book report | yes please


So, I totally forgot that I said I was going to do reviews of the books I read from 2015 list. I finished Amy Poehler's Yes Please about a week ago and I'm just now getting around to telling you about it. Bad blogger! However, waiting paid off because now I get to write this review while watching this week's episodes of Parks and Recreation. Score.

Going Into It | Before opening the book, I had already heard a few things from friends and GoodReads. What I read again and again was that people were disappointed that the book didn't do XYZ -- whether it be provide advice, give inside dirt on surviving divorce, or be pee-yourself funny. I think it's cool to want a book that does these things in the end, but I feel like it's a lot to expect up front. People definitely have higher standards for Yes Please because they recognize Amy and feel like they know her from watching her shows and maybe even from things like Smart Girls. From my perspective, I knew there was a huge chance I'd love the book because I love Amy, but I don't feel like I let that make my expectations for the book outrageous or unrealistic.

The Book | Yes Please finds a really good balance between memoir of Amy the woman, Amy the comedienne, and Amy person we (think we) know. The sections about her early days in Chicago are so thrilling to read because you can feel her passion and drive. For people looking for a self-help-esque book, I'd say she does a good job of showing what it takes to succeed without beating you over the head with steps and commands. The sections about being a mom are (strangely?) my favorite. The ways she talks about her boys makes me want to write whole books of poems about stars and toes and blowing bubbles. She loves those nuggets so fiercely and the time she's spent with them at this age is so precious. I love that she's a strong working woman showing the time and love she gives so constantly to the two tiny loves of her life. I love that she also talks about sex and age and how those things go hand in hand in the best way possible. It made me excited to get sexier as I get older. I love when a book can make me feel things like this. 

As a fan, the best parts are where she talks about her BFFs Seth and Tina, as well as the cast of Parks. Holy crap that chapter about the cast of Parks had be bawling and I can't even tell you why. I really expected the stories with Tina to be both more frequent and more...emotional? Significant? They're great little anecdotes of course, but what I really took away from the book was the special connection she shares with Seth Meyers. As much as the book was about Sisterhood and being a woman in life and in comedy, it was also about a lot of Amy's relationships with men: Seth Meyers, Will Arnett, Matt Besser, her father, her sons. These were such intimate narratives in the book and in her life, and I so appreciated how close she let herself get when writing the book.

One more thing I want to mention about the book is that she spends quite a bit of time writing about writing. This is one of those things that makes me lovelovelove a book, so I was really into it. She wrote about writing the book and about writing comedy, both things I find impossibly interesting. However, I mention this because I know this probably isn't interesting to a lot of readers, specifically with as wide an audience as Amy has.

My Recommendation | The night I finished Yes Please, I opened my GoodReads app and rated the book five stars. I laughed, I cried, I did all the things that make me love a book. I went back a couple of days later and changed my rating to a 4, but I wish I could make it 4.5. I switched from 5 to 4 because even though I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it didn't change my life the way other books I've read recently have (see: Dear Sugar). I have a tendency to rank things really high because if I finish them it means I really enjoyed them. I wish I could rank things different kinds of five stars. Five stars for funny goes to Let's Pretend This Never Happened. Five stars for lighting a fire within me to Wild. Five stars for staying stuck in my head half a year after reading it goes to The Opposite of Loneliness. Anyway, you get the point.

With that said, I absolutely recommend Yes Please. I recommend it to people who want babies and people who don't, to people who follow comedy and people who like to laugh, to people who love Amy Poehler and people who love interesting women. If you fall into any of these categories, you're likely to like the book.

So there it is! My first book review of 2015! Your feedback is definitely encouraged so I can make these useful and interesting in the future if this one isn't. Have you read Yes Please? What did you think?


  1. I read "Yes Please" a while back and I feel like you hit every nail on the head! I spoke with some friends who complained that she didn't talk enough about her female friends like Tina and Rachel (Dratch) but I think that part of her life is so obvious and open to the public, whereas her friendship with Seth isn't or her relationship with her sons. She knew what she was doing when she was writing this book (even if she complained multiple times that she didn't), and it was just what it needed to be. I think it's unfair for people to have expectations of celebrities, especially when they open up about their personal lives in a memoir. I'm sure people wanted more detailed advice, wanted dirt on her ex-husband and probably even wanted her to drop more names (she did drop a lot), but that wasn't the point of this book for Amy - it was by her and for her, not for us, and that's what really matters.

    I wrote a review on the book too (although yours was so much better!):

  2. can't wait to read your review on my lunch break!

  3. Ahh I love this! Her book is def next on my list. I'm just waiting to borrow it from someone lol

  4. girl, I have had this on my "top book to read once I have free time" list and now I even want to read it even more. thank you for the great review!

  5. I have heard so many different things about this book that I just wasn't getting excited about reading it myself. You made it sound much more interesting and relatable than I was previously perceiving it to be, and now I am reconsidering it--for sure! I'm glad you remembered to do the review, and it was so in depth (in a very good way). I have been pretty bad about remembering to do mine so far, so thanks for the reminder as well haha.

  6. Best review for a book ever! This review has such passion! I NEED to read Yes Please! I love Amy and I have no doubt reading this book is going to make me love her even more! Thanks for the fantastic review!!

  7. Yay, I'm so glad you're doing this! This is definitely on my reading list for this year. I'm finding this year that I'm interested in reading a lot of self-helpy things more than I have been in the past. I guess I feel now that I'm out of school (finally) that it's time to figure shit out and become a student of life rather than school. I think I'll maybe (probably) listen to the audio book. Because I love to hear celebrities reading their own books. This review was awesome. Keep it up!


    P.S. I highly recommend Torch, Cheryl Strayed's first book. It's so well written and so real. Like the world she creates is three dimensional and real. It is an awesome, quiet, wonderful narrative.

  8. Thank you so much for your review, Nicole! I have rejuvenated my love of reading and I'm always looking for more book recommendations (especially from people who are so similar to you...). [PS. How can I find you on GoodReads? I just joined and I'm obsessed.] I loved reading your thoughts about the book and it makes me even more excited to read Yes Please myself! I've always been a huge fan of Amy's and everything I know about her at this point makes me so happy and want to get to know her as a person (not just a public figure). I feel like this book will help me get inside her head a little bit more! :)

  9. Thank you for this review! I'm not a huge fan of Amy Poehler's, but the way you described this book really made it sound like an interesting read. It's been added to my list now :)

  10. This was a fantastic review! I love the way you laid it out, and I am constantly inspired by your style of writing! Yes Please is absolutely at the top of my list (I'm kinda trying a book I've been meaning to read/book I want to read alternation by the month, so once I finish this month's book, I think Yes Please will be next!) I say, keep up the book reports!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

  11. Hi Nicole! I loved this review. So much that I mentioned it in my own review of Yes Please and linked it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'd love to hear more about what you're reading!



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