Monday 31 March 2014

Devouring Books: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

"But why, why, why can't people just say what they mean?"

This post might not be a review so much as a load of confessions about The Rosie Project as I experienced it. I HAVE CONFESSIONS AND YOU PROBABLY WON'T LIKE ALL OF THEM.
But enough with the ominous gifs and onto The Rosie Project.

Confession 1: I sort of didn't like The Rosie Project to begin with. I had all these expectations and all this hype to deal with, since about eleventy billion of you read and loved it beyond all reasonable... reason, and hey, I trust you guys. Hopes were the HIGHEST EVER, and reality was slightly not that. It was probably all the Sheldon Cooper comparisons flying around reviews of The Rosie Project, so I got confused and thought that maybe I didn't like Professor Don Tillman, because I fucking hate The Big Bang Theory.

Confession 2: Then I cried on the bus. I didn't mean to cry on the bus, especially since I'd already decided not to like Don, but then there's the bit with Daphne. Which I'm NOT going to tell you about because it's the saddest and the sweetest and you deserve to discover it for yourself, but guys who have read it- DAPHNE, right? She made my heart hurt. And made me cry real tears of crying. And then I had a whole new perspective on Don, even if he wouldn't have had a clue why I was crying.

Confession 3: I wish I knew more about Psychology (I know SOME stuff. Like, I have an A Level in it. But I wish I knew MORE) because I really want to know what Don's deal is. It's definitely implied that he has, or has something close to Asperger Syndrome, but... I don't know. The point, though, is that Don has a really different way of looking at and interacting with the world, which is sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustrating (both to him and the reader) and sometimes creates unexpected results. We see the world through Don's eyes, which means we get a limited view of the emotions involved in the story- pretty odd for a love story, but it just means you work harder to figure out what's going on, which is always good. Go, subtext!

Confession 4: But sometimes... I kind of just wanted to see the story from Rosie's perspective. Or someone else's perspective. Someone who did bring emotion into things instead of either ignoring it or not really experiencing it. People are falling in love in this book (am I going to say who? I am not.) only it takes quite a bit of effort to get that and I'm not sure that's something I really appreciated? But this might just be because I kind of want A LOT OF EMOTION ALL THE TIME and I am not ashamed of that.

Confession 5: A lot of Don's organisational behaviour made a lot of sense to me, which reminds me that there are a few behaviours and things that I have that make me think I'm maybe higher on the autism spectrum than other people*. Just going to leave that information here.

Confession 6: I'm now wondering if the reason I love New York City is because its layout makes so much sense. It is ONE of the reasons. But probably not the main one. Also people go to New York in this book and it's absolutely the best part. And there are a lot of good parts.

Confession 7: I ended up really liking this book. So much that I read the last 100 pages or so in one go, outside in the cold without even realising it was really cold, and I finished the last FEW pages during my work break and I never read then because it's only 15 minutes long and girls gots to gossip (I can't even believe I typed that. Please let it be struck from the record). It definitely challenged me in a few ways, and there were times when I got incredibly frustrated with Don, but in the end... It's sweet. It's genuinely funny, and genuinely touching. I'm glad I read it, and I hope you do too- with slightly lower expectations than the ones I had, but still with hope in your heart and a song at your lips. Or something.

Actual Reviews
What Red Read
As The Crowe Flies And Reads
Sarah Says Read

*I just took this test and didn't score high enough for actually being autistic, but did score higher than the average, which feels about right.


  1. YOU HATE THE BIG BANG THEORY?! *sits down very suddenly as world collapses* How... how is that a thing? HOW, LAURA? It's so funny, and about nerds, and the humour's so... brilliant. The first couple of episodes are a bit more 'getting into character' but it gets better and better as it goes on. I don't think I liked it the first time or two that I half-watched episodes, but now I've seen it PROPERLY I love it.

    P.S. I scored 30 on the test, which is pretty high. Mostly because of my obsessions with certain interests, my hatred of disruption to routine, and my preference for being on my own and not having to do social things. LIKE SHELDON COOPER. :D

    1. Ok, this is totally a thing. I HAVE TRIED to watch The Big Bang Theory and also to like it, but I just... can't. My main problem with it is that it's a stupid person's version of what smart people are like, it's veeeery veeeery stereotypey of scientists and I just... no.

      However, I do like the theme song (I always ONLY sing 'they built the pyramids', just so you know) and now I like the one who's Sheldon's girlfriend in real life because I read an interview with her in Bust and she seems AWESOME. However, her character is REALLY ANNOYING.

      p.s. I think I got 22? Something like that. More than the average, anyway. The point is, I THINK YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE THIS BOOK. So you should definitely read it. Yes.

