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The Year of Yes PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Year of Yes
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Publisher: Published January 9th 2007 by Hyperion Books (first published 2005)
ISBN: 9781401308728
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

246938.The_Year_of_Yes.pdf

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"Why not go out on a date with everyone who asks you? Plenty of reasons. They might be crazy. They might be creepy. They might be something other than what you're looking for. But then again, how would you know? Isn't love supposed to be blind? Isn't it supposed to be about who the person really is, not about what they look like?" The Year of Yes is an account of one woman "Why not go out on a date with everyone who asks you? Plenty of reasons. They might be crazy. They might be creepy. They might be something other than what you're looking for. But then again, how would you know? Isn't love supposed to be blind? Isn't it supposed to be about who the person really is, not about what they look like?" The Year of Yes is an account of one woman's quest to find a man she can stand (for longer than a couple of hours). Frustrated by her own pitiful taste, writer Maria Headley decided to leave her love life up to fate, going out with everyone who asked her: homeless men, taxi drivers and yes, even a couple of women. Opening her heart and mind to the possibility that her perfect match might be the person she least expected, she spent twelve months dating most of New York City.

45 review for The Year of Yes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    I read this book when it first came out and totally enjoyed it. Funny it's getting so many unfavorable reviews -- do they even understand that the author was not sleeping with all her dates? Meanwhile a book like My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands is well-recieved. Huh? My guess is that most people who judged this book didn't really read it. Personally I'm not comfortable rating books that I didn't read to the end. If I cannot finish a book, it simply means that the book is not I read this book when it first came out and totally enjoyed it. Funny it's getting so many unfavorable reviews -- do they even understand that the author was not sleeping with all her dates? Meanwhile a book like My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands is well-recieved. Huh? My guess is that most people who judged this book didn't really read it. Personally I'm not comfortable rating books that I didn't read to the end. If I cannot finish a book, it simply means that the book is not for me. It's a chemistry issue. Just as, if I go out with a guy and don't like it, he is not meant for me -- it doesn't necessarily mean there is something fundamentally wrong with him. I wouldn't go out with him again; I wouldn't speak ill of him. They say the books a person likes says a lot about him or her. True. But the books a person hates passionately might say even more. It says the person has a lot of emotional investment there. We often talk about the importance of love and nonjudgmental attitude, but putting it in practice takes huge. I don't have the guts to do what the author did, but I can at least give her my applause.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joanie

    So this books sounded good in theory. A woman decides that for one year she will accept date from anyone who asks her, man or woman, homeless crazy person, 60 year old man who does not speak English, it doesn't matter, she'll date them. I found the author annoying and a lot of the book ridiculous. I wanted to finish is (or maybe I just wanted it to end!) so I figured I'd give it 2 stars, but really not that great.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sav

    This book is 275 pages of masturbatory, pathological nonsense, an ill-conceived love letter to herself that should have stayed scrawled by ironic quill in Maria Dahvana Headley's coffee-stained moleskine journal. Maria Dahvana Headley has tried to convince the audience how incredible she is and succeeded only in irritating and enraging me. This is the most self-indulgent, ridiculous, racist, appallingly idiotic, pretentious, and misguided memoir ever written. The shaky and dubious premise aside, This book is 275 pages of masturbatory, pathological nonsense, an ill-conceived love letter to herself that should have stayed scrawled by ironic quill in Maria Dahvana Headley's coffee-stained moleskine journal. Maria Dahvana Headley has tried to convince the audience how incredible she is and succeeded only in irritating and enraging me. This is the most self-indulgent, ridiculous, racist, appallingly idiotic, pretentious, and misguided memoir ever written. The shaky and dubious premise aside, the writing is simply awful and I can't imagine how this was ever picked up, let alone passed to press. There is no pace, no transition, no clear idea at any given moment what or when or why or how exactly anything is going on. By ranting and raving about all the unsuitable men she dated prior to saying "yes", she has failed to demonstrate that she has ever said "no" to anyone. However, despite reading the endless lists of her supposed virtues, supposed intellectualism, and rambling, foolish descriptions of her supposedly undeniable "exotic" looks ("olive skin and brown hair"; "curvy"; "uncontrollable smile"), I highly doubt that she ever managed to attract enough men for saying "no" to be noteworthy--which is doubtless how she found the time to pen this shit in the first place.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    The premise is very interesting: a young women decides that her standards for dating are too high (and thusly leading to her overall unhappiness and lack of love). She decides that, for a year, she will abandon all of her ideals and simply say 'yes' to every man (and woman!) who asks her out. The problem with the books premise is, of course, a sort-of catch-22. In one sense, The Year of Yes is empowering to read as a single woman: to see another woman throw caution to the wind for love and happin The premise is very interesting: a young women decides that her standards for dating are too high (and thusly leading to her overall unhappiness and lack of love). She decides that, for a year, she will abandon all of her ideals and simply say 'yes' to every man (and woman!) who asks her out. The problem with the books premise is, of course, a sort-of catch-22. In one sense, The Year of Yes is empowering to read as a single woman: to see another woman throw caution to the wind for love and happiness. In many ways, the book is essentially a celebration of 'singledom,' a way to let loose and disregard social expectations and simply date. However, the book also drives home precisely the message it tries to initially eschew: one can only be happy when 'paired' with another, in the most socially conservative of ways (monogamous, heterosexual, etc, etc). Of course, the ending is predictable - and the author learns from her experience, grows as a person, finds true love, blah blah blah. By the time I was halfway through, her humor and charm had become stale (I mean really, how many Rilke jokes can you make? How much more can one drum-up their intellectual alienation? ...Puh-leeze), and most of the book read like a circuitous gossip rag.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"

