Monday, 29 September 2014

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Title: The Rosie Project/Don Tillman #1
Author: Graeme Simsion
Cover Artist: Joel Holland and Shutterstock
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA romance fiction
Page Count: 327
Original Language: English
Format Read: Paperback
Other books in series: The Rosie Effect/Don Tillman #2
Movie Adaptation: N/A

I had heard about The Rosie Project before and I only associated it with the lobster on the front, so when I was on holiday earlier this year I went to an independent bookshop and this book caught my eye. Low and behold, it was a great decision to purchase it.


"I'm not goo at understanding what other people want."

"Tell me something I don't know..."

Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman. A handsome thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises The Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. Just what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?

The first page:

*Spoiler Alert - this review assumes you are not familiar with the story*

This, for me, was a very different type of book. It was understandable through its entirety and my God, it was so important.

I'll tell you why. The book covered the topic of Asperger's Syndrome in a tasteful manner, and assured the reader that even those who are different can function in society and even have a loving relationship. Yes, there are a few problems along the way, but the end is the same as anybody else's. It wasn't insulting to read either. I am usually very wary of these types of books because the author can slip up once and make it offensive for anyone with the syndrome to read, but I felt as though anyone reading it with Asperger's would not be insulted.

Also, the big irony of the book was that it actually didn't focus on love (I know, shocker) but instead provided the reader with a funny commentary into somebody's life and their search for something more than their work. It wasn't even about acceptance - everyone around Don accepted him as a human being and worked with him to overcome his relationship issues. 

Throughout the book there was a strong writer's voice and I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed sitting in the garden on a warm summer night whilst curled up on a big comfy chair and reading this. Rosie was a gem of a character, and I liked Gene and Claudia who are his best friends, but my favourite character by far was Don himself. He was so humorous and down to earth, and it felt like I was checking up on an old friend every time I opened the book. 

There was a bit of a rushed ending, but everything that needed to be said had been said, so it didn't spoil the last pages of what was a truly clever and magnificent book. That's why I decided to give it 5/5 cups of tea, for it truly deserved it. I can't wait to read the sequel, as I know it will be equally as intelligent and mesmerising. What a cracker of a novel.

About the author:

Graeme Simsion.jpg

Graeme Simsion is is a New Zealand born Australian author, screen-writer, playwright and data modeller. Prior to writing fiction he was an information systems consultant and wrote two books and several papers about data-modelling. He established a consulting business in 1982 and sold it in 1999. Simsion won the 2012 Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award for his book, The Rosie Project. Text Publishing has sold the rights to the book internationally for over $1.8m, and The Rosie Project was published in Australia in January 2014, selling more than a million copies in over forty countries around the world.

Where to find Graeme Simsion: Website, Twitter

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