Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Literary Ladies Year of Yes + Next 2 Books

Hold on to your hats, there is a lot of information in today's post. There is also a free book, basically, so yay! Who doesn't like free things?

First off, our March book was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I tried to condense my review but seriously I had too many thoughts and words.


I LOVED this book.

I have been watching Grey's Anatomy since the beginning. I did get into Scandal for a bit there, but then fell off the wagon because I really dislike Fitz and it seemed like it was going that way and excuse me Scott Foley is way cuter.. Okay, not the point. Point is - I know who Shonda Rimes 'is' but um, I was never particularly interested in reading this book. I had no desire to learn more about her. At all. If you had asked me to pick her out of a line up, I couldn't have. I knew nothing about her except that she wrote one of my favourite shows and killed a lot of my favourite characters.

So, don't you love when expectations are blown out of the water?

If you are looking to read this to learn more about Greys, Scandal or whatever, or if you are hoping to be a writer or a TV show writer, you might be disappointed. I saw a few reviews that people thought she was egotistical or bragging, and she wouldn't get to the point, or didn't talk about her shows enough. Here's the thing, though. This book isn't your typical memoir type book, it's not about the person exactly. It's about more than that, in my opinion.

If you think this is the book that will get you off the couch and be a doer, realise your dreams or be your own person - I don't know if it will, it might, but I don't know. I'm not really one to be inspired by books exactly, I might feel inspired in the moment but it doesn't normally last long enough for me to do something. I'm inspired other ways. But it might inspire you.

I got teary so many times with this book. Why, you ask? Did she talk about Lexie, or 'pick me, choose me, love me'? No, she didn't.


This book didn't inspire me. I'm trying to find the right word, the best one I can come up with is validate. It made me feel validated.

Many moons ago, I was a negative unhappy person, surrounded by negative unhappy people, destined to live a negative, unhappy, boring, pointless life. I don't have a pivotal point like Shonda that turned it around for me, and it was a long time before I could look back and see how far I'd come. Sometimes I am still negative, but I am not unhappy.

I didn't have a year of yes. I didn't have a fear to overcome. I didn't have to tell myself to say yes to things because I've never had a problem doing that. I've also never had a problem saying no to things. My problems were allowing myself to be a shitty person surrounded by shitty people, and not accepting me for who I was. That's why I loved this book.

One of my favourite parts:


Shonda has some issues with friends not being who she thought they were, they weren't happy with her success or positive changes, she had basically created fictional versions of these friends - I think perhaps we've all been there. I was a super negative, bitchy, unhappy person and when I decided to change and try and be a better me, I had a friend who hated that. She just could not stand to let me change.It's like when you lose weight, some crappy people will try and sabotage you to feel better about themselves. Our friendship ended badly, and it hurt, but I walked out of it stronger and more sure of myself.

I know this is a bit rambly, but that's what I am talking about. You don't need a year of yes, saying yes to invitations or learning how to say no. You need to learn how to say yes to yourself. Everyone is different. What works for you doesn't work for me. Instead of trying to change to match someone else, instead of discounting our own happiness because we don't want to make someone else feel bad, instead of feeling like you should be doing this or that and if you aren't, you're wrong - instead of all that, be sure of yourself, who you are and what you want.

Whether that is some awesome TV writer, a CEO, the next president of the US, or it might just be some weird Australian living in Kentucky with her husband and 3 cats. If you'd told her 15 years ago that she'd only have 3 friends and would not care at all about pleasing other people, she'd have laughed - actually, she'd probably have cried and asked how she could make it better, how to make people like her, how could she change... I hate that.

I wouldn't change anything, because I am who I am, yadi yadi yada, but I hate that I hated myself because there were people who didn't like me. I tried to be who I thought they wanted me to be, and when they still didn't like me, I hid. It's so much easier to ignore people than it is to try and convince them to like you. Eventually, I learned to like myself, and that is enough. I don't care if you don't like me, and I don't mean that in a mean way. I'd love for you to like me, but not at the expense of myself.