    I enjoyed this book simply because it was so far outside of anything I would ever want to experience! At the age of 20, the author was living in NYC. In the hopes of finding true love, she decided that for an entire year, she would go out with ANYONE who asked her. (She did put a FEW limits on this.) She went out with some truly bizarre guys, some of whom you'd pretty much only meet in a place like NYC! She did end up finding a prize, but not in New York. The one thing I found disturbing was how q I enjoyed this book simply because it was so far outside of anything I would ever want to experience! At the age of 20, the author was living in NYC. In the hopes of finding true love, she decided that for an entire year, she would go out with ANYONE who asked her. (She did put a FEW limits on this.) She went out with some truly bizarre guys, some of whom you'd pretty much only meet in a place like NYC! She did end up finding a prize, but not in New York. The one thing I found disturbing was how quickly she hopped in the sack with some of these guys! Not that I'm a prude, but she could have used a tiny bit more discretion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elliot Ratzman

    “I’d decided, in the moment, to do with men as I’d done with books. Read them all.” A promising premise, a lackluster execution. Maria is all of 21, from Idaho to NYC, and, alas, no true love yet! So for a year she decides to date any person that asks from cab driver to crazy. Clearly she is the wrong person to write this book—name-droppingly well-read, poor NYU theater student and apparently a smiling, short, heartbreaking beauty in NYC. Though she meets a terrible parade of neurotic guys, her “I’d decided, in the moment, to do with men as I’d done with books. Read them all.” A promising premise, a lackluster execution. Maria is all of 21, from Idaho to NYC, and, alas, no true love yet! So for a year she decides to date any person that asks from cab driver to crazy. Clearly she is the wrong person to write this book—name-droppingly well-read, poor NYU theater student and apparently a smiling, short, heartbreaking beauty in NYC. Though she meets a terrible parade of neurotic guys, her own callousness, naiveté and superficiality is awkward and pitiful. She jogs through her year of weepy bad decisions at breakneck speed—why the rush? The purpose of shtick-lit is to narrate a process of growth and insight; Maria’s year is merely punctuated with mildly gossipy episodes, magical thinking and emotionally immature outbursts. Of value here is her sketch of undergrad (?) life at NYU, esp the pretentious theater scene there. NYC at its most spoiled. A storybook ending; is it deserved?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This was a cute, fast read. Not to be confused with "Yes, Man", which was developed into a movie. This dealt with Headley's year of yes as it relates to dating in New York. Now, if you decide to read this book - please keep in mind that you are reading a work by a woman that loves witty wording, obtuse historical cross cultural references and attended NYU. So, if you don't like Gilmore Girls meets pretentious wittiness on a New York level - take a shot of Jack D before you sit down and start tur This was a cute, fast read. Not to be confused with "Yes, Man", which was developed into a movie. This dealt with Headley's year of yes as it relates to dating in New York. Now, if you decide to read this book - please keep in mind that you are reading a work by a woman that loves witty wording, obtuse historical cross cultural references and attended NYU. So, if you don't like Gilmore Girls meets pretentious wittiness on a New York level - take a shot of Jack D before you sit down and start turning pages. However, once you get into it, you'll be rewarded with a great concept, interesting characters, sexual and sensual escapades and touching honesty.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Maria Dahvana Headley's persona in this memoir, where she describes a year in which she goes out on dates with anyone who asks her, is at once charming and irritating. There's a series of really bad choices, only some of which she clearly identifies as such. At the same time, I found myself liking her. She seems fun, if immature. The time period she writes about is during her time as a college student at NYU, so her general immaturity and ego makes a good deal of sense. One thing that's a little Maria Dahvana Headley's persona in this memoir, where she describes a year in which she goes out on dates with anyone who asks her, is at once charming and irritating. There's a series of really bad choices, only some of which she clearly identifies as such. At the same time, I found myself liking her. She seems fun, if immature. The time period she writes about is during her time as a college student at NYU, so her general immaturity and ego makes a good deal of sense. One thing that's a little disconcerting is that her writing has a certain sophistication that seems incongruous with so many other things about the memoir. Of course, she is writing a fews years after graduation when she has settled down with the man she eventually marries (and later divorces, but this is written in the honeymoon period of their relationship). I picked this up on a whim, after it came up in a search for the other Year of Yes that's currently on the best-seller list. There are lots of goofily inappropriate stories, which are far more sad and weird than titillating -- but if accounts of her wardrobe malfunctions and graphic descriptions of the fetishes of some of the men she dates are going to bother you, I would definitely avoid. There's a lot of filler in this book, and I think it would've been strengthened with a tighter edit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    In theory, The Year of Yes sounded interesting and inspiring. In practice, it's 300 pages of a 21-year old bemoaning her love life while attempting to be witty. The only time Maria felt real was when she reminded us that people do crazy things when they think they're in love and especially when that love is gone, and that it's normal, if not necessarily "okay." Otherwise, her self-alienation (too smart for the normal people, too "real" for the intellectuals, too normal for her classmates, too we In theory, The Year of Yes sounded interesting and inspiring. In practice, it's 300 pages of a 21-year old bemoaning her love life while attempting to be witty. The only time Maria felt real was when she reminded us that people do crazy things when they think they're in love and especially when that love is gone, and that it's normal, if not necessarily "okay." Otherwise, her self-alienation (too smart for the normal people, too "real" for the intellectuals, too normal for her classmates, too weird for anyone else leftover) quickly becomes old. Adding to that, the attempt at dating women felt awkwardly and callously portrayed - Zak is right when he points out that a woman who genuinely likes her probably doesn't want to be her experiment. By the end, she finds love - not with someone she never expected, as she set out to possibly prove - but with the kind of perfect person she'd been aiming at all along. Story over. No lessons learned. Listening to your young (21!), melodramatic friend talk about how she'll always be alone and miserable as she questions how many people it's okay to sleep with is one thing. Reading 300 pages of her monologue about it is another. At times entertaining and heartfelt, but never quite what it could have been.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    My book club chose this with the expectation of a fun, light read as we approach warmer weather. At the time of this writing Headley, an NYU student, decides to spend a year saying "yes" to all offers of dates for a year. As one would guess, she ends up dating a lot of weirdoes. Headley's writing gave me the impression that she's a smart-alecky know-it-all who's desperately trying to flaunt how intelligent she is. She certainly lacks commonsense at every turn. Her over-the-top forced attempts at My book club chose this with the expectation of a fun, light read as we approach warmer weather. At the time of this writing Headley, an NYU student, decides to spend a year saying "yes" to all offers of dates for a year. As one would guess, she ends up dating a lot of weirdoes. Headley's writing gave me the impression that she's a smart-alecky know-it-all who's desperately trying to flaunt how intelligent she is. She certainly lacks commonsense at every turn. Her over-the-top forced attempts at humorous writing would be better described as pithy, annoying, and not funny. It's very rare that I don't finish a book, but I only made it to page 118 and the last half dozen pages of the ending through this stinker. I had predicted how it was going to end, and after reading the last six pages, I found that I had been accurate. I have no regrets about skipping the other 150 pages. I thought it best to end my suffering and move on.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I wasn't expecting much out of this book (grabbed it off my roommate's bookshelf as I needed something to read to sleep) but found the premise and the first 50 pages witty and amusing. And then things got bad. Her literary references, which announced "I'm a smart, well-read girl" and made me feel like part of the club, were not enough to prevent her cute tangents from becoming annoying, somewhat irrelevant, and a bit poorly written. She also sounded more and more naive and unforgivably air-heade I wasn't expecting much out of this book (grabbed it off my roommate's bookshelf as I needed something to read to sleep) but found the premise and the first 50 pages witty and amusing. And then things got bad. Her literary references, which announced "I'm a smart, well-read girl" and made me feel like part of the club, were not enough to prevent her cute tangents from becoming annoying, somewhat irrelevant, and a bit poorly written. She also sounded more and more naive and unforgivably air-headed with each date as her revelations feel more like something coming from a teenager, not a girl in her 20s. Sure there was a lot of commentary on sex (some quite perverse) but adding the word "penis" does not make a book grown-up. And the end, when she finally does meet Mr. Right, it was such a deus ex machina I think she even knew it. For a much better book on a girl and her history of boyfriends, read "A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing". That is what real relationships are about.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I really liked the premise of this book. Maria is 21, in Nyc, and unhappy with her love life so she decides to say yes to every offer for a date for an entire year. True story! It's really funny and parts are sad, and overall you feel like you really get to know the author well and relate to her neuroses. Because I have too much time on my hands and am a dork, I made a soundtrack that would go well with the book and the character. New Soul...Yael Naim The First Cut Is The Deepest...Cat Stevens Slee I really liked the premise of this book. Maria is 21, in Nyc, and unhappy with her love life so she decides to say yes to every offer for a date for an entire year. True story! It's really funny and parts are sad, and overall you feel like you really get to know the author well and relate to her neuroses. Because I have too much time on my hands and am a dork, I made a soundtrack that would go well with the book and the character. New Soul...Yael Naim The First Cut Is The Deepest...Cat Stevens Sleep to Dream...Fiona Apple Creep...Radiohead Highschool Lover...Air Skeleton Song...Kate Nash Mouthwash...Kate Nash Walk on By...Dionne Warwick Breathe Me...Sia Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow...Roberta Flack Enjoy!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

