Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review: "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion
Published; October 1, 2013
ISBN: 9781476729084
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Highly Recommended for everyone!

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

My Thoughts:
This book has been sitting in my Kindle account for quite some time.  I think it fell victim to my aversion to hyped books, or at least that is what I'm telling myself.  I recently won a copy of The Rosie Effect in a giveaway and I thought I should probably read this one first.  I went in expecting something light and quick.

Don't get me wrong--this was light and quick.  Light in that it wasn't a book that I felt like I had to work to read and quick because I could not put it down.  To assume, however, that it being "light and quick" means it is fluffy is just wrong.  While this book is definitely smooth going down, shall we say, it definitely packs a punch.

It took me a little time to settle into this book, to no fault of the books.  You see, I am a devoted fan of The Big Bang Theory and this book is very similar.  The main character is a man with Asperger's and a scientist.  Yet, it quickly becomes clear that Don Tillman is not a Sheldon Cooper clone...he wants to have a relationship and take pro-active, and questionable, steps to achieve that goal.

The other characters in this book are well-drawn as well.  Rosie is an interesting woman and she turns out to not be what I initially thought she would be.  I can't say that I "liked" Gene, but he was an effective foil for Don and one that I wouldn't expect.  But, there was quite a bit about this book I didn' expect--I thought I had figured the Father Project out and was a bit flummoxed to realize that I had guessed wrong.

There is great comedy in this book (including some unorthodox uses for skeleton) but there is great emotion as well.  Don's feelings are crystal clear to the reader long before he ever has the slightest inkling of going on.  Yet, when he does figure it out, it hits you like Billy Crystal's speech in When Harry Met Sally (but it is not when Don actually recites that particular speech...yes, that happens!).  I think the greatest strength of this book is how Simsion develops Don without Don actually knowing it.  And, yes, this is a love story--a quirky and sweet romantic tale, but it isn't what I would consider a "romance."  Don's relationship with Rosie is the tool that leads to his self-realization, not the other way around.

It has been a while since a book so quickly worked its way into my heart as this one did.  Ignore the hype (even though it is all well-deserved) and pick up this book!

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.

The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion

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