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Monday, May 11, 2015

REVIEW: The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Sim

The Rosie Project is breath of fresh air. The story is of an unconventional romance.  Dr. Don Tillman is a forty something genetics professor.  Throughout the narration, readers easily perceive that Tillman might be described as an odd duck -- think The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon meets some else you might know on the autism or Asperger's spectrum.  He is regimented, logical, literal and socially awkward but in a delightfully charming way.

“I haven’t changed my mind. That’s the point! I want to spend my life with you even though it’s totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.” ~ Don Tillman

Determined to discover if he is capable of true love, Tillman embarks on the 'Wife Project'.  Having never been on a second date but often been told that he'd make an ideal husband, he develops a survey and list of qualities which his perfect partner must exhibit --be logical and punctual--but NOT a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or perpetually late.

Enter Rosie Jarman, who ironically is all of these things as well as intelligent, passionate and the complete opposite of Tillman in every way.  Rosie is on a mission of her own --to find her biological father.  It just so happens that Tillman might know a thing or two about DNA and so the 'Father Project' takes shape.  What transpires is an often hilarious yet heartfelt and unique portrayal exploring the nature of human interactions, the ways in which each of us are different and also how it is possible for anyone to find love -- especially a love that might not be what some might call conventional.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

“I thought you were happy about having a baby.’ I was happy in the way that I would be happy if the captain of an aircraft in which I was travelling announced that he had succeeded in restarting one engine after both had failed. Pleased that I would now probably survive, but shocked that the situation had arisen in the first place, and expecting a thorough investigation into the circumstances.” ~Don Tillman
I just finished The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2).  As the follow up to what I thought was a quirky, fun read, I have to say that I was fundamentally disappointed with the second book.  In truth, Tillman's eccentric behaviors are intact. Having moved to New York with his now wife, Rosie, he is learning to balance his quirky personality traits through social interactions and how to share his life in a long term commitment.  All this progress it put to the test when he learns Rosie is pregnant. Rifts develop as Tillman attempts to adjust to 'bud's' impending arrival.

While there are several humorous scenes as Tillman prepares for impending fatherhood, I found the character portrayals and other plot developments grating.  As a reader, I realize that Tillman's actions manifest in accordance with previously established thinking and behaviors; however, the effect soured my affection toward him.  Furthermore, as much as I enjoyed Rosie's feisty personality in the first book, she's quite flat and uninteresting in this novel.  

Final rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

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