    I so wanted to like this book. The concept is great and the author is a undoubtedly a great talent. However, she's also so freakin' in love with her giant literary brain and apparently hotness that I had a hard time liking her. That's a problem when you're reading a memoir. there were times when I laughed out loud but more often I was groaning inwardly at her meek tries to be charmingly self-depreciating. Self-depreciation only works when you actually think it's kinda true. Her attempts read lik I so wanted to like this book. The concept is great and the author is a undoubtedly a great talent. However, she's also so freakin' in love with her giant literary brain and apparently hotness that I had a hard time liking her. That's a problem when you're reading a memoir. there were times when I laughed out loud but more often I was groaning inwardly at her meek tries to be charmingly self-depreciating. Self-depreciation only works when you actually think it's kinda true. Her attempts read like they were inserted as an after thought when her agent read it and said "you're coming across too self-obsessed. Can you bring it down a notch?"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Now I understand all those empty-headed women in college who majored in dating. Headley dates and dumps a long string of men, pausing only to cobble together a book full of her weirdest experiences, minus any self-reflection. It's freakily interesting, until she meets a man as ruthlessly self-absorded as she is, who dates and dumps her. The book then devolves into self-pitying garbage. Until, of course, she accepts a proposal from an older man, who rescues her from her self-imposed misery, pover Now I understand all those empty-headed women in college who majored in dating. Headley dates and dumps a long string of men, pausing only to cobble together a book full of her weirdest experiences, minus any self-reflection. It's freakily interesting, until she meets a man as ruthlessly self-absorded as she is, who dates and dumps her. The book then devolves into self-pitying garbage. Until, of course, she accepts a proposal from an older man, who rescues her from her self-imposed misery, poverty, and her failing grades at NYU. Run from this book while you can! It will depress the hell out of you.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucie

