Review | Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please is often laugh-out-loud funny and touchingly honest. If you’re already a fan of Poehler and her work, you’ll enjoy it very much. The rest of us will be entertained and amused, but will probably near the end itching to get back to some page-turning fiction.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler book cover

The blurb: In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

It can be too easy when reviewing an autobiography to review the person behind the book rather than the book itself. The following is not a review of Amy Poehler. If it were, I’d give her 5/5 stars for being a smart, witty and disarmingly frank person who has worked incredibly hard for well-deserved success.

I give Yes Please 3.5/5 stars. While overall it’s an enjoyable, interesting read, it’s also a bit ramshackle and uneven. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times sombre and serious, there is no clear through line giving this book structure.

Would I recommend Yes Please? It depends.

  • If you are a fan of Amy Poehler and her work then I would say “yes”. However: don’t expect this book to be consistently hilarious. She’s trying to be honest and share her experiences, as well as make you laugh.
  • If you, like me, only have vague notions of who she is, then I would say “yes” IF you have something else in common with her. At the time of publication she was 42 and a divorced, working mother of two young children. If you feel you can relate to any of those things then you will probably also enjoy this book. OR if you are interested in a career in improv comedy and want to find out how she worked damn hard to get to where she is now, this book may also be for you.
  • Otherwise, you may not find this book very interesting or entertaining. But remember, other opinions are available! 🙂

P.S. If you are a writer, I would encourage you to read the Preface to this book (borrow it from the library of you have to) in which Poehler bewails how hard writing a book is. I chuckled several times because she nails it:

“Most authors liken the struggle to writing to something mighty and macho, like wrestling a bear. Writing a book is nothing like that. It is a small, slow crawl to the finish line.”

Have you read Yes Please or any other autobiographical books recently? What did you think?

 Claire Huston / Art and Soul

8 thoughts on “Review | Yes Please by Amy Poehler

    • I think it would be wonderful to hear Poehler read it and also to hear her friends chip in and read their parts. I think that could have bumped it up to 4 stars! And, I have to say, this has made me keen to track down Parks and Recreation – she’s clearly a very funny lady 🙂


  1. Pingback: WWW Wednesday 29th July 2015 | Art and Soul

  2. I definitely agree with your points, especially the second one (about not knowing Amy that well and only read the book if you have something you can relate to), since I would say it applies to me. I didn’t quite enjoy this book (although it started off fine) and I would say it’s because I hardly have anything in common with Amy, so it wasn’t that easy to enjoy for me. But I’m glad you liked it! Great review. ❤ I'm hoping to have mine up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really interesting point about being careful not to review the person when reviewing their autobiography…I hadn’t thought of that before but, of course, what an easy trap to fall into. Thanks for sharing your review, if this book falls into my hands I’ll read it but it hasn’t sent me rushing out to find it. x

    Liked by 1 person

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