Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman 39, Melbourne genetics prof and Gregory Peck lookalike, sets a 16-page questionnaire The Wife Project to find a non-smoker, non-drinker ideal match. But Rosie and her Father Project supersede. The spontaneous always-late smoker-drinker wants to find her biological father. She resets his clock, throws off his schedule, and turns his life topsy-turvy.

This book was a lot of fun!

I felt like it started off slowly, I didn’t really think much of it until the last half, at which point I flew through it and really saw why people have been raving about it so much.

I ended up really liking Don and really wanted the couple to end up together- I knew they would, since there’s a sequel, but still… I was looking forward to it. I really enjoyed watching Don’s prejudices breaking down and see him questioning his feelings, learning how to behave and show how he felt. I really felt for him when he would get confused over what aspect of social interaction he’d misunderstood. But… of course he had to look like Gregory Peck and have great abs… he couldn’t just make Rosie like him for his brilliant mind. No no, we must be ripped and gorgeous to make up for the Aspergers. That was pretty much the only thing that really bothered me about Don’s character.

I didn’t quite understand why they ended up having Rosie become a doctor… I get that she wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps, but she was already a psych PhD, is that not enough proof that she’s clever? But again, I loved that she ended up being so totally different to what Don thought she was, and totally different from your stock standard romantic comedy interest.

Yes, Don is a completely cliched version of someone with Aspergers… knowing people with it, it really isn’t that adorable and fun, and certainly doesn’t necessarily mean you’re some kind of science wiz. Don is cliched like Sheldon Cooper is cliched, and if you go into reading it in that way, it’s not so bad. I don’t think it does much for Aspergers awareness, but that isn’t what the author set out to achieve. I certainly didn’t laugh at Don, but found his mindset fascinating and the situations he found himself in amusing.

I always like having a major book set in my country, but I really wish they’d put the soul of Melbourne in there…it would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase a really gorgeous and eclectic city. Really, this could have been set anywhere- it had no Australian flair. I imagine this will make it far easier to sell the film rights to a Hollywood studio, who will promptly plonk it in San Francisco or something, but that is always the danger for books being made into films.

I ended up really enjoying The Rosie Project and have got the second book sitting on my Kindle… i’m not in a huge rush to begin it, but I might in the next few months. I’m interested to see how Rosie copes with the solution to The Father Project and what’s happened to Gene and Claudia, who I really liked.

4/5 Stars

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

  1. Love your review of this – I totally didn’t catch on to the fact Don is supposed to be good looking when I was reading it, and it’s really interesting to see the Australian perspective because you’re right, it could have been set anywhere. I don’t know how I feel about the fact the author didn’t use this as an opportunity to at least partially explore Aspergers and the location… would it have detracted from the fun and light elements of the read, or added to it with a little more depth and authenticity?? R x

    • I didn’t picture him that way either until she mentioned it… he looked like a normal bloke!
      It’s such a shame coz Melbourne is such an awesome city. Simsion could have played up it’s strengths so well but failed… Melbs has a certain vibe that translates so well, especially into literature and film. It’s cosmopolitan but has incredible history, has a café and laneway culture, loads of funky bars and shops… Maybe I’m a bit biased coz I come from there, but I’d feel the same way if it was Sydney too.
      I kind of get not getting too deep into the Aspergers- there’s plenty of books on that and this is meant to be a rom com type thing… but I feel more put out by the lack of Australian character- there’s hardly any great contemporary Aussie lit set in Australia as it is 😦

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Things I Like and Dislike in Romance Novels | bookarahma

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