    oh what a disappointment! ok it's a memoir & not a self-help guide. but really, it's an unevenly written & erratically paced ride in an early twenty-something's love life. the year of yes focuses so much on the inner agonies & dramas of a young, self-involved college kid one cannot take it seriously. the book is not light & frothy reading. yet it doesn't offer substance either. instead, one feels like the author's tale of collegiate self-discovery & gradual dawning of self-awa oh what a disappointment! ok it's a memoir & not a self-help guide. but really, it's an unevenly written & erratically paced ride in an early twenty-something's love life. the year of yes focuses so much on the inner agonies & dramas of a young, self-involved college kid one cannot take it seriously. the book is not light & frothy reading. yet it doesn't offer substance either. instead, one feels like the author's tale of collegiate self-discovery & gradual dawning of self-awareness & increased sex life is being packaged as something meaty & enlightening. but, it is not.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    I've been feeling rather uninspired and closed off lately, and on the cover of the paperback version of this book, it said "this book makes you want to be young and in new york city," and that was exactly what I needed. I don't know that I'd go so extreme as to spend a year taking dates from every man I ever meet, but it definitely made me have an open mind about dates and dating. A lot of the dates she accepted didn't lead to romance, but a good story and a strange friendship, so perhaps I shal I've been feeling rather uninspired and closed off lately, and on the cover of the paperback version of this book, it said "this book makes you want to be young and in new york city," and that was exactly what I needed. I don't know that I'd go so extreme as to spend a year taking dates from every man I ever meet, but it definitely made me have an open mind about dates and dating. A lot of the dates she accepted didn't lead to romance, but a good story and a strange friendship, so perhaps I shall think twice instead of immediately turning people down like I often do...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    One of my college professors knows the author, so that's only 3 degrees of separation. And I like the idea of saying yes in life, even if I'm not dating. I really enjoyed this humorous memoir. Lots of food for thought, particularly after listening to "Think Out Loud" on OPB about the recent trend of fictionalized memoirs. This is certainly written from the author's point of view with a healthy dose of poetic license, but I throughly enjoyed it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    It's not a big story or a happy story or even an important story or, I hope, a common story, but I liked it. Maria, after years of experiencing romance horror stories, decides to accept every invitation for a date for the next year. And she winds up on some doozies. Fun. (I've decided to name a new genre, a genre that seems to be popular right now: the challenge book. Into this category, I'd place Julie and Julia, The Know-It-All, and this book. I like this genre.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    This book is really badly written. Each sentence is crammed full of as many cutesy pop fiction references and elaborate adjectives as possible. It's very affected and it just ended up irritating me to the point where I only read 3/4 of the book before giving up. And I only spent $1.19 on it, too, because I got it from Goodwill. Don't bother.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eliana

    DISAPPOINTING. Great concept--a year of something, a quest...I like that kind of thing. But here's a secret for all you writers out there: I hate the narrator/author. I could care less if she finds happiness, she is weird and unsympathetic in every way. I feel a little sad about this whole thing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rhoda

    Absolute rubbish! It sounded like it could be fun to read, but the writing rambled and the anecdotes just sounded far fetched and contrived. And being given life and love lessons by a 21 year old? All due respect to people of that age.....I was there too once. I thought I knew it all too. Boy was I wrong!! Don't waste your time or money on this!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    yes. i did read this because it started with a y. but this author is hysterical and likeable and though she went overboard on saying yes to people,her point about opening yourself up to unexpected people is a great one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather Christensen

    It's easy to skip bits in this book and not feel you have lost any content. In parts the story is uninteresting, other parts intelligent. It's a story of youth, of New York and of the sorrow that can exist in being single. Take it or leave it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was a really quick, easy read about a girl who was fed up with her choices in men so she decided to accept every date offer she received for a year. It didn't have a lot of substance, but definitely made up for that with fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Annoying New York/Manhattan vibe, another memoir by a young author with a gimmicky hook/premise: say yes to every date for a year. Unintentionally funny at times, as when making out with a homeless guy is rendered as some sort of epiphany experience.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I thought this book was interesting, as this author accomplished something that I could never see myself doing, which is going out with anyone who asks, without using any real discretion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Ugh. Not sure how she found enough guys to want to date her for an entire year, because she sounds like a very unappealing person. Couldn't finish.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melyssa Williams

