Summer Book Review: Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”

“Yes Please!”

I can think of some things I’d love to say that in response to. For example:

“Would you like to eat bread again?”

“YES PLEASE!” (More on that later…)

“Another margarita?”

“Yes please!”

“Do I need to leave you alone for an hour?”

“Yes please!”

I think Amy Poehler would say yes to all of those as well. (: However, I think she titled the book for a different reason entirely. She discusses how we as a society don’t really like to work for things. It’s “boring” to hear of how a comedian or an actor struggled SO hard for twenty years before really “making it”. We’d rather see instant fame, instant wealth, instant gratification. Sadly (and fortunately), life doesn’t work like that. Amy worked her butt off to be where she is today, so I think her title is from the fact that she, frankly, said yes to almost anything that came her way. And if you asked her, I believe she would say she’s thankful for the struggle. She would also probably brag to you about how rich she is now, which she does here & there in the book…hysterical!

I keep hearing this. In podcast interviews, books, articles…about how saying “yes” can really take you places. Now, sometimes you have to decide on your “Best Yes”, as Lysa TerKeurst says. You can’t say yes to everything, and you do need boundaries, but saying yes to things especially outside of your comfort zone can be quite rewarding and beneficial. Like this post right now, for example. I don’t know who will read it. I don’t know who it may benefit, but I’m doing it because it makes me happy, I want to write, and I love to read! So, why not? It also challenges me. So, here you go. I hope you enjoy & find things to say “Yes please” to.

I believe that Jesus, love, a good book, a fabulous outfit, & a strong cup of coffee can change the world. Sooooo, with that said, I’m kicking off this summer reading with Yes Please! I’d give it 4 1/2 stars.

Her book is divided into three parts, all with amazing titles. Each are mottos I’d love to be better at, and admire her for sharing: 1) Say whatever you want; 2) Do whatever you like; and 3) Be whoever you are. I’d love to be better at #3, especially, & my hope is that this blog will guide me along with that! I’ve done a lot of #2. While yes, it’s important to be yourself & make yourself happy, happiness can get you in a lot of trouble. I threw caution to the wind more than once and am sad to say I regret some of those times. Be wise. Be smart. Be happy, but also be discerning. Enough of the soapbox! Back to the book. (:

Funny. Sharp. Smart. Interesting. It hit every nail on the head except for (what I believe) to be a slow beginning. If you love Saturday Night Live, or simply comedy in general, you’ll love this! Amy gives top secret info about her time on the American Saturday night staple, as well as tidbits from other parts of her career. Which makes me now want to go binge watch Parks & Rec! If you’ve seen the whole series, comment below on why you love it! The way she also discusses her boys is how I hope to indulge in my own children one day. She is my spirit animal and now deemed Big Sister in the way she talks about needing her space from people. LoL. I really adore her writing – sometimes lyrical, sometimes simple – and appreciate hearing her point of view on heavy topics such as marriage, family, jobs vs. careers, and childbirth. Yes, that last one was probably my favorite. R.I.P. to her old Italian doctor who told her to “drink one or two glasses of red wine a night” while pregnant! Ha!

She has a chapter where she discusses what she may be like at 90 years old. She gives a list of “one-liners” that she may say to other people when she’s 90. I love this list. Some include: Stop complaining (and she repeats this like 5 times). “Relax and let her win. Who cares?” She also repeats “Who cares?” about 5 times. I really appreciate this advice because as women, we can be so passively and snarkily competitive. It really doesn’t matter. What are we trying to win? I love how she roots for other women. A phrase she repeats often throughout the book is “Good for her! Not for me.” I need this in my regular vocabulary. Again, we can be judgey & competitive. BUT, what if we took this approach instead? We’re not always going to like what other people (especially women) do, but why can’t we just say this instead? We can’t change people. So practice saying “Good for her! Not for me.” I think we may just change the world with that one.

I just loved her SNL chapters because I’ve always grown up fascinated with that show. I loved hearing how everything works & all of her celebrity stories. What I really admired was how Lorne, producers & directors all supported her two pregnancies and encouraged her to still participate. It was refreshing to see Hollywood support life and not spare women a role just because of our bodies being “on hold” for 9 months+.

And finally, she gives you permission to be yourself & encouragement to not take anyone’s bull. She’s got inserts of funny, true & colorful quotes in the middle of the book. One being, “If it’s not funny, you don’t have to laugh.” I’m a victim of this. I make people feel better by laughing, when in reality, I’m being dishonest to who I am. It’s okay to not laugh, and it’s more than okay to be who you are. Lastly, she says to “Make ‘No’ a complete sentence.” Who’s an expert at this?? I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE!!! I was recently at a leadership workshop, and we were practicing having important conversations. One came up where a boss asked you to do something last minute, but you already had a full plate. When practicing, I was finally great at saying No! However, I didn’t bring any solutions or “Plan B’s” to the table. Now, I’m not always saying you need to bring solutions, but I thought this was a good alternative and is something I hopefully will do in the future.

So, folks, there you have it. My first book review, & how fun & enjoyable it was! I hope you’ll go out & read it. It was definitely more educational than I thought it would be, and Amy proves she’s not just funny or cute, she’s freakin’ smart. Who thinks she should have her own talk show?! Me! (:

Enjoy, and don’t forget to make your “Yes” be “Yes please!” and your “No” be “No!”


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