Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

the-rosie-projectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Genre: Contemporary, Adult
Published By: Penguin
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5
Series:
The Rosie Effect (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I know what you’re all thinking about the cover. Lobster? Not that relevant.

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion can best be described as John Green for adults. Although marketed on NetGalley as a young adult book, after reading I feel that new adult would be a better category. This book would definitely fit alongside ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell on your bookshelves.

So, we follow the perspective of Don, a geneticist who’s socially inept. It’s never explicitly mentioned, but I assumed he had a mild case of autism which, in his job, worked to his advantage. His main aim is to gain a wife as he believes he is incompatible within a relationship and can count the number of friends he has on one hand.

Of course, with his methodical brain, he develops a questionnaire to find the perfect partner. But, if romantic comedies have taught me anything, it’s that what you want isn’t necessarily what you get. Enter Rosie, your factory setting manic pixie dream girl. She allows Don to change himself and improve his reactions to society. Rosie pushes him out of his comfort zone and strict schedule in order to show him what he’s missing out on.

Your typical Alaska girl, complete with desired figure and a bad smoking habit.

Despite the formulaeic character of Rosie, Don was a breath of fresh air as a protagonist. He wasn’t afraid to question why people do things and the morals of their actions. He was intelligent and an accomplished person in many extra-curricular activies. If it wasn’t for his inability to feel comfortable in social situations, he would have been the most popular guy around.

In order to gain the affections of Rosie, he helps her to discover the identity of her real father. This created the bulk of the plot. At first, I thought I’d guessed it straight away but when the truth came out, I never saw it coming. The Father Project was meticulous but not ridiculous. and I found myself more than pleased with the result (though I did question Rosie for finding a problem with everything.)

Just like ‘Landline’, I wasn’t expecting a mature book. I should have been more clued in, seeing as the characters are thirty-nine and twenty-nine (talk about an age difference!) so I couldn’t  complexly understand the situations they were in. Yet, this did not hinder my enjoyment of the novel.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but one of my main complaints with the book was its rapid last chapter. It was like ending a book with ‘and they lived happily ever after’ without actually describing any events that led to their eventual happiness.

Overall, I would give ‘The Rosie Project’ 3.5 stars, just because I didn’t completely fall in love with the book, and Rosie was quite generic as love interests go. That said, I did laugh out loud quite a few times, which will always bolster the star rating of a novel.

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family
Published by:
Orion
Pages:
310
Format: ebook
Rating:
★★★.5
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell fits more perfectly into the ‘New Adult’ genre of literature. Due to there being no characters in the book between the ages of 15-20, ‘Young Adult’ may have been an understatement.

However, the fact that the characters were parents didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, although I felt I couldn’t relate to the characters as well because I hadn’t experienced a lot of what they were going through…like marriage. (It’s unfortunately impossible to propose to book characters.)

The story follows Georgie, a mother of two that has a time consuming career of writing scripts for TV shows. That was super interesting to read, as I never really imagine the people behind the jokes of sitcoms. Georgie is married to Neal and it’s safe to say their marriage is on the rocks because of Georgie’s job and the strain of having kids. (Wow, family life suddenly seems way more difficult than I thought!)

Although this is all quintessential to the plot, the really interesting idea is that Georgie has a phone in her present that can connect to a phone in Neal’s past. Through this magical device, she is able to talk to a younger Neal, who is contemplating proposing to Georgie. As anyone would, older Georgie takes this opportunity to smooth over younger Georgie’s mistakes and put right her relationship with her husband.

This doesn’t quite go to plan.

The scenes where Georgie was on the phone to younger Neal were quite repetitive. They’d follow the pattern of younger Neal, not knowing older Georgie’s downfall’s, convincing her that he loves her while the older Georgie tries to convince him that they’re not right for each other. I could read about this struggle once, but three times was kind of a push.

There are also parts of the book that are flashbacks to Georgie and Neal’s relationship at its roots, when they were first getting to know each other. These were the cutest parts, but as we were only reading from Georgie’s perspective, we didn’t get to see that Neal really really liked Georgie, though he wasn’t very good at showing it.

In a way, their relationship was unequal from the start, with Georgie thinking that she loved Neal more than he loved her, and with Neal thinking the other way around. The problem was definitely communication. They definitely needed to talk more. Thank goodness for this magical phone! If only Georgie would stop being so negative about herself.

The other problem with time travel is messing up the future. Georgie was under the impressive the phone worked in a ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Meet the Robinson’s’ system but really, we were looking at your classic ‘Prisoner of Askaban’ contingency system, where every action is predetermined to make the future. Nice one.

All is resolved at the end, which is nice for the McCool family, but in my opinion, the whole book could have told the same story in a lot less pages, with less emphasis on Georgie’s life and more emphasis on her ability to fix her broke relationship (successfully, I might add!) For this reason, I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars, because although I liked it, the characters were much older than me. I couldn’t sympathize with them well and the story felt a little drawn out. Nothing to make me stop reading completely, but nothing like ‘Fangirl’.