Review│Yes Please

Yes-Please-AudioAuthor: Amy Poehler // First published:  January 2014 // Genre: Non-Fiction // Get it @TheBookDepository
This edition: 7 h 31 min (unabridged), published in October 2014 by Harper Audio // Get it @Audible

Read in April 2015

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you’re invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents – Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

Also included? A one-night-only live performance at Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.

While listening to Yes Please, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Don’t miss this collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers. Offering Amy’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz”, the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs” – Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by.

My thoughts

Let me just start by saying that I don’t watch SNL regularly (I’ve seen a couple episodes in the past, but I’ve never really been into it —plus not living in the US does not help), and I have not seen one episode of Parks and Recreation. So… I was familiar with Amy Poehler, of course, I’ve seen her host the Golden Globes with Tina Fey, but let’s just say that I was not familiar with her work.

I decided to listen to this audiobook on a whim. Between reading The Goblin Emperor and listening to The Goldfinch (yes still, since March 7th!), I needed something “light and fluffy”, or at least a little bit funny. Well I was not disappointed, let me tell you that!

I had seen BookTube reviews of the book in which the main criticism was the fact that the chronology was not linear, that Amy jumped back and forth from present to SNL years, to pre-school plays, to her improv years, etc. I had a similar experience reading Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg, and maybe it was because I listened to Yes Please, but the chronology thing did not bother me all that much. The tricky parts for me were when she was talking about US comedy stars that I know nothing about, so understanding why meeting such-and-such was so important in her life/carreer was a little complicated for me.

I absolutely loved the honesty of this book. It really feels like she doesn’t hold anything back. She talks very unapologetically about sex, drugs, childbirth, and a couple other topics that people usually avoid because they are afraid of what people might think of them if they tell the truth about their experiences. Either Amy doesn’t give a damn, or it was just something very cathartic for her that felt good to get off her chest or something. I’m gonna go with: she doesn’t give a shit what you think, this is her book about her life, she’s gonna tell you about anything she wants, whether you like it or not.

I also really enjoyed the fact that she invited some people to read parts of her book, like Seth Meyers reading the chapter he wrote, her parents talking about her when she was a child and the philosophy with which they tried to bring up Amy and her brother, Mike Shur talking about working with Amy on Parks&Recs, etc. I was a little more confused as to the necessity of having Kathleen Turner and Patrick Stewart say one line here and there, but okay.

The last chapter of the book was recorded in front of an audience, and not only is it probably the funniest chapter of the book, hearing it with an audience reacting to it was just awesome.

My rating:

All around, I loved this! 4/5 stars. I’m taking one star down for the references I didn’t know (which isn’t fair, I know, since it’s my own fault); but really, this was great! I’m now considering buying a hard copy of it so that I can see the pictures and re-reading some of the “deepest” chapters (she has an incredible view on the world and it was really refreshing and interesting to hear it).

Also, I have troubles sleeping. Really. But thanks to this, now on the nights insomnia hits me in the face, I can say to myself “Amy Poehler has it worse!”. I don’t know how the poor woman even stands, apparently she is incapable of sleep.

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