Shonda Rhimes- Year of Yes

Hi everyone,

As some of you may know I am a HUGE Shonda Rhimes fan. I am obsessed with Grey’s anatomy and basically want to be like Shonda when I grow up. (haha) When I heard that her book “Year of Yes” was released I rushed to get my own copy. Anything that has been written by the Genius who brought us the most unbelievable medical series (totally my opinion, but still) must be great. Which is why I am EXTREMELY excited to be writing this review on such a wonderful book.

*warning* if you are a huge reader and only read novels that are 1000 pages or more than this book may not be for you but if you are someone like me, who needed a blast of inspiration. Who needed something to relate to. Who is sick of cliches like “think positively” then this book is DEFINANTLY for you!

In short, “Year of Yes” is about how Shonda managed to change her life around by saying yes to all the things that scared her. While this in itself is a fantastic triumph, her book did so much more for me. It gave me a complete inside to this woman and gave me a better and deeper understanding of the shows that have done so much for me in my life. I started watching Grey’s anatomy when I was writing my final exams in Matric. My incentive for studying would be to watch an episode (or 2) of the show afterwards. I rewarded myself with Shonda. Ever since, I have always had a special relationship with the characters in Grey’s because they have been there, helping me to keep going, no matter what.

There are many components that make this book a good read. But what I think makes this book special, is Shonda’s honesty. She completely allows the reader into her life. She doesn’t hide from the reader rather she speaks to you as a friend. And on top of that, any Shonda fan will recognise her style of writing from any one of her brilliant shows. She writes her book like she writes TV, and this makes it relatable because you feel like you already know her.

The book starts off with a Cristina Yang quote “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more” When something starts off with Cristina’s wise words, you know it’s going to be good! Cristina was and will always be my favourite Grey’s anatomy character and after reading this book and understanding why she was Shonda’s favourite too, my understanding of her has grown tremendously.

After reading this book, I want to say yes to things. I want to make my life better, I want to succeed. Perhaps I enjoyed this book so much because it landed in my hands during a time I really needed a life or because I am just such a fan of the author. But either way I am very happy that I now own this book and can refer to it whenever I please. There are so many encouraging words throughout the book, so many moments that I caught myself going “wow, that is just so true” so many times I wanted to dance it out because it made sense. IT MADE SENSE! It wasn’t some far fetched self-help book where you need to breathe and visualise a beach. It was raw and honest. It acknowledged the crappy side of life and then just kicked its ass!

Do yourself a favour and indulge in this book. Let yourself be moved. Allow yourself to want to make a better life for yourself.

“I am different. I am an original. And like everyone else, I am here to take up space in the universe. I do so with pride”- Shonda Rhimes.

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

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Bollywood Blonde by Gene Gualdi

Hi everyone,

I just finished reading an awesome book called Bollywood Blonde. The book is written by a South African author,photographer and creative, Gene Gualdi. Gene was living and working in the film industry in Cape Town and was picked up by an Indian producer and offered a job in India. What started out as a 6-month stint turned into a 6-year adventure full of ups and downs. What first drew me to the book was the idea that a young South African, just like me, could find herself with a ‘dream’ job in an exotic country. Since I study film, it seemed like a perfect book for me to read. As I began to read the book I came to understand that Gene’s story is so much more than just an adventure, her book is a brave testimony of an experience that changed her life.

Throughout the book, I caught myself thinking ‘how did she do it?’ How did she leave her family for something completely unknown?  How did she trust a man she didn’t even know? How did she wake up at 4:30AM every morning? How did she stay excited and positive when all she wanted to do was crash? How, How and How?? The conclusion that I came to; bravery, passion and an enormous sense of adventure!

The book is written in such a wonderful way, there is no wafting. As you read the first sentence you are immediately transported into Gene’s world. The story is so fast paced that I simply could not stop reading it in fear that I would miss something. (As a slow reader being able to finish the book so quickly makes quite the statement) There are no fancy words taking up space for lack of story. Gene tells it like it is and I loved it.

The book is her true story about her time spent in India. It follows her dramatic life there and introduces the reader to all the amazing people she met along the way. The book is an honest roller coaster ride culminating in a dramatic event that changes Gene’s entire mindset. The book is not only about India but rather it is about adventure, self-realisation, the not so glamorous film industry and how a little bravery can go a long way.

I MOST DEFIANTLY recommend this book to not only aspiring filmmakers but to anyone who loves a true story. I found her story inspiring and it has given me a new perspective about filmmaking and self-confidence. I sincerely hope this book becomes a movie one day because what an exciting movie it would be!

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

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