The Rosie Project
By Graeme Simsion
October 1, 2013
Simon & Schuster
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.
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.
The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.
Don't be fooled by the seemingly ordinary book cover! It's the inside that matters! The Rosie Project is a uniquely blunt rom-com with a socially inept but completely lovable male protagonist! You can't help but fall in love with genetics professor Don Tillman!
Before I start my review, let me indulge you with a quote from the book which I think would be enough to convince you to give this book a chance.
See?! Don Tillman is just adorkable! haha!'Tell me something I don’t know,' said Rosie for no obvious reason.
Now that we got that quote out of the way, let me proceed with my review. Hohummm...
I'm a huge fan of the TV show The Big Bang Theory and I have a huge weakness for nerds and geeks. There's just something adorable about how a person could stand out from the crowd and be weird, in a good way, of course. It's them being different from the norm that I've always found fascinating. Very few people have the courage to stand out from the crowd instead of conforming to it. In the case of Don Tillman, it wasn't his choice to stand out. He was born special, but this didn't deter him from pursuing happiness in the best way he knew how: through logic and science.
I love Don! He's highly intelligent, awkward and socially inept, but he's also endearing as a character. His logical side always got in the way of him getting a second date, but this never discouraged him. He was determined to find a wife, and what other people deemed as a deterrent in finding a wife, he used as a weapon. I really liked that he set very specific qualifications for a wife in his check list, only to throw them all in the air when he found Rosie.
One of my favorite scenes in this book was when Don was working on his questionnaire for his Wife Project. What perfectly made sense to Don as a way to find a suitable wife was the very anti-thesis of love and romantic inter-personal relationships! It was hilarious! The way he used it in speed-dating was hilarious, too! I have to hand it to him!
I also really appreciate how his friend, Gene, accepted Don for who he was. I think that Don would have been lost without Gene, and in the same way, Gene would have been lost without Don to guide him. I really liked their friendship despite its weird dynamics.
Another thing I loved about this story is that it verbalized the things that I've thought about in my head but never had the chance to say out loud. I mean, scheduling meals everyday makes perfect sense! It saves a lot of time! It actually saves you time from deciding where to eat and what to eat. I don't get why people don't do this. Once upon a time, I also scheduled my meals and what food to eat. It distressed me when my schedule didn't push through. There, I said it. The main reason why I had to stop scheduling it was because of social norms. Would've been easier if I had my way. Oh, well.
All in all, I was really pleasantly surprised when I read this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anybody who wish to read a unique rom-com with a highly logical yet very lovable male protagonist!