Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Yes Please" Book Review

As a parent and as someone working full time, I don't get a whole lot of me time anymore. One thing I still like to indulge in is reading books, but because my time is valuable I only read books I know I will enjoy now. If I'm not digging a book after a chapter it gets booted, I just don't have time to waste on poorly written crap (looking at you Stephen King). So when Birchbox gave me the opportunity to read and review Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, all I could say was YES PLEASE!!

I am a big fan of her not only for her comedic presence but for the good work she does encouraging women. She also just flat out seems like a super cool gal that I'd love to chill and have coffee with. Now because it's been Thanksgiving and now the Christmas season I've had very little time to read it. Swear to god, there were three days where if I picked the book up some sort of emergency would happen and suck up all of my down time. I'm about a fourth of the way through it right now so this will not be a complete book review, but more of my impression of it so far.

The book reads really well, I can actually imagine her sitting down and saying something very similar if she was telling those stories to a friend. The easy readability also makes it really easy to pick it up, read a few pages, go deal with whatever work crisis just happened, then get back into reading it without having to back track and pick up the mood again. And I'm actually enjoying reading the book in chunks surprisingly, it gives me time to really mull over what I read and decide how I feel about it. This is not a book you should read all in one chunk. Enjoy it like a cup of warm tea, sipped as you relax your mind.

Each chapter deals with a theme rather than a specific time period in her life, which I found refreshing and more personable. Autobiographies and biographies in general tend to be really linear in nature and to be honest can be rather dry and stuffy depending on the person being profiled. Yes Please keeps things lighthearted and fresh, even during the chapter dealing with her divorce from Will Arnett. There is no sense of "I'm famous and better than you", though she does name drop quite a bit. The name dropping is probably the only thing that irks me about the book, more often than not it really isn't relevant to the story she's trying to tell so it just felt cumbersome. I may find other things I dislike as I read more, but so far this is it for my "things that irk me" list (which is you read my Gillian Flynn review you know can get quite long).

Some chapters had me laughing so hard people were staring, while others had me trying not to cry. My favorite chapter is actually the one that made me almost cry at work. Her personification of that inner voice we all have that tells us we aren't good enough or pretty enough really struck home with me, and I think it is a chapter everybody should read, especially young girls. Society can be so cruel and can beat into our heads that if we don't fit this particular image we aren't "blank" enough. Without getting into to much personal details I grew up in a very body unfriendly environment and had such extreme self confidence issues among other things that sometimes I'm amazed I function as well as I do currently. As the book puts it, my demon moved in and demanded the top bunk. So I found the chapter very poignant and easy to relate to, which is what a biography should strive to do.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of SNL, Amy Poehler herself, successful women, improv comedy, and those who may want to use someone else's words to form a mirror in which to really look at themselves. I greatly look forward to continuing reading it, though with how hectic this month has been already I have a feeling I'll still be working on it come January.

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