Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Book 11: The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion

"I decided to read 52 books this year so that I could find & read books like The Rosie Project- books that would make me laugh, sigh and remind me why I love reading"

'The Rosie Project' by Graeme Simsion is a story about the search for love and its rather surprising results. It has been an absolute pleasure to read and review The Rosie Project as All Booked Up's 11th book of 2014. The Rosie Project is a sweet, endearing novel with many laugh out loud moments. And I mean serious, do-not-read-in-public-otherwise-you-will-look-like-a-lunatic, laugh out loud moments. None of this smirking at the page business. Simsion's writing never feels contrived, the characters are lifelike and genuine, and just like I did, you will fall in love with the main character, Don, well before the last page.
veryone who I have mentioned that I was reading this book to has had the same response, that The Rosie Project is a great novel.  It has been one of the few books this year I have loved from the very beginning and knew right away it would definitely deserve a 5 star rating.

Two different covers of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project begins with Professor Don Tillman searching for a solution to his 'Wife Problem'. That he doesn't have one. Don is a brilliant genetic researcher, bicycling enthusiast, an excellent and extremely efficient cook, and very, very single. Don also has Asperger's Syndrome, a fact of which he remains unaware despite the subtle efforts of his few friends. Don develops the 'Wife Project, setting up a survey as a way of culling potential candidates and to allow for maximum time efficiency, wasting no time on dates with unsuitable ladies. However Don's project doesn't go to plan when the spontaneous, stubborn and unique Rosie crosses his path.

I decided to read The Rosie Project because I heard that it had a main character with a disability and as I work with people with disability who are on the autism spectrum, it tweaked my interest. But make no mistake, this novel is not a book about 'disability'. The Rosie Project is a novel about love, friendship, surprises and compromise. 

The fact that Don has Asperger's does lead to many hilarious moments with Don's understanding of social situations being slightly off kilter from the 'norm'. Don acknowledges he has difficulties with reading social cues and developing friendships, and the novel has quite a few funny moments where Don puts his foot in it.

"You seem very interested in babies" (Natalie said)
"I'm interested in their behaviour. Without the corrupting influence of a parent present."
She Looked at me strangely. "Do you do any stuff with kids? I mean Scouts, Church Groups..."
"No," I Said. "It's unlikely I'd be suitable".

In writing the novel in first person, Simsion allows readers to see the world from Don's unique point of view, and laugh along at times when Don is blissfully unaware the effect his words have on others. More powerfully, in writing the novel from Don's perspective, Simsion allows readers to see that the fact Don has Asperger's Syndrome does not prevent him from leading a very interesting life. The Rosie Project reminds readers that someone's 'disability' is not necessarily their defining factor, and can even be more of an 'ability' (Don's ability to remember facts and optimise his time for maximum efficiency come in handy a few times).

The Good Bits

Throughout the novel, Don believes that all ice-cream tastes the same and plans to only date women who believe this.

Didn't want to miss a chance to fit in a Ron Swanson GIF

What is quite a humorous part of the novel actually serves as a reminder that we all get stuck in our ways and beliefs, often limiting ourselves and our ability to have different experiences and the potential to make new friends. When Don chills out a bit (get it, ice-cream, chilled, haha?) he ends up having a lot more fun.

And the best bit of all is that there will be a sequel! The Rosie Effect is coming out later this year.

The Not So Good Bits

ummm... that it wasn't longer?

But in all seriousness, there was nothing about this novel that I did not like. Simsion has created a truly excellent novel which is humorous and quirky but without being silly or disingenuous. I am thoroughly looking forward to reading the sequel. Ultimately, I decided to read 52 books this year so I could find books like The Rosie Project, books that would make me laugh, sigh and remind me why I love reading. Thank you Mr Simsion.


5 out of 5 tasty ice-creams

Want more?

Novels similar to The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion are

Getting the Girl, Markus Zusak, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Mark Haddon, The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

 Bonus section!

If you think the cover of The Rosie Project is as cool as I do, check out this interesting look into the different covers of The Rosie Project around the world! 


The Next Book

Tell The Wolves I'm Home, a novel about a young girl who looses her beloved uncle to AIDS in the 1980's.


  1. I have this one on my list now...aka, I have it on hold at the library. Thanks for the recommendation. Totally looking forward to it when it comes. :)

    1. Glad you will be reading The Rosie Project! Let me know what you think of it when you are done! :)

  2. Hi, Amejoys. The Rosie Project is such a unique book, it's hard to compare it to anything else out there. I first thought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, but it's so much more than that. Hilariously funny, popular fiction, yet book-clubbable. I hope you succeed in your quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks. Have you read We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler? It's a good read. I would also recommend Lightning by Felicity Volk--one of my favourites.

  3. you makes me want to read this book. thanks for the reviews!