Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 28th October 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars
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 is full of words to live by.
First up, I have to acknowledge the design of this book. Every page was coloured and glossy – it was beautiful! It did make it incredibly heavy though….. The design of the individual pages was also amazing – the mix of normal print pages with large pictures or motivational posters. It was a bit quirky and different, which I really liked.
The biography itself wasn’t what I expected. While I haven’t read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and therefore can’t compare, I expected it to be a little more along the lines of Mindy Kaling’s Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me, which is laugh-out-loud, wee-your-pants funny. Poehler’s wasn’t at all like that. It was a much more mature approach to the comedienne biography.
There was a lot on her early career with which I was unfamiliar, but very little was absolutely hysterical, as I had anticipated. While it was interesting to follow the career trajectory of such an admirable and amusing female, I felt that she didn’t really let the reader into her life. When any topic began to get serious, that was when Poehler used humour, leaving us feeling a bit removed from her life despite having bought the book to learn more about her. She chooses not to discuss her divorce because ‘it is too sad and too personal. I also don’t like people knowing my shit.’ So beware that this is not a typical share-all biography.
Poehler also spends a lot of the book complaining about writing said book. While it was funny at the first mention, it got old rather quickly. There were also large periods of her life which were skipped over without the fanfare they deserved – this also made following her story a little more difficult than it should have been.
However, despite the fact that I have just said it wasn’t what I expected or overly funny, I enjoyed reading it. Poehler incorporates a lot of uplifting advice for life in the essays interspersed among her life story. While I am still not sure I know all that much about Amy Poehler – other than her career path – I felt that the book was light and fluffy and although not overly hysterical, it had a tint of comedic genius.
I am glad that I borrowed this book from a friend, as I would like to buy it as an audiobook – while I do not listen to many, I truly believe that this book would be much more enjoyable read in Poehler’s own voice. While you would miss the beautiful quality of the physical book, it would be nice to hear her story from her own mouth.