Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Narrator: Dan O’Grady
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genre: Adult, Romance
Format Read: Audiobook, 7 1/2 hours
Publication Date: 1st October 2013 by Simon & Schuster Audio
Synopsis: “THE ART OF LOVE IS NEVER A SCIENCE
MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.” (Taken from Goodreads)
The Rosie Project definitely elicited a whole range of emotions from me. As my first audiobook ever (!!!), I didn’t really know what to expect when going into it, but it’s safe to say that I am now an audio convert and I absolutely LOVED listening to this story told through audio.
Don is an odd university professor of genetics, who’ve come up with his own ‘perfect’ way to find a wife. When I say odd, I mean he’s odd in an adorkable way like Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Don has Aspergers, and you realise that pretty early on even though it’s never really told. He likes to speak his mind without filtering what comes out of his mouth, so sometimes you really can’t help but be annoyed because what he says can be quite inappropriate in ‘normal’ social settings. What I mean by this is that his method of finding the perfect wife is to have women fill out a questionnaire so he can filter out the ones that he knows would not match him, all without having to go through the tedious task of attending multiple dates.
See what I mean by odd?
Don is a stickler for the rules and has his own way of doing things. That is until Rosie comes into his life. She does not fill any of the requirements on Don’s questionnaire, but he quickly becomes fascinated by Rosie’s search for her biological father. As a professor of genetics, he has the means to help her test the DNA samples of men she thinks might be her dad, and soon they develop an unlikely relationship.
I’m just going to put it out there – Don can be pretty frustrating, but he also means well so you can’t help but like him. He’s so socially awkward sometimes that you can’t help but laugh along as he tries to understand why people think he’s inappropriate at times — a good example is the wife project. Don cannot seem to comprehend how sexist such a thing is because his mind is so set on the efficiencies of removing the need to go through a whole date only to realise the person is not right for you.
What I love about this book is the slow character development, which is of course highlighted through Don’s growth. There is no defining moment where you see Don changed completely, and that is because the change is gradual. Rosie plays a large part in this change, although it’s not obvious. Everything about the gradual change is realistic, which makes it all the more relatable.
And you know what’s even better?! THE ROMANCE. Yes, it was perfect. With Don’s head being so out of this world half the time, he almost lost his chance with Rosie. Both characters are so vastly different, yet so right for each other as their personalities balance each other out. It was so cute when it suddenly clicked for Don that love isn’t defined on paper. Seriously such an awwww moment!
The Rosie Project was simply brilliant and I would highly recommend the audiobook as well. Dan’s interpretation of Don is pretty much spot-on, and I really enjoyed his voice! Is that odd to say? Oh well heh.
Highly recommend this for everyone, even if you’re mainly a YA reader. It’s also set in Melbourne so Aussie pride guys. Read this book!