Rather than traditionally reading Yes Please, I listened to the audiobook instead; something I’d never done before. I was pleasantly surprised by my ability to comprehend what I was listening to and still focus on driving, so I’ll be doing more of this in the future. What a great way to spend those 40ish minutes in the car everyday!
I think listening to Yes Please rather than reading it helped me get into it a bit more. It was read by Poehler, with cameos from Seth Meyers, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart, and others. The conversations between them in the audio booth add to the imagery and fun of Poehler, and it helps the reader/listener understand Amy just a bit better. The epilogue was recorded live in front of a UCB audience in LA as well, so the live performance, with a real audience, was perhaps the best section of the book.
I gave Yes Please three stars out of five, not because I didn’t like it, because I did, but because I didn’t LOVE it like I thought I would. Of the Amy-Tina duo, Tina’s always been my homegirl. It’s not that I don’t find Amy funny, because I do, it’s just that to me, Tina is funnier. Then of course, there’s the two of them together, which is obviously the best combination ever. The Golden Globes will never be the same without them hosting. Maybe the Oscars, and every other award show, will swoop them up next?
Perhaps the reason I didn’t LOVE Yes Please was because it didn’t read as a comedy memoir, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?; instead, it read more like a self-help book. An at-times hilarious self-help book, but a self-help book nonetheless. There are chapters on divorce and how to cope with it, how to deal with being a working mother, and throughout the book she constantly inspires the reader/listener to “Say Whatever You Like,” “Do Whatever You Like,” and “Be Whoever You Are,” which are, coincidentally, the names of the three sections of her book.
Yes, there are tell-all moments about her time on SNL and Parks & Rec, her comedy upbringing with the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), and all the drugs she did, but you can tell her heart wasn’t in the book. In fact, she tells you in the prologue how hard writing the book was and how many times she wanted to chuck it and pay her editors back the advance they gave her. There were too many chapters that were tributes to her friends, too many namedrops, too much filler of lists and haikus and old letters.
For a forty-something working mother, particularly a divorced one, I’m sure this book is fantastic and inspiring, but for a 20-something engaged mother-only-to-animals, it just didn’t hit the mark.