    2. I scored 33 but I always knew that was a possibility, so hey ho. A lot of the symptoms cross over with OCD so it's probably just that. Nothing to worry about *deludes herself cheerfully*

      I have this on my Kindle to read. It's weird but I don't seem to be looking forward to it all that much. I mean, I have a passing interest but that's it really. I'm glad you liked it though - it's bumped up my interest levels a little :)

    3. I have The Rosie Project in the pretty red American hardcover, and I think I'm going to love it. I bought it with that Grammarly voucher we got, mostly because I HATE our UK paperback cover so much. :)

    4. Hanna- I think there are DEFINITELY symptoms that cross over with other mental things. And I'm not saying that to make you feel ok, I'm saying it cause I believe it and also, I'm up there on the scoring, so. Happy to have bumped your interest levels! It's genuinely a good book, and I'm glad I read it, I'm just not sure I'll be going 'OMG IT'S MY FAAAAAAVE' in, like, a month or whatever.

      Ellie- The UK cover is pretty uninspiring! I bought it when Waterstones did 20% off for the weekend, and was riding the hype wave- if I hadn't, I probably would have just got it on the kindle or whatever.

  2. I love the confessions layout to this post, haha. I want to read this book so much but I have a 25 page paper that needs writing... and before the writing part even happens, I have to read a million journal articles. Oh academia :(
    Also I scored a 34, but that's probably because I'm socially awkward and I have a bajillion interests that I incorporate into routine. aaaawkward ~

    1. Ahhh, academia- beautiful! That's probably more important than you reading this book, but when you have a little downtime...

      I'm toooootally socially awkward, which were mainly the parts I had, like, symptoms on, but then on the kind of emotional side of things, I was just like, no, yeah, I probably process emotions in a psychologically normal way. (I enjoy that everyone has taken this test though, it's interesting to see where people fall on the spectrum!)

  3. I have seen those people comparing Don to Sheldon and I suppose I haven't seen enough BBT to say yay or nay but since BBT bleeeeeeeeech, I will say NO. But I am sorry for the sky high expectations EVEN THOUGH I LOVED THIS BOOK A LOT.

    I think it would be interesting to see the book from another point of view but at the same time, I almost feel like it would have been cheating. Like you have to work out what is going on only seeing it through Don's PoV and Don is not good at subtext so there's more work on the reader's part.

    I got a 13 on the test. I think I may have done it wrong.

    1. Hahaha, it's ok to love this book a lot! I liked this book plenty, but I'm not sure if I want to go steady with it. (Don IS kind of like Sheldon, except that he's not averse to change and also Sheldon would NEVER fall in love with Rosie because he's actually an idiot. An idiot-savant, but still).

      That is an interesting way of looking at it, and when you put it like that... Yes, yes I agree. Don't viewpoint definitely took a lot of getting used to, just because he sees the world in such a different way to, you know, everyone, but yeah, that definitely meant *I* had to look for cues and work on my own emotional intelligence and whatnot. Which is probably a good thing!

      Alley! You're very very low on the autistic spectrum! Congrats!

    2. I also got a 13. I think most of my "negative" points came from not being great at social interactions and preferring solitude to parties. Also my disinterest in numbers probably keeps me from ever getting to high on the autism spectrum, haha.

      I have this book waiting patiently on my kindle, I think I want to wait awhile so when I review it it doesn't feel like I'm repeating everyone else's reviews *quite* as much.

  4. So many people compare Don to Sheldn on BBT. I'm not expert, having watched maybe 2-3 episodes of that show, but Sheldon is an ASSHOLE. Don might offend people, but he's so well-intentioned that his mishaps are forgiveable.

    I'm sorry that you weren't immediately smitten with this book like I was (and boy,was I ever) but I'm glad you liked it quite a bit. And I think the film version will give you the perspective that you're looking for. Here's hoping Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the role!

  5. What are you talking about, this was a great review! And really fun to read. I LOVED this book. That's all I have to say about it. Also, I really like your cover. The one in Canada is blue with a bike on it, which I also really like. I can't remember what significance a lobster would have though...did they have lobster one night (it's been a few months since I read the book and hello, baby brain!). (Also, I'm here, lurking, usually in the middle of the night on my phone, this is the first time in a long time I've had enough minutes to leave some useless comments on people's blogs!) ;)

  6. I have this! But have not read it. I can understand your point on wanting the perspective of someone with more emotion just to understand what was actually happening.

    Have you ever read or heard of Marcelo in the Real World? It is a YA novel about a guy who is on the Asperger's spectrum and I really enjoyed it.