Monday, November 25, 2013
The Rosie Project
Simon & Schuster, 2013
Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
I saw this book and kind of skipped over it as pleasant but not necessarily must-read. Then I saw a review comparing the feelings it evokes to those elicited by Rainbow Rowell's fabulous Attachments, immediately sending this book to the top of my to-read list. And I'm so glad because it worked out very well for me!
Don is a professor of genetics who has reached the age of thirty-nine without meeting a suitable partner. He decides to tackle this lack by creating a questionnaire for what he dubs The Wife Project. Soon after he meets Rosie who he deems completely unsuitable but something about her interests him and he begins to help her with her own quest to find her father, discovering that not everything can be quantified on paper including but especially love.
It is suggested by the text that Don has Asperger's or is at least on some part of the autism spectrum evincing many of the symptoms of that diagnosis though it is never explicitly stated. He has a rigid schedule and is upset when it's disrupted, he is compulsively orderly, and he struggles with social cues, maintaining only a handful of friends. However his time with Rosie disrupts his well-ordered days and introduces him to a wide variety of new acquaintances who actually appreciate his ability to consume information such as a barman who is impressed with Don's knowledge of cocktails or the baseball fan who discusses stats with Don. I loved seeing Don's world open up and how his skills were appreciated rather than looked down upon.
The book reads very cinematically, appropriate as it is my understanding that it began as a script and it falls within the framework of a screwball/romantic comedy, made even clearer toward the end when Don studies various romcoms to win Rosie. I don't want to go in to too much detail but there are so many funny moments as I previously hinted at above.
But for the most part, it's just the way this book made me feel. I know that's not very descriptive to you, a potential reader of this book, yet that's the way it is. I would love to provide concrete examples of why this book worked for me but it's the total package that pleased me and has me singing its praises. This will definitely make my faves list of 2013 and will be pushed on various persons of my acquaintance in the hope that it brings them as much pleasure as it did me.
Overall: Simply an excellent feel-good read. Left me feeling all sweet and fuzzy. I definitely second the Rainbow Rowell comparison as well as Tara Catogge's comparison to the fantastic A Confederacy of Dunces with its bold, not the norm hero.