Thursday, 19 November 2015

'The Rosie Effect', by Graeme Simsion

Title: The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)
Author(s): Graeme Simsion
Release Date: 24th September 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Bought

The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious sequel to Graeme Simsion's bestselling debut novel The Rosie Project.

Forty-one-year-old geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date before he met Rosie.

Now, living in New York City, they have survived ten months and ten days of marriage, even if Don has had to sacrifice standardized meals and embrace unscheduled sex.

But then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells. And Don must prepare for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life - at the same time as dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace.

Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie for ever?

Join Don and Rosie in the next chapter of their weird and wonderful journey in Graeme Simsion's unmissable new novel, The Rosie Effect.


{Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers to The Rosie Project

I really, really wanted to like this book.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but in my opinion it wasn't nearly as good as the first in the duology.

The Rosie Effect picks up the story of Don and Rosie almost a year after the end of The Rosie Project. They are happily married, moved to the US, and life seems to be going in the usual unusual way.

Until Rosie drops the B bomb and everything starts crumbling apart.

Don's, let's say, 'specific' personality, while endearing to Rosie and the reason she fell in love with him in the first place, now seems inappropriate and completely outside of what she needs to face their new challenge as a couple.

Speaking of Don, it was fun being back inside his head again. If you have not read the first book, think Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, just not as geeky. He is an incredibly intelligent man, but in social situations he is worse than a toddler. Just to give you an example from this last book in the duology, he gets mistaken for a pedophile and a terrorist for doing things that seem perfectly reasonable to his higher functioning brain. And that's not even all of it.

That's the entirety of what saved the reading of this book for me. I kept going because he is an incredibly interesting character and I could read books and books just of him going about his daily life. Maybe that's what the author was banking on, since plot-wise there is not that much going on.

The conflict that is meant to drive the story forward doesn't make much sense and feels forced. Not wanting to spoil what happens, I'll just say that Rosie should have been more than aware, considering she had been married to the man for almost a year, that he would never be conventional in any aspects of his life or interactions with others. She more than once says that she loves that about him, so it should have only been a matter of working things out and adapting, something they had been doing for their whole relationship already.

Even if you go along with the reasons behind the conflict, the resolution of it (400 pages into the book, let it be noted) happened mostly 'off-page'. You get told what happened, and that's pretty much it. For a book this size, and after going along with the unsteady plot for so long, as a reader it made me feel somewhat cheated.

If you have read the first book and loved it, I would still recommend picking this second installment at some point. Don't expect it to be at the same level, because it definitely isn't, and think of it as just another opportunity to be inside Don's hilarious mind one last time.

Think of it as The Don Project.

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