I said Yes to myself, and that is why this book blew me away, not because of good TV shows or how Shonda turned her life around. It's because I felt validated. The book didn't validate me, it just helped me feel validated, if that makes sense. My past, my now and my future. It doesn't have to work for you, it doesn't have to be your happy ending.




Moving right along...

Our April book will be The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry.

From Amazon:  Natalie is a teenager on the cusp of growing up in this romantic/sci-fi story of love in a small town. Her adoptive parents believe that preparing to leave for college may be to blame for the recurrence of "visitations" they thought therapy had put an end to. However, when Natalie meets Beau, an attractive boy she's never seen before, she must rush to uncover the truth behind the visitations and her new ability to slide between two realities in order to save him. While the romance and sci-fi aspects will feel reminiscent of many other teen novels, an original plot and likable characters will win over readers. The author weaves in elements of Native American folktales that give the novel impressive depth for a debut effort. Complicated family relationships and complex coming-of-age emotions will offer young adults much to relate to. 


Sigh, pretty covers get me every time.

We will be discussing  The Love That Split the World on the 3rd of May.




Also, a special announcement. Our May book will be Exposure to a Billionaire by Ann Menke.

From Goodreads: Exposure to a Billionaire is a fictional account based on author Ann Menke's twenty-five-year-plus career as a corporate flight attendant. She takes readers on an adventure spanning the globe and gives them an inside look into the world of flying the rich and famous. Get ready for the heroine, Anna St. James, to take off on a fast-paced journey into the exclusive club of private airplanes, yachts, exotic travel, and greed, while trying to stay true to herself. 




The author is giving away free copies of this book to all book club members - in ebook or paperback form, your choice. Just fill out the google form below, let me know if you have any issues. 


If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out in Google Forms.

Exposure to a Billionaire ARC

For the Literary Ladies Book Club May selection
* Required

    What is your name? *

    What is the URL of your blog (if you have one)?

    Would you prefer an eBook or paperback copy? *


    Please provide either your email address or physical address so we know where to send the book. *

    Never submit passwords through Google Forms.


Please note that we won't be chatting about this one until the 7th of June, we just wanted to post about it now to give you all plenty of time to request your copy of the book!

If you read Year of Yes we'd love to hear your thoughts or have you link up with us.


40 comments:

  1. I'm totally a sucker for a pretty cover too! Glad you liked Year of Yes! Is it bad (or just sad) I didn't know who Shonda Rhimes was? Yeah, I thought so... <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. I've always been a sucker for a pretty cover - it was my biggest downfall as a book blogger! I really want to read Shonda Rhimes' book. It sounds…deep…not something I would have really expected!

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  3. Um, amen sister. Scott Foley is wayyyyyy cuter! I've got this book on my list of books to read but haven't quite made it to it yet... I will soon I hope!

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  4. Both of those books sound super intriguing! I really liked your summed-up thought about Year of Yes & your own personal attitude: "I'd love for you to like me, but not at the expense of myself." I think that's really what it's all about :)

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  5. Ooh, I really like the message/vibe of Year of Yes! I am adding it to my reading list because I feel like every few months I need to read something along those positive lines to keep my head in the right place. What you said (echoing what Shonda said) about people not wanting other people to change for the better...so true.

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  6. Scott Foley is the ish! Also after completing this book last night, I understood you and Kari's POV so much more. I loved it, I really did and Im gonna give it a re-read this weekend when I have time to dedicate just to the book!

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  7. Shonda's book is next on my list! Glad you enjoyed-- I've heard great things! Make today work, Rachel -CubicleCouture

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  8. So, so, so, so glad the book validated you and your feelings and who you are. We've talked before about having toxic people suck the life from you and it's no fun. When you don't play their 'everything is negative and oh my gosh the world sucks' game they try and make things even worse. Telling someone no I can't be your friend anymore is never easy or nice, but knowing it's making a BETTER difference in your life is what living is all about. I'll put this book on my list to read, thanks for sharing your honest opinions as always.