    I am loyally bound to give this 5 stars since I was childhood friends with the author! A hilarious read that is perfect for a rainy sunday or a really long soak in the tub.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A friend handed me this book while we were strolling through a large secondhand store. “You know I don’t read this kind of stuff.” “You don’t know, it could be good. Besides, it isn’t every day you find something here in English. Besides, it’s only 5 crowns (about 60 cents). Live a little, what have you got to lose.” Hmmmm, …. Okay, it was better than I expected, which is not really saying much. The humor got me past the first few pages and looking for more of that got me eventually to the end of t A friend handed me this book while we were strolling through a large secondhand store. “You know I don’t read this kind of stuff.” “You don’t know, it could be good. Besides, it isn’t every day you find something here in English. Besides, it’s only 5 crowns (about 60 cents). Live a little, what have you got to lose.” Hmmmm, …. Okay, it was better than I expected, which is not really saying much. The humor got me past the first few pages and looking for more of that got me eventually to the end of the book. I wish I had stopped a few pages before the end though – seriously!? All those interesting/eccentric people she met and she settled for a soon-to-be unmarried man (maybe) from her home town. Please! Quotes which caught my eye It was starting to be clear to me that, though I know plenty about Greek tragedies, I knew almost nothing about real life. (42) Princeling two was from a Kansas family furniture empire, and so deep in the closet that he was basically a cashmere sweater. (62) He was from Cyprus. I’d never met anyone from Cyprus before, not too surprising, considering that they usually introduced themselves, as Baler had, as either Turkish or Greek. They assumed that, being an ignorant American, you wouldn’t know where Cyprus was. (73) Could biting count as love? The last time I’d bitten someone, it’d been on the fourth grade playground, and it’d been about alienation. I’d been unclear on the rules of the game called Chase, and therefore I’d had a grand old time sprinting around the playground, flinging myself wholesale upon the boys, and biting and pinching them until they’d begged for mercy. After a few recesses of this, a knot of tight-lipped girls had informed me that only boys were allowed to chase. Girls were supposed to run slowly, and then be thrown to the ground and kissed. Not bitten. Run slowly? I hadn’t cared for the contradiction. If I was running, I’d wanted to win, and who wanted to be kissed anyway? Disgusting. I’d kept playing chase my way, even when it’d landed me in Special Ed for observation. Eventually, though, I’d gotten bored with pursuing a pack of screaming ninnies while the rest of the girls watched irritably from the jungle gym. My yes policy was getting a similar kind of response from my current female friends. They told me that what I was doing would mess up the balance of the universe. Women were supposed to say no, and men were supposed to chase them. When a woman finally said yes, it’d be such a big deal that trumpets would sound and men would fall down in gratitude. This balance felt like something out of Lysistrata, in which the women swore off sex in order to force their husbands to stop going to war. It made for amusing theater: a bunch of stammering actors staggering around, weighed down by four-foot phalluses, and a chorus of imperious women yelling “no!” but if that was what real life had to be, I was unimpressed. I didn’t like the thought that a woman’s only power was in her ability to deny. As for balance, it wasn’t like there were millions of joyful people populating the streets. It seemed life there were far more rejected and disappointed people. The more I said yes, the more I realized that I’d never wanted to play by the rules anyway. Why had I even tried? I wasn’t built that way. (81-82) Why would a man cede higher power to his penis, anyway? Penises had terrible judgment. They were known for betraying their owners. (93) “It’s okay,” I said. “I’m not gay right now, but give me a second.” (116) I’d been cutting half the population out, just because I had this silly idea that I was straight. What if the person who could make me happy happened to be in the half I’d discounted? (117) My dad was crazy in a very uncool way. He wouldn’t acknowledge his mental illness, and his years of denial had tapped my reserves of empathy. We’d never gotten along very well to begin with, and even though part of me wanted him to be the rational person he’d never been, the rest was resigned too living with out stilted, gnarled relationship, one that caused him to yell unjustifiable parental maxims periodically, and me to inform him that I was now an adult and could do whatever I damn well pleased. Mostly, though, we just didn’t speak. (140) In my experience, the mentally ill were like black holes, into which you could pour everything you had, only to find that they’d been off apprehending aliens in the desert of their dreams and hadn’t been listening to a word you’d said. (141) “Come on. I owe you. If I hadn’t fallen on you, I would’ve fallen on my face,” I said, knowing, even as I said it, that the same was true of lots of things about my life. People had helped me, maybe not in the ways I would have liked them to, but still. I wouldn’t have been where I was without support from plenty of places. (143) …this was probably the pattern for plenty of relationships. Pick up a stranger, apply your issues and call it love. Maybe your issues would match up enough that, for a while, no one would notice that you’d never managed to get to know each other. (150) I was seeing the world through a fun-house mirror…. Everything looked bigger and sadder than it really was. (226)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christina Mortellaro

    Really, I want to rate this book 3.5 stars but Goodreads won't let me. I enjoyed the premise and the humor of the book but like others, I found that it was hard to relate to the narrator. Of course, relating to the narrator isn't necessarily a dealbreaker when it comes to the memoir. I think because the author is a playwright and admits to having a penchant for the dramatic, I wondered often which details were being really embellished for comedic effect. There's a lot of "telling" that goes on i Really, I want to rate this book 3.5 stars but Goodreads won't let me. I enjoyed the premise and the humor of the book but like others, I found that it was hard to relate to the narrator. Of course, relating to the narrator isn't necessarily a dealbreaker when it comes to the memoir. I think because the author is a playwright and admits to having a penchant for the dramatic, I wondered often which details were being really embellished for comedic effect. There's a lot of "telling" that goes on in the memoir. Because of the array of characters,sometimes it was hard to keep track of who was who. And when the book wanted to get deep, it fell short of following through (see plot about crazy father). But I really did enjoy reading it. I smiled a lot, chuckled, and even agreed with the author at times (see male writers and their penchant for Keats). Far-fetched or not, I went for the ride with Headley.

  31. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Meszaros

    I'm not sure what made me pick this book up. Like the musical Avenue Q, it is on the surface remarkably funny - chock full of those embarrassing/funny stories that happen to frequently. However, once you look through the veneer of humor Headley's story is both sad and, at times, pathetic. Tired of dating losers and feeling like all of her life is a big "no" Headley decides to start saying "yes" to any man that asks her out (barring a few things like being married or dangerous). She chronicles he I'm not sure what made me pick this book up. Like the musical Avenue Q, it is on the surface remarkably funny - chock full of those embarrassing/funny stories that happen to frequently. However, once you look through the veneer of humor Headley's story is both sad and, at times, pathetic. Tired of dating losers and feeling like all of her life is a big "no" Headley decides to start saying "yes" to any man that asks her out (barring a few things like being married or dangerous). She chronicles her dates. Most are awful, many are shocking and a few are sweet and wonderful. I'm not entirely sure this book would bring solace or advice for someone looking for love - perhaps just a reality check on what sort of men are out there and how truly unpredictable people are.

