The Year of Yes

the year of yesOk, I am finally writing the review for this book that I finished a couple months ago.  It took me barely any time at all to finish the book, and I actually was almost done with it by the time I wrote the last book review.  I could barely put it down.  I highly recommend this book, although I have to give the disclaimer that if it were a movie, it would probably be rated R.  If you’re comfortable with that, it’s amazing.

The Year of Yes is the author’s story of a year in her life during which she decided to say yes to ANY guy that asked her out, since she was becoming discouraged with the guys she was drawn towards, and thought if she opened up more, she might find someone unexpected.

I was excited.  I was ready.  I was going to force open my heart and make myself willing.  It wasn’t that I was lowering my standards.  Just the opposite.  I was expanding my faith in humanity.  I was going to say yes, not just to a different kind of man, but to a different kind of life.

Since she lived in New York, this decision led to many interesting/funny/depressing/unique experiences.  The book is very amusing for the most part, but also poignant.  At one point near the end, I was straight up sobbing, upon the realization that we had some similarities, and her story at that point was quite depressing.

I don’t really want to tell you anything at all about the story, especially how it ends, because I really think it’s worth a read (again, if you’re comfortable with the content).  However, here’s a quote from the end:

Love is hard to pin down.  There is no language for it.  A glorious sparking inside you, an alchemy.  All your hurt suddenly turned into joy.  Love is inexplicable.  Of Dante’s Divine Comedy the Inferno is the half that gets read.  The Paradiso is ignored, because it repeats those same, trite descriptions of bliss.  Love is too enormous to diagram, too complex to re-create on the page.  Even if, as Dante did, you glimpse your beloved only a couple of times.  Historically, he met Beatrice once, when he was about eight, and again, when he was a teenager, and she, married to someone else, smiled at him.  That was it for Dante.  He was blown away.  They never even touched.  She died young, and Dante ended up married to someone else.  And still, his love for her was so large that, in the Paradiso, Beatrice leads him out through the solar system.  The Earth isn’t enough to contain them.  It’s like that with love.  Nothing could have prepared me for it.  All I could do was open my heart.  I didn’t understand everything that I was holding.  I only knew that it was right.

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