • Jo
  • 17-01-2016

Just like listening to Scandal written by Oprah

I've really tried, but just can't do it! Sounded like sort of topics I'd be interested in by the creator of shows I like... but her way of repeating her sentiment at least 3 times over without any genuine personal insight gets really tiring very quickly. No thanks.

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  • Karen Currie
  • 15-05-2016

Life-changing

What other book might you compare Year of Yes to, and why?

I had just listened to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic when I listened to this - what a powerful combination - highly recommend you do both!!

What about Shonda Rhimes’s performance did you like?

Shoeda's enthusiasm and no nonsense attitude are amazing

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  • b
  • 12-03-2020

Not for me

Only listened to an hour and half, found it annoying and repetitive. Took over an hour to finaly get to the point that her plan is to say yes to everything (the build up seemd uneccessary and irrelevant). Apparently her "superpower is being great at telling story's".... Shame this one wasn't great.

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  • Rebelle
  • 18-05-2016

If you're looking for inspiration, this is it!

Would you consider the audio edition of Year of Yes to be better than the print version?

As Shonda herself narrates the story, you get a much better feel for her as a person. Plus you get the added bonus of listening to her live speeches, as she spoke them, much more effective than reading the words on the page.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I fell in love with Shonda, I identify with her. I am completely inspired by her year of yes, thinking. She is honest, firm but fair, sassy and frequently hilarious. It's like a friend you never knew you had, telling you a story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed how she laid it all bare for us. No fear of judgement. Here I am, this is my story, take it or leave it.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Visiting Shondaland is a must for women everywhere!

Any additional comments?

Brilliant, brilliant book will listen to it over and over

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  • jjdd
  • 10-01-2019

So American and cheesy

I found it really hard to take this seriously - it’s just very American and cheesy.

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  • TheZee
  • 29-02-2016

Absolutely Brilliant

Shonda Rhimes' candour is enthralling. She reads with verve. Her back story is a wonderful retinue of events that really made me respect her stance. I learnt a lot about this woman who has become a legend.

This book has called me to say "YES" to whatever presents itself in my life. This book and everything about it is absolutely brilliant.

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  • Lindessa
  • 19-01-2016

What a great book to listen to!

Powerful, book. Shonda talks about issues she has, that we all have and helps you understand how it to overcome. She writes in a witty laugh out loud way. I will definitely listen again!!!

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  • Susan Stretton
  • 04-12-2015

Wow.

The recommendation for this book was from
Brene brown. I'm so glad I listened to it on audible. I love shonda's voice. I love the book. I've recommended it to anyone who will listen.

I am now hooked on greys anatomy!

What an inspiring woman. Thank you for writing the year of yes.

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