- Divergent – Veronica Roth
- Insurgent – Veronica Roth
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth
- The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons
- Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger
- The Green Mile – Stephen King
- Tiger Man – Judy Nunn
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
- The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare et al
- Moriarty – Anthony Horowitz
- The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Yes, the list is shorter! I suppose I could’ve waited until the new year to spring clean my bookish check list, but all of the lines were making it hard to find the books that I hadn’t read yet. Besides, the list looks a lot more manageable now. And I promise to get rid of the list completely as soon as the last one has been read.
I was gifted The Rosie Project by my lovely Secret Santa as a part of The Broke and The Bookish‘s Secret Santa project. And my Secret Santa nailed it. I have this gorgeous piece of art with a Neil Gaiman quote on it as well, that I will be buying a frame for ASAP. Plus, the bookmark pictured on top of the book was also a Secret Santa gift. Just in case you can’t read it, it says: “I like big books and I cannot lie”.
Admit it, you totally sang it in your head.
I’ve been waiting to read this book for so long that the sequel came out while I was waiting. Which is kind of fun, actually, because it means I can skip straight to The Rosie Effect, which I will be doing once I’ve finished this blog post. Yay for continuity.
Anyway, The Rosie Project wasn’t anything like I imagined from pretty much the very first page. The blurb tells us that our protagonist, Don Tillman, has a plan to get married to the perfect woman. This plan involves a highly detailed questionnaire devoted to Tillman’s ideal woman. My mum read the blurb and almost chucked the book away from herself in a fit of feminist rage. And, admittedly, the concept seems fairly sexist. But the blurb doesn’t tell us why Tillman is choosing to find his wife this way. The answer is sadly simple: Tillman falls on the Autism spectrum. He plans his days down to the minute, has a rotating meal list consisting of eight meals, and dresses for situations rather than for style. “The Wife Project” is his way of trying to find the right woman in the only way he knows how; through science. Well, scientific method I suppose. I never felt like the questionnaire was sexist as I was reading, but this may also have something to do with the fact that Rosie, yes the eponymous Rosie, calls Tillman out on the questionnaire and he defends himself. It’s all pretty meta.
The Rosie Project is a pretty straightforward story. Tillman and Rosie meet when Rosie asks for his help trying to find Rosie’s biological father. The two grow closer over the course of “The Father Project”, as Tillman calls it, even though Tillman tells Rosie she is unsuitable and she gets pretty upset. Essentially this is chick lit without all the fluff. Which I really prefer. Not only this, but the whole story doesn’t revolve around Rosie and Tillman. There are subplots: Rosie’s dad, Tillman’s ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Gene and his wife, Tillman’s job, and maybe a few others. If all chick lit were written this way, I would read a lot more of it. For example, I read The Wrong Girl earlier this year. A straight romance. Yeah, sure, the woman is worried about a promotion but in the sense that modern romances have to have women wanting careers otherwise feminists everywhere (including myself) call “sexist!”. There were subplots in The Wrong Girl, but they didn’t really add anything to the story. Not that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I really did. But it was a fluffy read. The Rosie Project was not, and that’s what I most enjoyed about it.
The Rosie Project is set in Melbourne, but the setting almost doesn’t matter. What really mattered were the characters. All of them. These characters were all so colourful, even the ones we only met for a little while. And I can’t wait to see what they all get up to in The Rosie Effect.
I both loved and hated the ending. [SPOILER] Tillman proposes to Rosie, she says yes, and they move to New York (where Rosie is undertaking her MD and Tillman starts at a new job). The realist in me is screaming “but they hardly know each other!”, but the reader in me, the one who went on Tillman and Rosie’s journey with them, understands. Tillman believes he has found the perfect woman and so to save time, he skips to the end game. Rosie saying yes is her way of trying to beat a horrible pattern in her dating life. The ending makes sense in Rosie Project land. In reality, it kind of doesn’t. Well, not to me anyway.
So, my fellow bloggers, if you’ve ever wanted to read chick lit written by a man, and an Aussie one at that, choose The Rosie Project. It’s pretty awesome.