Romance Books

Book Review – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson

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.

3 out of 5 stars

I will first say this – if I didn’t watch the Big Bang Theory and have an affection for Sheldon Cooper, I would have not finished this book.  This book is the story of Don Tillman, who is a professor of genetics and a super rigid guy.  What do I mean?  Well, Don plans his meals, so he eats the same thing on the same day every week.  He schedules his day down to the minute and gets flustered when he goes off schedule.  This rigidity also makes him unattractive to women.

A friend of Don’s tells him that he would make someone a good husband, so in a very Sheldon Cooper-esque way, Don creates a questionnaire to find a wife, called The Wife Project.  Don has a few dates, which are all disasters.  Then he meets Rosie Jarman, who is sent to Don by his best friend Gene (who is a total scumbag).  It turns out that Rosie could use Don for her own purposes – she has no idea who her biological father is.  Rosie and Don begin a quest to learn the identity of Rosie’s father.

The goodreads description says this book is hilarious.  I didn’t find it hilarious.  I found it cute, though often times annoying.  I really liked Rosie – she was funny, strong and didn’t take Don’s shit.  Don was more likable as the book went on, but he could be a real ass.  I liked Don’s friend Claudia, who was married to Gene, but Gene was a total scumbag and didn’t really redeem himself until the end.

Don’s transformation through the course of the book was fun to see.  I think Don has Asperger’s, but it wasn’t really discussed.  It also felt like Don had a traumatic experience in his youth, but this was not discussed as well.  I felt like I was watching TBBT, and Don was Sheldon and Rosie was Penny.  Sheldon has grown and changed over the years – as did Don.  This was a cute, fun read and I would recommend it.


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