  32. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Rooney

    "I wasn't making enough money, but I was making more than I ever had before. I wasn't finding love, but I was finding more than I'd ever found before. Little scraps of it, in every person I met. Everyone had something to give me. Maybe I had something to give them, too. I hoped so. I was collecting. It seemed like my cup was starting to spill over, and so what if it wasn't just from loving one person, but from loving all of them? Maybe I wouldn't find everything I was looking for in one place, b "I wasn't making enough money, but I was making more than I ever had before. I wasn't finding love, but I was finding more than I'd ever found before. Little scraps of it, in every person I met. Everyone had something to give me. Maybe I had something to give them, too. I hoped so. I was collecting. It seemed like my cup was starting to spill over, and so what if it wasn't just from loving one person, but from loving all of them? Maybe I wouldn't find everything I was looking for in one place, but the world was wider than I could have imagined..." ➖➖➖ The premise of the author's mission is that she spent a year of her life saying yes to any man who asked her out, but I think the lessons she learned in that year were far more interesting than her mission. This book is a great read for 20-somethings who aren't really sure exactly where their life is going (which, spoiler alert, is like, all of us).

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I purchased this book for a $1 from the clearance rack at Books-a-Million nearly six years ago but didn't start it until a few months. It was one of those casual reads ever you worked at it slowly until the last half of the book, and then I was hooked. I would had liked to see the author give more detail into her relationship with Robert in the end, but I was definitely entertained by this book. Being that most of my reading is for practical reasons, this was a refreshing changes. Ms. Headley did I purchased this book for a $1 from the clearance rack at Books-a-Million nearly six years ago but didn't start it until a few months. It was one of those casual reads ever you worked at it slowly until the last half of the book, and then I was hooked. I would had liked to see the author give more detail into her relationship with Robert in the end, but I was definitely entertained by this book. Being that most of my reading is for practical reasons, this was a refreshing changes. Ms. Headley did a great job of painting the picture of her life during t he Year of Yes!

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sprout117

    I read this book when I was in ju early twenties....and didn't like it but somehow it inspired me and all of a sudden I tried saying yes to more dates. While I did get a bunch of great stories and my life became hilariously interesting, I didn't meet someone stable through this method. A decade later, I saw it and read again...it's just as terrible, but in a very entertaining way. Could just be the memories of how it impacted my life rather than headley's writing. I'm not sure. It got four stars I read this book when I was in ju early twenties....and didn't like it but somehow it inspired me and all of a sudden I tried saying yes to more dates. While I did get a bunch of great stories and my life became hilariously interesting, I didn't meet someone stable through this method. A decade later, I saw it and read again...it's just as terrible, but in a very entertaining way. Could just be the memories of how it impacted my life rather than headley's writing. I'm not sure. It got four stars for always making me smile. :)

  35. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I picked up this book because the library didn’t have the one I wanted and it seemed like it would be an adventure. I was not disappointed (in this book. I was disappointed the library didn’t have the original book I wanted.) The Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley, not to be confused with A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, is a delightfully honest memoir about the amount of unusual dates you can go on in a year, as well as boring, weird, sexy, and fun dates. She decided that her pursuit of love, s I picked up this book because the library didn’t have the one I wanted and it seemed like it would be an adventure. I was not disappointed (in this book. I was disappointed the library didn’t have the original book I wanted.) The Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley, not to be confused with A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, is a delightfully honest memoir about the amount of unusual dates you can go on in a year, as well as boring, weird, sexy, and fun dates. She decided that her pursuit of love, she was too picky. So Maria boldly claimed to her roommates that she would date anyone that asked; she wasn’t gender specific, she didn’t discriminate against people with or without jobs or homes for that matter. I’d like to be perfectly clear here though, just because she went on a date with these people, it didn’t mean she was having sex with every person she went on a date. What I really liked about this book was that after a supreme slump of bad dates, she decided it was actually her fault, and not everybody else with the problem. So she decided to change it by changing her outlook. It was a bit loaded with obscure art/writing references but as she is a writer, it makes sense. I love a book that can make me laugh out loud and this was a winner.

  36. 4 out of 5

    ♥Xeni♥

    I originally picked this up, thinking it was the other Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, since that one is oft spoken about in the BuJo community, like so many of the other books I've been reading lately. I'm so happy it wasn't, though! Maria Headley has such a great voice. I'd hate to have not read this book just for that alone! Reading about her life as a young adult in the big city reminds me a lot of when I first moved out and into my own place with c I originally picked this up, thinking it was the other Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, since that one is oft spoken about in the BuJo community, like so many of the other books I've been reading lately. I'm so happy it wasn't, though! Maria Headley has such a great voice. I'd hate to have not read this book just for that alone! Reading about her life as a young adult in the big city reminds me a lot of when I first moved out and into my own place with crazy roommates and parties and all that jazz. Not to mention, I think Maria and I would probably be pretty good friends, since we're both fairly whacky. Also, she makes me feel better about having dated some really crazy people! She totally has everyone beat on that front, I think. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting it, and it took me by surprise, but I took only 3 days to finish it (although I have all these other commitments these days) which is record time these days! Overall, a really fun, upbeat read, that kept me entertained and also taught me a thing or two on the side about just going for things and being brave.

