Monday, 22 February 2016

Book Review - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #15

Amazon UK
Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition Win
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 11th April 2013
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?

Due to having seen huge amounts of hype for this book, I suspect I was always going to end up slightly disappointed, just because to me it didn't live up to the buzz surrounding it. Don't get me wrong I don't think this is a bad book, I quite liked it in fact, but found it a bit of a struggle at times to fully get to grips with. 

The reason being Don Tillman is an unusual character, but he knows that, as does anyone who meets him, and you, the reader learns it very fast too. He is a precise gentleman who likes everything done on schedule, he minimizes the amount of time he wastes, makes sure he is always precise about everything, and seems to lack knowledge of normal social conventions. 

Don is though highly intelligent, a scientist and professor, and compartmentalizes his past experiences into various incidents that are capitalized, and also always seems to have a project on the go. His latest project is The Wife Project. Don has realised he would like to get married but doesn't have any luck with the ladies, and has had some, to him, catastrophic dates, the one I recall him reliving most clearly, included a disagreement about ice-cream flavours, and whether having a favourite flavour is even relevant. 

Don creates a questionnaire (that is included at the back of the book), which is multiple choice, which he gives to anyone who answers his online dating profile and gives the answer key and responses to his best friend, Gene, to pick the most closely matched for him to meet. 

Gene though doesn't always play by the same rules and in walks wild card entry Rosie, and from then Gene's life is changed massively, even though he can't understand it at first. 

Rosie is a breathe of fresh air, and I loved her story and introduction. She is full of energy and joie de vivre, and it was a pleasure to meet her. 

I found it interesting to see how Don Tillman adapted to certain social situations, and at times he almost acted normally. However it is hard work reading about someone who is so precise and intelligent, to that extent I didn't find this particularly easy to read. Nor was I finding it particularly gripping. 

All that being said I would like to read the sequel as I was starting to warm up to Don properly by the end and would like to see what happens next.  Had I not won The Rosie Project in a competition I probably wouldn't have even looked at it properly on a bookshop. However I did win, and I'm glad I have read it, as there were elements I could completely relate to. 

Thank you to everyone that voted this week for the Rosie Project. Based on the comments with the votes I got the impression that this could be a bit of a marmite book, and I would agree with that impression. Please do take a look at this weeks choices, and have your say. 


  1. This review is exactly how I'd imagined I'd feel if I ever got round to reading the book :)

  2. I read this book a while ago, just had to with the title name! I did enjoy it but as you say Don's character is a challenge.

  3. Actually, Rachel, I don't think the sequel is as good.

  4. Good review, the book's still sitting on my TBR pile (I wish I read as quickly as you!)

  5. I really wasn't keen on this book either.


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