Well, what an adorable little gem of a book this is. I don’t often read romances and, if I do, I prefer romances with a bit of a twist. The Rosie Project fits the bill perfectly. It’s touching, emotional but, most of all, it’s funny – I laughed out loud plenty of times while reading this book.
The story opens introducing us to Don, a brilliant but socially inept genetic scientist. Within the first chapter I loved him – Graeme Simsion really gets us into the mind of this socially awkward, overly analytical man. For anyone who watches The Big Bang Theory, I found Don’s personality reminiscent of the loveable TV character Sheldon; a man who is brilliant in his chosen career but the simplest of social protocols elude him. A great example of this is when he is offered coffee at an evening conference. He responds: “I never drink coffee after 3.48pm. It interferes with sleep. Caffeine has a half-life of three to four hours, so it’s irresponsible serving coffee at 7pm, unless people are planning to stay awake until after midnight. Which doesn’t allow adequate sleep if they have a conventional job.”
Yes, Don lives an extremely ordered life, even down his “Standardised Meal System”, by which he cooks himself the same seven meals each week. But he feels he’s missing something. A companion, a wife. His solution? Don develops a complex survey, designed to quickly eliminate any women who don’t meet his stringent protocol for a potential life partner. He then embarks on a series of hilarious dating encounters, including online and speed dating, although as a whole he finds that the lengthy survey doesn’t go down particularly well.
Whilst Don is in the midst of hunting for his future wife, he meets Rosie. Rosie wouldn’t get past question one on the survey – she smokes, drinks, works as a barmaid and is always late. But Rosie doesn’t seem particularly interested in marrying Don, she’s more interested in finding her estranged father. The problem is, she doesn’t know who he is. All she knows is that it was someone who was at her mother’s graduation, but her Mum never told her who.
So, the two embark on a quest to find Rosie’s father together, with the aids of Don’s genetic skills and his University lab. I was a bit worried I’d find this part of the story a little dull, but it really held my attention and I was keen to find out the truth. The mission takes them on a number of adventures, including a night of cocktail making fun and a trip to New York.
The Rosie Project is essentially a romance, but the addition of the “Father Project” and Don’s wonderfully unique view on the world make it a little bit more special. It is the epitome of the phrase ‘opposites attract’ with Rosie’s sassy, spontaneous nature and Don’s ordered way of looking at things perfectly balancing each other out. With razor-sharp dialogue and a big heart, this book is a rom com with a difference. There are rumours that it is due to be adapted into a film in the near future, and I can’t wait to see it. I just hope that they find an actor who can do the brilliant character of Don Tillman justice.