Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: The Rosie Project

Summary: MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. 

 Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you. 

 Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection. -- Simon & Schuster

At this year's BEA, there was one book in particular that I knew I just had to read. It's called THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion, and it's been getting quite a bit of buzz. When I first heard the basic premise of the book -- an autistic man decides to find himself a wife, I thought it had the potential to be a very entertaining book. However, I admit that all of the excitement surrounding this novel made me a bit leery because I was concerned that I was setting my expectations a bit too high.

Fear not! I adored THE ROSIE PROJECT! It was cute, funny, and touching; and it really is worthy of all the praise. It's one of those books that just makes you smile when you are reading it, and in my case, I wanted to share it with all of my friends.

Don Tillman is a professor of genetics who isn't exactly comfortable in social settings. I'm pretty sure he falls somewhere on the autistic spectrum. As a scientist, Don excels with his methodical thinking; however, it doesn't translate very well to finding a wife as is evidenced by the failure of his "Wife Project."

Then one day, he meets Rosie -- but Rosie doesn't "fit" with his image of a wife. In fact, she's pretty much the opposite but Don finds himself drawn to Rosie. He decides to help Rosie on her quest to identify her biological father, and as they spend more time together, Don can't help but notice that he's falling in love with Rosie...even though, scientifically, she isn't right for him!

For those of you who enjoy the occasional chick lit book or romantic comedy, you probably will find the description of THE ROSIE PROJECT to be appealing. I absolutely agreed. But, as bad as this sounds, I also thought it could fall flat on its face. A book like this has to be written "just right" or it can be too silly, too gushy, or even too corny. Mr. Simsion did a remarkable thing with his novel. He captured the essence of his characters and made me truly care for them. Furthermore, once he captured my attention, he showed me how their relationship developed into a romantic one without making me roll my eyes. That's saying a lot for a romantic cynic like me!

One of the things I loved the most about THE ROSIE PROJECT were the characters of Rosie and Don. I just loved them and, despite their differences and misunderstandings, I was rooting for them to end up together. I enjoyed their dialogue and thought the inner workings of their friendship and eventual romantic relationship were so sweet.

I also loved the humor in this novel. Since the story was written in Don's voice, it ended up being incredibly funny. I can't tell you how much I laughed, really laughed, at this book. Don has major issues with socializing and I loved how he overcame them (well.. kind of!) His insights into other people's quirks were a riot as were his insights into himself.

And finally, the general message of the story was so heartwarming. Basically, it said that "the heart wants what the heart wants" no matter how unlikely a relationship might be. As someone who doesn't really appreciate "love stories," I can certainly tell you that Don and Rosie captured my heart and made me feel so darn good about the power of love!

I absolutely loved reading THE ROSIE PROJECT, and I can't wait to see it on the big screen! Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel


Melissa Mc said...

I am so happy to read positive reviews about a book I'm so eager to read! I ordered this blindly...looks like I took a chance on a good one!

bermudaonion said...

I think I've known a few men like Don. This book sounds really cute!!

Beth Hoffman said...

When I first heard about this book, I wasn't sure if it was for me as I don't much care for romance, but your review has convinced me to pick it up and give it a try. It sounds like a fun read!

Beth F said...

Like Beth, I passed up this book thinking it was too chick-lit or too romance-y for me. Now you've got me itching to read it.

Gayle Weiswasser said...

Just got this one on audio - glad to hear that you liked it!

Stacie said...

You make this book sound so great. Now my to read list is one book longer!