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    The premise of this book is great. A young woman, Maria, living in NYC is tired of dating and decides to spend a year saying "Yes" to every single person who asks her out on a date. I really enjoyed reading "Around the World in 80 Dates" and I thought this might be similar. While the book was good, I wasn't blown away or captivated by her story. Maybe it was her writing style/humor, but I was actually turned off by her as the main character. I think I might have been better friends with her room The premise of this book is great. A young woman, Maria, living in NYC is tired of dating and decides to spend a year saying "Yes" to every single person who asks her out on a date. I really enjoyed reading "Around the World in 80 Dates" and I thought this might be similar. While the book was good, I wasn't blown away or captivated by her story. Maybe it was her writing style/humor, but I was actually turned off by her as the main character. I think I might have been better friends with her roommate, Vic, who Maria does not seem to get along with. I really liked the stories of the men she didn't sleep with, I found her interactions with these guys to be adorable. My favorites were definitely the Mime and the Conductor. Both sound like they were amazing stories to tell her roommates when she got home. I also liked that she seemed to grow as a person (view spoiler)[ Perhaps the biggest issue I had with this book was the way she introduced the different men (and women) she said yes to. She starts talking about them as if the reader knows who they are. Some of them got decent descriptions but for the most part she just goes "I'm in Love with the Actor." and expects you to know who he is. Especially with the Playwright, when I got to him I wasn't sure if I had read about him already or not. He needed a little more development than her rushing around buying clothes, them eating Sushi, him telling her he's getting a divorce, and then her falling in love with him right there on the spot. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kimmy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay so as much as I often couldn't stand the narrator/protagonist of this one the book was a quick and entertaining read. I do feel like there were some pretty big issues with the writing though. There were A LOT of instances where the author introduces you to a character that she HATES and everything has lead you to believe that they despise each other and can't even stand to be in the same room as each other and then boom, two chapters later they're banging and she's in love with him. And thi Okay so as much as I often couldn't stand the narrator/protagonist of this one the book was a quick and entertaining read. I do feel like there were some pretty big issues with the writing though. There were A LOT of instances where the author introduces you to a character that she HATES and everything has lead you to believe that they despise each other and can't even stand to be in the same room as each other and then boom, two chapters later they're banging and she's in love with him. And this isn't just one instance of weird backwards attraction, I mean this is like three or four instances in a year. Also, maybe I suck for sometimes thinking the worst of people but is it really wise to go up to the apartment of a man who's been whispering über perverted things in your ears all night and telling you he wants to "introduce you to God?" Like, is it just me or does that sound like he wants to straight up murder you? Plus the girl cries quite literally every 15 pages. I'm pretty sure she cried more in this year than I have in my entire 24 year life. And finally, the person she FINALLY after months and months of searching falls in love with is like way older than her, recently divorced, with two kids? I mean, I guess she's a romantic but reading it I could just hear his ex-wife rolling her eyes about the silly 21 year old her husband hooked up with like weeks after they started talking about divorce. ANYWAYS, this is making me sound like I disliked the book majorly which isn't true, I'm actually glad I read it in the way I'm glad I get to read Cosmo magazine every month. Sometimes it's just ridiculous but it's always entertaining.

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This was a very interesting book filled with creative characters, and even though its a memoir, I still wonder if she made some of these people up. The story goes that a 20-something female wakes up alone on Valentine's Day and decides that for the next year she's going to go out with whomever asks her out. And in her many dates she meets new and unusual people. The whole time I was reading it, I just had to wonder if there are actually people like this in the world. But it does take place in NY This was a very interesting book filled with creative characters, and even though its a memoir, I still wonder if she made some of these people up. The story goes that a 20-something female wakes up alone on Valentine's Day and decides that for the next year she's going to go out with whomever asks her out. And in her many dates she meets new and unusual people. The whole time I was reading it, I just had to wonder if there are actually people like this in the world. But it does take place in NYC, so maybe there is. She apparently is from my hometown, but kept bashing on it saying that there's nothing to do in Idaho but look at cows. That made me mad. So, aside from the Idaho bashing, it was a funny and interesting read. And I would very much say yes to every guy who asked me out, if guys would ever actually ask me out, aside from the semi- creepy Mexican who can't decide if hes married or not, and of course there is the married guy whos having marriage problems, but that's just trouble, so he gets a No everytime he wants a booty call. And yet, he still trys.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was definitely the smartest book I have ever read. By that I mean that the language was very intelligent. But, sometimes it drove me crazy with all the references to books, plays, movies, etc. Before I read the book, I read about the author in the back cover. So, I knew already that Maria would eventually get married to a playwright who had children. Immediately after I read that, I wished I hadn't. I thought I just gave the whole story away to myself. I didn't. It was a very interesting This book was definitely the smartest book I have ever read. By that I mean that the language was very intelligent. But, sometimes it drove me crazy with all the references to books, plays, movies, etc. Before I read the book, I read about the author in the back cover. So, I knew already that Maria would eventually get married to a playwright who had children. Immediately after I read that, I wished I hadn't. I thought I just gave the whole story away to myself. I didn't. It was a very interesting story about Maria who says yes to all date offers in a year. Through most of the book, I would think, "maybe she'll end up with Zac, or Pierre, or the Actor." But, none of them had children. I didn't suspect anything when she ran into the Playwright, even though he already had children. I guess when I read that part, I had forgotton about the back cover for a moment. And Maria had written him off because he was married. It didn't dawn on me until page 258 that she would end up with him. I guess I didn't give it away after all.

  41. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This book is a lot like a really long episode of Sex and the City, but less funny. I was prepared for this book to be hilarious and I thought I would enjoy it. Instead, it was disjointed and repetitive. The premise of the book is that author decides that instead of saying no to men who asked her out on dates, she would say yes to everyone who asked her. A few pages in to the book, I couldn't really tell how her "new" philosophy was so different from her former and that conclusion was reinforced o This book is a lot like a really long episode of Sex and the City, but less funny. I was prepared for this book to be hilarious and I thought I would enjoy it. Instead, it was disjointed and repetitive. The premise of the book is that author decides that instead of saying no to men who asked her out on dates, she would say yes to everyone who asked her. A few pages in to the book, I couldn't really tell how her "new" philosophy was so different from her former and that conclusion was reinforced over and over throughout the book. The author notes that one of her roommates disapproves of her yes policy and told her that it turned her into a standardless person who would sleep with anyone. This sounds harsh, but if you read the book, it is hard not to agree with her rooomate. At the end, the author has gained some life lessons, but not so much that she doesn't go right for a pat ending. I enjoyed the interludes where she hangs out with her roommates, who are eccentric and funny in just the way you might expect for NYC. These bits were far too few though.

