I was so excited when I first heard Amy Poehler was writing a book. I love Parks and Recreation, and I actually enjoyed Baby Mama. If it's not obvious, I am a huge fangirl.
As soon as Yes Please
was available, I put it on hold from the library. With the book in my hands, I tore through the entire thing in like 20 hours. So, what did I think?
Some parts of this book are great---there's a chapter on accepting yourself and your "currency" that is really inspiring. I also liked hearing about her relationship with Seth Meyers (did you know he went to two of her shows just as a fan before he ever met her?) and Mike Schur (creator of Parks and Rec). The writing is clear, and the graphic design work throughout the book is awesome.
The major flaw is that Amy Poehler's book is just not very personal. I came away knowing less about her and her life than from interviews she's done! I had learned more about the improv comedy scene and her role in it from the wonderful book, We Killed
. There's a ton of name dropping of who she was hanging out with at the time, but remarkably few stories of her life with these comedians.
Granted, Amy herself acknowledges multiple times she doesn't want "people knowing her shit", but it is surprising to me she even wrote a memoir in the first place then.
She mentions multiple times, too, how hard writing her book was, and I believe it. Many pages feel like filler (4 pages about directions for hospital staff or long lists about phones disconnecting us from reality) or setups for things that "had" to be in the book (spoilers: see the apology section and the divorce/Haiti chapter).
I know there will be a lot of 5 star reviews on this book, but it is (unfortunately) more of a 2.5-3 star book for me at best. A few laughs here and there, and a few interesting stories, but I think it is far away from the brilliant comedy writing in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
. I did finish Yes, Please quickly, but it wasn't reluctantly. I remember reading Mindy Kaling's book and hoping it would never end. With Yes, Please, I pushed myself to read the last 20 or so pages to see I wouldn't miss anything (I hadn't).
Overall, I would definitely recommend it if you are a huge Amy Poehler fan for the few inspirational tips and here, but otherwise I would pass.