Book Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)
by Graeme Simsion
Blurb from Goodreads
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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.

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‘Don Tillman is described as being a dead-ringer for Gregory Peck, circa Atticus Finch.’
Not how I pictured him.
Before you go any further be warned there may be some plot spoilers oh and I’m a bit rusty at this reviewing thing so please forgive me. Thank you.
“But why, why, why can’t people just say what they mean?” 
Its been another one of those times that its took twice as long to finish a book. Last night however I was determined to fit some reading in and had quite a bit of the book to finish. That’s why I like having a paper book because you can see how far you’ve got and whether its worth leaving the rest for the morning.  I went to bed at about 9pm and got to a bit where the lead character was in a bit of a squander. By 11pm, not realising two hours had passed I finished what was a roller-coaster ride of a book. I haven’t read chick lit in a while some of it got a bit soppy and silly. But this was amazing, it had laughs, annoying characters, the ‘don’t let her go moments’ ‘what were you thinking’ ‘Oh my god, I’ve done that’ ‘I’m like that!’ .
“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.” 
I loved how it focused on some one who the world would class as ‘not normal’ simply because of  the way he saw the world, and how we’re all wrapped up in ourselves. It did give clues that he may be bordering on Asperger’s Syndrome, I don’t know much about this, but I know as humans we are all wired differently regardless. Then there was Rosie, his love interest. The wild card as he thought but was a complete mix-up in communication who he ends up going out of his way to find out who her father is, a complete stranger helping another. I think Rosie and Don were the perfect match. To always be able to teach each other things and because it proved that the ‘ideal person’ we think we should be with can be the complete opposite. I  love the fact that Rosie loved watching soppy films and crying and Don didn’t understand it but also didn’t mind it. I want a guy like that. You have to have differences, I watch these films, yes to think one day I will fall madly deeply in love, but also as a way of escaping, a release. Every girl needs a good cry once in a while.
“Fault! Asperger’s isn’t a fault. It’s a variant. It’s potentially a major advantage. Asperger’s syndrome is associated with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment.” 
“Our first relationship with a male is with our fathers. It affects how we relate to men forever.” 
What I loved most was all Don’s little projects,  The initial one being the wife project and looking for a suitable life partner. I wonder if the author had read ‘How to date a hot chick’ when researching this. That has a list of questions, on what you want your future partner to be/look like.
I loved how it made him realise that it was more to see if any one was suitable for him. People tell me I’m hard work, simple, weird and my relationship with my Dad, well, I think like Rosie it effected me.  I was always wary when someone liked me, I don’t feel pretty, I know I’m not tactful, I care too much, and all I wanted was my Dad too not blame me for how he was feeling , not resent me for being independent and stubborn (yes I think that’s a classic fault but its more when I get angry and someone won’t bloody listen that I’ll stick my heels in, or if I think I can do/should do something from fear of failure or worse looking thick! ).
“I asked you here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” 
“I formed a provisional conclusion that most of these were simply variations in human brain function that had been inappropriately medicalised because they did not fit social norms – constructed social norms – that reflected the most common human configuration rather than the full range.”
‘I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’
‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’
This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this little book, but I laughed I cried, I almost shouted out ‘yes! why can’t people realise that we are all different and stop trying to conform each other!’  I hated trying to fit in at school and as a result ended up in my last year not having many if any friends, I was suffering from migraines at the time and the tablets I was on made my hands shake so I tried to hide it from everyone and then got bullied for this and other things. I still find today as an adult that  you have to ‘fit in’ I hate it. Take me for who I bloody am. Its a hard enough struggle trying to be Helen never mind thinking that I mustn’t show people up, it makes it worse.

Again back to the book, with all the projects going on like the wife project then  the father project, I loved how it made him step out of his comfort zone, how it knocked his routine, pointing out possibly that not all change is bad, that we get stuck in bad/old ways and I Just takes one thing to rock the boat to make us open our eyes.  Don stuck to his routine because he felt safe and then along comes Rosie who thinks Don is a bit odd and in the end both show each other new things.

I love how it was lots of ‘if’s’ and ’causes’ and ‘wrong information’ that lead you down a different path. We also believe, rely on what other people say and do things to please other people thinking that this is the right way, or we’re worried what others think, As Don has proved we shouldn’t and we should embrace life and accept that we’re not all perfect but at least there is someone out there for everyone. And everyone can be happy. We’re just got to accept ourselves for who we are and others and that we shouldn’t try to hard to change them or us.

We all have flaws, we all have issues, but we are all beautiful and unique in our own way.

Read this book its a great book!

Thank you for reading

xxx

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