I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, due to the fact that I tend to distrust books written by celebrities. However, as a huge fan of her comedy, I thought I’d give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. Poehler writes with an energy that is palpable from the very first page. She introduces the book by writing about how hard it is to write one, and her truthfulness, as well as apparent humility, was refreshing.
Yes Please’s structural makeup was one of the most interesting parts about it. Poehler narrates her life by jumping in and out of the past, which keeps a steady yet surprising pace. There isn’t room to get bored, because she constantly switches from story to topic with a skilled hand. It isn’t distracting, but merely captivating. And the details she chooses to reveal about herself are funny, self-deprecating, and nostalgic.
It’s obvious she didn’t write this book as a form of praise to herself. And for that, the reader thanks her and learns to trust her. Poehler’s stories about other famous friends are varied, but carefully chosen. This isn’t a book about name-dropping, but an honest account of the people who have touched her life. Poehler discusses a wide variety of subjects, including: her childhood, children, career, drug use, marriage, pregnancy, and finally, the show she’s known for: Parks and Recreation. Towards the end, she even recounts details about all of her cast mates with warmth and genuine affection.
Yes Please is a fast and fun read, and I respect Poehler far more than I did before reading it. Though not great literature, this book deserves literary respect all the same. It is true to her voice, and excruciatingly funny at times. This book is about an extraordinary woman who happens to also make us laugh.
Reviewed by MB Sellers
Pages: 328 pages
Publisher: Dey Street Books (October 28, 2014)