23 February 2017
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Dan O'Grady, narrator
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Part of a series?: Yes, Book #1 of the Don Tillman series
Genre: Contemporary romance
Format read: Audiobook from the library
Sweet or hot?: Medium; the possibility of sex is mentioned but nothing explicit
Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”
This book is a romance written by a man and told from the hero's point of view. Spending time inside a man's brain was a refreshing change. I mean, I've enjoyed books written by women from the hero's perspective, but sometimes it feels like wish fulfillment -- this is what women hope men are thinking, so they write it that way. Anyway . . .
The Rosie Project is the first-person narrative of Don Tillman, a brilliant genetics professor who decides it is about time to find himself a wife. He recognizes that he is socially awkward and inept at conventional dating, so he designs a 16-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. Early on in the process, Don meets Rosie Jarman, a woman who has all the traits he was trying to filter out with the questionnaire: smoking, drinking, chronic tardiness, etc. Yet he breaks several of his rules to help her with a project because he is inexplicably drawn to her. What results is an unlikely relationship.
At first, I didn't know if I was going to stick with this novel. It took the length of the first chapter for me to become accustomed to Don's analytical thought process. I've read books and watched TV shows with female characters who have similar characteristics but not to such an extent. Once the story advanced to scenes where Don spends time with people who understand him, I became more engaged.
One thing I am attracted to is a "fish out of water" story, and you could look at this story that way. Don has rigid schedules that make him feel safe but spending time with Rosie causes him to readjust his time tables repeatedly. He goes to places he's been before but sees them differently because Rosie pushes him to try new approaches. I enjoyed seeing Don incorporate the new information without totally losing himself. There were also some funny bits where the reader understands a situation that Don has gotten himself into while he is still methodically analyzing it.
Dan O'Grady, the narrator, did a respectable job; doing women's voices doesn't seem to be his strong suit, but I adjusted to that quickly. I'm still not sure if this is the ideal book to listen to on audio, though. While I have plenty of experience listening to audiobooks, I had trouble in several places distinguishing between Don's inner thoughts and what he spoke aloud. If I continue to the next book, I would most likely read it rather than listen to it so I could have the benefit of quotation marks.
As I mentioned above, there is a second book but this first book does not end in a cliffhanger. Moving on to The Rosie Effect will give you more time with these characters, but The Rosie Project is a complete book in itself. It was enjoyable and definitely a palate cleanser if, like me, you read the same type of romances over and over. Give yourself a break and give this a try.
The Rosie Project at Overdrive
The Rosie Project at Amazon
The Rosie Project at Book Depository