Amy Poehler's memoir 'Yes Please': What do critics say about the book?(Read article summary)
Some reviewers praised the book's humor, while others found it to be unstructured. Poehler's book was released on Oct. 28.
Amy Poehler’s new memoir “Yes Please,” which hit bookstores today, is already doing well in sales and has been getting positive reviews for its writing style, though some have objected to its format.
“Please” is currently ranked at number 10 on Amazon and at number 20 on Barnes & Noble. The book details Poehler’s childhood, time on “Saturday Night Live,” and current career, among other experiences.
Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara called the book “funny, wise, earnest, honest, spiritually ambitious, occasionally self-indulgent and structurally messy.”
"Like most comedians, Poehler is happy to point out the glaring flaws, contradictions and cruelty of the human condition, but in this book, as with her work elsewhere, you get the sense she does it because she believes everyone capable of change," McNamara wrote. "She is ruthless but in a generous way." McNamara wrote that a chapter titled "I'm So Proud of You" "should be required reading in high schools" and that a list of potential divorce books was "truly hilarious," while a section about an apology was "moving." "Mercifully, the book does not include ... a lot of self-deprecating nonsense about luck.... This last [characteristic] alone makes 'Yes Please' worth reading.... Not everything in 'Yes Please' works (I love Seth Meyers, just not here), but many things are funny.... 'Yes Please' is at times choppy and self-consciously eccentric.... But none of that matters much because in between ... is a smart and funny woman."
Erik Adams of the A.V. Club called the book "delightful."
"Poehler’s prose is direct and matter of fact," he wrote. "'Yes Please' can be a little prescriptive with its advice.... 'Yes Please' is a breezy read that runs on its own internal logic, mimicking the stream-of-consciousness flow of improvisational comedy.... The book is best viewed through this filter, like opening a door in Poehler’s head and watching all of the memories, opinions, and insight pour out."
However, Kara Baskin of the Boston Globe wrote that Poehler's book is "afflicted" with a "cutesy title" and an "autobiograph[y] that masquerade[s] as advice, as if this is a more generously feminist way to be hilarious. That’s one of the primary downfalls of 'Yes Please'.... lots of this book feels like filler.... [there's] the pervasive sense that she felt pressured into this gig.... But when her heart’s in it, she’s magnificent, especially when she sticks to straight-up memoir.... That’s the saving grace of 'Yes Please': candor."
And USA Today critic Jocelyn McClurg wrote that the book is "a mess, a book that (dare I say it in these anything-goes times?) desperately needed an editor and a focus.... where's the funny in 'Yes Please'? MIA.... Out of fairness, there are times in 'Yes Please' when you remember why you like Poehler ... [but] I'm going to have to say Knope to 'Yes.'"