The wonderful characters from The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion are back in this fun sequel.
**Of course, this being a sequel, there are bound to be spoilers in this review to the first book. Please proceed with caution.**
The Rosie Effect follows Professor Don Tillman and Rosie as they move to New York and begin their first year as husband and wife. Huge changes are ahead for the couple and just looking at the book cover should give you some clue about how enormous these changes will be. The first year of marriage is challenging to most people, but Don and Rosie have a few extra challenges that are unique to them, namely Don and Rosie. Though Rosie can give the impression that she is the "normal" one, she has just as much difficulty communicating as he does. While she is finishing her psychology doctorate dissertation, she is also beginning medical school. Why anyone would embark upon both of these things at the same time is beyond me, but combining those two things with moving to the other side of the world, settling into marriage and the new event in her life makes things stressful and difficult. Don tries so hard to understand how to care for her and make her happy, but as we know from the first book, Don isn't very well equipped. He does his best to seek the advice of friends and professionals, but that doesn't always work out in his favor.
This book was just as much fun as The Rosie Project, even if I did find it a bit more frustrating. Every time Don would take bad advice or would misinterpret an important piece of information, I would get a little irritated. Having read that first book, however, helped me hang on and wait for the conclusion. I still adore Don. He's weird and if I met him in person, I might be a little creeped-out, but hearing his thought process makes him endearing. Saying things like this make me laugh:
She put her arms around me and kissed me in passionate mode rather than greetings mode.
His mind just works differently than most people's minds do. Except that this sounded a little familiar:
My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.
And the reader cannot help but feel sympathetic when reading the conversation that he has with Gene's young daughter Eugenie:
"You're probably not a genius. Excellent."
This of course confused Eugenie, but then he goes on to explain that being smart is good, but that being a genius can make life difficult. Being smart is just easier. He then hints about some of the difficulties he had growing up a genius and how he doesn't really want the same thing for his young friend.
These characters are lovely. I have no idea if Simsion will write another Don Tillman book, but I'd love to see the next phase in his life. I have been thrilled to read that a movie based on The Rosie Project is in pre-production, especially since Jennifer Lawrence is attached. If you haven't read these books yet, I hope I haven't spoiled them for you and that you'll give them a read. Let me know what you think!