The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Published April 2013
Series: Don Tillman #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
five-stars
Format: eBook
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An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

Don Tillman is a genetics professor at Melbourne University and what outsiders would call socially inept… In fact, he is very much “suffering” from Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism that yields incredible intellectual skills, but also the inability to empathise and relate to feelings, and the very obsessive compulsion to live life in a very rational and scheduled way.

Don is now 38, and very much conscious to find a suitable partner to spend his life with. And while his friends Gene and Claudia have often assisted him with this task, Don never seemed to find his match. One day, he has the genius idea of having women fill out a custom questionnaire that would eliminate all undesirables (smokers, vegans, theists…) and thus minimise time-investment and maximise return. His first attempts do not work out so well, and then his friend gene introduces him to Rosie O’Connor, who is the complete opposite of Don, and who manages to tick all the undesirable boxed on Don’s questionnaire. Yet, Don can’t help but want to spend time with her, so much that he engages into Rosie’s project of finding her biologicial father…

The Rosie Project was highly acclaimed by critics and I can definitely understand why: it is charming, funny and something… different! The books was written in Don’s POV only, and this represents a challenge in itself, because you’ll be sucked into the very well thought-out universe of Professor Tillman, with his many quirks, which he is dead serious about (like his SMS – his standardized meal system which is supposed to improve efficiency and reduce waste), but which just seem ridiculous to the outside.

Cue Rosie, a smoker, a vegan, and a crazy impulsive person, who will put Don’s schedule in the jumble, and it’s absolutely wonderful to witness his transformation from closed-off to open-minded, however involuntary it is! You will definitely fall in love with Don’s sweet geek side, that I guarantee you.

But the story is also about Rosie’s wish to seek out her biological father, because from what her late mother told her, she was conceived the night of a medical students’ party. And as the helpful genetics professor that he is, Gene kindly offers to fetch the list of the party attendees and get their DNA samples via rather unethical methods, a project that they would both work on closely during several months.

All in all, I really enjoyed the funny and charming writing, the side characters and the outcome of the story. And guess what, there is also a sequel to The Rosie Project, called The Rosie Effect. I have read it immediately afterwards, and even though I enjoyed reading on about Rosie and Don, the sequel is way less charming than this book…

Detailed Rating
Storyline
5 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: five-stars