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  9. I just reserved the first book on Overdrive so hopefully it will be available in time for me to participate! Love reading your reviews :)

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  10. LOVE your reviews! I know you have your own linkup, but I host Bookworm Wednesday on the first Wednesday of every month if you'd like to join :)

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  11. I did not get a chance to read this month's book but I may double back because I can totally relate to the message!

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  12. UGH. I KNEW the name Shonda Rhimes sounded so familiar to me. Duh. This sounds like something I could really relate too. I went through a rough year or so a while back & actually just sort of cut myself off from everyone. I stopped saying yes to anything. Friends were trying to be there for me, but I wouldn't let them. It really took getting back to saying yes to things & people for me to snap out of it.

    Don't know if I'll have time to join up for the next one, put book on hold, read book, review book. But, I'll see what I can do. I love this concept!

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  13. YAY! I am so excited to know two books in advance, and to get a paperback ARC copy! Woohoo! We'll see how quickly I can get the April one! Either way, it looks like I can participate in May! :) I finally got Year of Yes a week ago... so I haven't had time to read it yet. I did lock it onto my ipad though, so I expect to read it on the planes as we hit SF next week! :) Glad to hear you liked it so much! I can definitely relate to feeling like that as far as negativity goes, and surrounding yourself with good people. Really looking forward to reading it now! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  14. OK - help me out - I'm slow - are you doing both books for next time - or The love that split the world first & then the other book after? Both books sound so interesting to me

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  15. Well, I definitely need to add Year of Yes to my reading list - I love how you recognized that it made you feel validated rather than inspired. That's a great way to put it. And, I'm so glad that you're finally in a good place and not surrounded by jerks - I know the feeling, and it's not a good one. So excited for Exposure to a Billionaire - how fun that we can get a free copy! Wee!

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  16. I completely 100% agree with everything you said about The Year of Yes. You are spot on! I'm also a sucker for a pretty cover so don't feel bad about it:)

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  17. This book is on my TBR but I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm weird about my nonfiction and ones like this usually get pushed all the way down and forgotten about. I've done it with Brene Brown's books, too.

    Thanks again for agreeing to use Ann's book. I know she's really excited about it!

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  18. I didn't make it off of the hold list at the library for this one, but I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it. It sounds like the kind of read I need. I'm also really excited to read Exposure to a Billionaire. It sounds like such a fun read! Off to see if my library has a copy of The Love that Split the World!

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  19. I seriously just ran out of time this month in order to read Year of Yes, but it sounds like such a good book! I love that it focused on saying yes to you as a person, and that you can choose to get away from all of the negative people that drag you down. That's awesome that the May book is free, and The Love That Split The World sounds very interesting!

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  20. I loved the book too, Kristen. It just resonated so strongly with me in every way. From saying "no" to everything, to living in my imaginary world to saying yes to my fatness. And a BIG YES to "my happy ending is not the same as your happy ending" I think I literally shouted "yes" when I read that because it so simple and true, but I get stuck on pleasing others or wondering if people will judge me poorly if they knew the real me. Like you, I tried to be the person everyone wanted me to be and I got really good at pretending to be her, but I was screaming inside. I've been shedding the skin of unreal Tanya, which is both very liberating and terrifying. But it's books like this, that (to steal your world) validate my decision.

    I just added The Love that Split the World to my book list this past weekend! I'll just bump it up priority-wize. It looks really good. And that is so awesome that we can get a copy of Exposure to a Billionaire for free - thank you!

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  21. The Year of Yes sounds like a good book! I'm glad you felt validated while reading it! How fun that y'all are offering the May book for free, and I have been wanting to read The Love that Split the World!

