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Picks and Pans Review: The Year of Yes

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By Maria Dahvana Headley

REVIEWED BY JUDITH NEWMAN

MEMOIR

This book starts with a wonderful premise. Headley, then a 20-year-old N.Y.U. student, is tired of the guys she dates—men who are more in love with their own voices droning on about, say, Middlemarch than with her. So she decides that for a year she will say Yes to anyone (single, and not an obvious freak) who asks her out—millionaires, guys who pass on bikes … even women. Hilarity should ensue, and occasionally it does, though more often the situations strain credulity. Still, Headley has a knack for coining terms (“Gayts” are dates who are gay, and everyone knows it but them). And she does find love, though in the most conventional way. One has to cheer for a book that suggests letting go of preconceptions—and perhaps embracing a little chaos—to find happiness.