  42. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Girl in NY says yes to every guy who asks her out for a year. Girl is a play write student (or something of that nature) at NYU. One of those whimsy emo people from Idaho, whose parents are probably a little nuts and she was a drama dork in high school and still is today. I can't relate to people that this at all. Oh boohoo, I am so exotic looking, everyone has crashes on me, I get asked so much that I have to say no to almost everyone. BOOFUCKINGHOO! Also, the direction of this book, something Girl in NY says yes to every guy who asks her out for a year. Girl is a play write student (or something of that nature) at NYU. One of those whimsy emo people from Idaho, whose parents are probably a little nuts and she was a drama dork in high school and still is today. I can't relate to people that this at all. Oh boohoo, I am so exotic looking, everyone has crashes on me, I get asked so much that I have to say no to almost everyone. BOOFUCKINGHOO! Also, the direction of this book, something was off and I didn't like it too much. I didn't care about any of the guys at all. I liked the personal stuff with her roommates more, which is not the object of this book, so take with it what you will. I also read the bio before I started the book, so some guy she talks about within the first few chapters, I knew was her husband. Also, I always read the credits and thank yous (or at least skim them) and she thanks Ben McKenzie who I am totally loving these days and I was wondering if it was the same person. YEP! He's her husbands nephew or something. She mentions that he filled her with intelligent convo while in LA (cause you know we are all vapid idiots otherwise) which made me hate her more, but love him more at the same time. Not one of the better "all in" books that I am reading lately, but whatever. I had read worse.

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I thought this book was going to be like the Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man" where a life changes for the better because of a positive attitude and willingness to try anything. Not quite. By "Yes", Maria Headley is referring to the answer she gave whenever anyone asked her out- homeless people, men in their 70s, train conductors. The writing style was a little hard to get into at the start because of her abundant descriptions...of everything...that went on and on, sometimes not quite in order of how t I thought this book was going to be like the Jim Carrey movie "Yes Man" where a life changes for the better because of a positive attitude and willingness to try anything. Not quite. By "Yes", Maria Headley is referring to the answer she gave whenever anyone asked her out- homeless people, men in their 70s, train conductors. The writing style was a little hard to get into at the start because of her abundant descriptions...of everything...that went on and on, sometimes not quite in order of how the event occurred. But I stuck it out. My biggest complaint is that even though this was first-person non-fiction I feel like I didn't get to know the main character very well. She talked about her upbringing, desire to become a writer, and day to day activities, but there was some kind of disconnect for me. I didn't feel like the stories rang true, and it kind of seemed stupid to risk being murdered on a daily basis. My final verdict is that this woman sure slept around a lot. Also, I couldn't really relate to being asked for a date by every human within a 10-foot radius of where I walk every day. It almost seemed like humble-bragging, and that was kind of irritating.

  44. 4 out of 5

    David Jay

    Huge disappointment. I thought the premise sounded so interesting... woman is tired of making bad choices regarding men and decides to date everyone who asks her for an entire year. Great potential but it really fell flat. First of all, I think writing a memoir when you're in your 20s is beyond ridiculous. I assumed, from the premise, that the woman in question was middle aged, or thereabouts. She's in college!! How on Earth can you have dated that much that you're burned out on men, when you're Huge disappointment. I thought the premise sounded so interesting... woman is tired of making bad choices regarding men and decides to date everyone who asks her for an entire year. Great potential but it really fell flat. First of all, I think writing a memoir when you're in your 20s is beyond ridiculous. I assumed, from the premise, that the woman in question was middle aged, or thereabouts. She's in college!! How on Earth can you have dated that much that you're burned out on men, when you're still a teenager?! I liked the idea that she was going to date everyone, and while some of the extreme choices were amusing (a woman), some were a little disturbing (a mentally ill homeless man, a non English speaking septeganarian who only says the word "chupa" (suck in Spanish) over and over again). The author spends so much time, so many pages, attempting to paint herself as a witty, well read gal. So many literary references, so much witty repartee, so so annoying. And the ending is the epitome of trite.

  45. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Somewhat self-indulgent? Yes. Somewhat overwritten? Yes. Somewhat contrived? Yes. However, I found this HIGHLY amusing and a genuine page-turner. Plus, the self-indulgence, the overwriting, the contrivance conspired to allow me to brush off the author's attempts at pathos without any noticeable effect on my mirth (it's a sad fact that if I sign on to read a book about how you will go on a date with seriously anyone with wacky consequences, I will not be all that up for tales of your sad Midweste Somewhat self-indulgent? Yes. Somewhat overwritten? Yes. Somewhat contrived? Yes. However, I found this HIGHLY amusing and a genuine page-turner. Plus, the self-indulgence, the overwriting, the contrivance conspired to allow me to brush off the author's attempts at pathos without any noticeable effect on my mirth (it's a sad fact that if I sign on to read a book about how you will go on a date with seriously anyone with wacky consequences, I will not be all that up for tales of your sad Midwestern childhood -- if it's not a major theme of the jacket flap, don't count on me caring). Also, has anyone else noticed there's kind of a distinctive style that playwrights have when they write prose? You would think that the giveaway distinction would be a focus on (and skill at) dialogue, but no, it's kind of an intense, verbose gaudiness that actually kind of drowns out all but the most jewel-like dialogue, that's appealing to the point of too-muchness. Anyway. Headley's a case in point. So is Diablo Cody, if you're wondering. If this were a forum to which I had any responsibility, I might try to come up with another data point.

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