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  22. I think I have the Year of Yes on my to-read list so I hope I get to it soon! I love joining in book clubs but I have this thing about deadlines ... not sure I'll finish them in time but I will certainly try! And free books? Well, who can pass that up? :) Thanks for giving me more titles to add to my list. I'm going to have to quit my job soon so I can have enough time to read everything I want to ...

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  23. Thanks for the chance to read that book - filled out the form! I really like your review Year of Yes, I like a book that get's me motivated!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  24. I have to be honest, I haven't been that inclined to read Year of Yes, but your review definitely changed my mind. The Love that Split the World sounds interesting - I just put it on hold at the library, but if it doesn't come in soon, I might even break down and purchase it *gasp*. And Exposure to a Billionaire sounds great! Definitely count me in for that one :)

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  25. Ohhh I totally like the message of this book and my goodness could I relate to that passage you shared about toxic people not like when another unhappy person becomes happy. So related to that!!! I love Greys, Scandal, all of her shows! Ummmm a free book???? Sign me up, please and thanks!!!

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  26. I've heard a lot of good things about the Year of Yes! I'll have to read that one soon. I loved your thoughts on it! Also.. Exposure to a Billionaire sounds interesting too! I've always been intrigued by the life of flight attendants haha I don't know why.

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  27. Oh I am adding Year of the yes to my reading list right now! that sounds RIGHT up my alley! Thanks for sharing! and free boo?! yes please!

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  28. I'm so glad you are in such a great place with who you are today! I know I've said this before, but I just love that about you. Year of Yes definitely sounds like a good read!

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  29. Year of Yes sounds amazing! Adding it to my reading list!

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  30. Your review is making me read Shonda's book even more, I'm a lover of Grey's too, but hardly know much about her besides she makes all these TV shows. Also yes to pretty book covers, gets me everytime!

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  31. How awesome...I'd love to read the book if I can get a copy (getting my hands on books to read is more work than actually reading them for some reason).

    And I'm not a fan of Shonda Rhimes, but I'm sure she's had friendship issues, simply because she had so much success.
    I AM kinda liking her new show though...

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  32. This sounds very interesting and definitely inspiring! I love that quote about happy and unhappy people...it is so true! I just reviewed My Year with Eleanor on my blog last week, and that was a similar inspiring memoir!

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  33. Year of Yes is on my TBR and I'm all about free books. Signed up and ready to go!

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  34. Okay I don't have the mental energy right now to verbally fist-bump you as much as I want to, but I wanted to tell you I love this and I'm happy you started saying YES to yourself. Putting this book on my TBR too.

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  35. Hooray for awesome reads! I feel like I need to read Year of Yes, even though I'm currently in the middle of a year of no (because I'm someone who is always saying yes because I hate disappointing people and love being able to help) and trying to find the perfect balance, haha!

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  36. Exposure of a billionaire sounds interesting! I entered for the free book! Yay! Thank you! As I was filling out the form I realized that since I'm moving I should probably put my mom's address... Gosh moving stinks! Lol.

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  37. Ohhh you sold me on reading year of yes! i had it on my library hold list, but was like number 5 so I knew I would never get it in time, so I took it off. The cover of the love that split the world is sooo pretty and I was a little bit unsure when you said sci-fi, but it sounds really good & yay for a book giveaway for the may book-- that sounds like a fun one!

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  38. I think Year of Yes will be the first book I pick up once I get through the 12 I already set for myself to read this year. It does sound really relatable and kind of inspiring!

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  39. So...I really love this review. I think I'm still climbing out of that stage of shittiness and feeling bad for not being liked. But it's weird because I didn't used to care. It's like I started to care more the older I got and now I'm moving away from that again. I love everything you have to say in this post. Each person's happy ending is different, and they can only get to it if they "say yes" -- completely -- to who they are. I really wish I could meet you in person. I think we'd be pals. Great post, yo.

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    1. oh no, i hope you are able to stop caring again soon because it really does suck and drags you down. aw absolutely, me too! maybe one day i will visit and then we can be real life pals haha

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