At the tender age of 43, comedian, actress, writer, and all around female extraordinaire, Amy Poehler has penned a memoir.
Poehler’s Yes Please graces bookshelves with other womanly powerhouses including Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and Tina Fey, spoiling us in the girl-power role models genre.
Despite the New York Times calling out Poehler for lacking "heart" in her book, Poehler’s spirit and signature happy humor shines through the pages. Her honesty about even the most grim (like her admitted past drug use) and embarrassing (her awkward first date with John Stamos) of details shows her willingness to bare all in an effort to be relatable. Although I’m not sure how many of us can relate to having a first date with Uncle Jesse.
Her confessions about how hard it is to write a book about yourself and her fear of not being able to complete it only shows her perfectionism. She knew her fans deserved a good book and it’s evident that she tried hard to give that to us. Her writing style may not be in everyone’s taste; the book includes several lists and other unconventional pages, but this is her book, dammit! She could make it anything she wanted it to be and she succeeded.
The stories she shares are where the joy of the book lies, not necessarily how she writes them. Sadly, there is no Tina Fey cameo, but Seth Meyers penned a sweet chapter which leaves readers wishing we all could be friends with Amy (and be on a first name basis with her).
Poehler is equally as candid about her famous friends as she is about herself, so if you’re a Parks and Recreation fan, hoping to learn that the cast sits on set and soaks up each others’ awesomeness, here’s your chance. Thanks to this chapter, readers learn that Aubrey Plaza used to work as an NBC page and made up the "facts" she shared on her tours. Here’s hoping that becomes a Parks and Rec. spinoff because that sounds like a logical direction for Plaza’s character, April Ludgate.
Poehler continues to confess that she fangirled out when Rob Lowe joined her show, writing, "The scene where Sodapop comes out of the shower in The Outsiders was a very important moment in my adolescence." Us too, Amy. Us too.
These anecdotes are both informative and endearing, painting just the picture of the Parks cast that we hoped would exist. Between Poehler’s slap-happy humor and stories from behind-the-scenes of Saturday Night Live (which indeed confirm that working at SNL is the dream job), Amy gives compassionate advice, such as, "It’s easier to be brave when you’re not alone," comforting her readers and confirming that no matter how lost we may feel, we might just turn out okay after all, because Amy Poehler said so.
She really hits home for this 20-year-old college journalist when she writes, "I think we should stop asking people in their 20s what they ‘want to do’ and start asking them what they don’t want to do."
Yes Please doesn’t feel like another celebrity’s desperate attempt to seem like a regularJoe for their brand. It’s not a book that screams "Guys, look how awkward I am! I’m just like you!" Poehler seems completely genuine in reminding us that despite occupations, humans are not all that different. Even celebrities who are constantly being groomed, touched up, and praised, still battle with inner demons poking at their self-esteem.
The chapters in which she boasts about her adorable offspring and describes her adventures as a mom could warm even the coldest of hearts. If you’re seeking to delve into Poehler’s personal life and find answers about her split from Will Arnett, the comedy divorce felt around the world, Poehler remains surprisingly tight-lipped. Don’t feel too bad for her, though. She makes sure to let us know she has moved on with Comedy Central favorite Nick Kroll. He earns a spot on her acknowledgements page (alongside her ex-husband) for encouraging her in "all the right ways." When Amy Poehler is happy, we all are.
Yes Please is out now and available at your local bookstore or library!