The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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This is very……….. brain-stimulating. Clever and witty. Fresh, smart, and highly-engaging novel. One that deviates from my usual teen, cute, novels.

I actually was not able to finish the first chapter when I have tried reading The Rosie Project the first time. Not because it was not interesting. Oh, it is definitely interesting and a whole lot more. But prolly at that time I just want an easy read, no deep complications, no need for the synapses of my brain to exert more effort than they are used to. When I have tried reading it for the second time, given that I have allowed my brain to process my expectations and conditioned it to be able to take a more scientific approach to what I will be reading, I enjoyed it immensely.

The Rosie Project definitely is a whole new world to me. I’ve been the geeky type in elementary and high school but never pursued it in college and have never needed to use my stored knowledge afterwards. I did not expected a novel could combine science, wit, and charm all at the same time and produce such an intellectual piece of art. Praise for Grame Simsion, the Australian author responsible for this masterpiece.

The Rosie Project is about Professor Don Tillman and his Wife project in search for the perfect life partner. Being the kind of person that he is, queer, extremely organized, socially inept, it seemed impossible for him to have a wife at age forty. But then, being the person that he is, he had a brilliant idea to solve the problem, he tackled it the same he would an experiment. He created a set of questionnaire that would determine the compatibility of the person with him. However, an unexpected variable came into the picture, disrupting everything else he has in his perfectly manufactured circle – Rosie. Rosie is the opposite of everything Don is looking for as a partner. She is disorganized. She smokes. She’s a vegetarian. She’s a barmaid. Thus, being stereotypical, deducing from her job, she’s not good with high-level mathematics. The first time they met, Don thought that she was one of the women who has answered his questionnaire and was recommended Gene, her best friend and Head of the Psychology department in their university, upon going through all those who answered. However, he couldn’t be more wrong.

Nevertheless, they continued their meeting in light of a new project that came up – the Father project. Rosie is trying to find her biological father to go ahead and tie the loose ends of her childhood and move on. Don offered to help, given his expertise in genetics, he thought he can definitely be a helping hand. This is where it starts getting crazy. His schedule is thrown off with a lot of unpredictable events. He learned how to mix cocktails, be a waiter, be awesome in collecting DNA illegally and unethically and in some cases, the most gross way. All to help Rosie, which he still couldn’t figure out the reason why he is helping in the first place. He then later learned that Rosie did not even know what the Wife project is. She was, in fact, a PhD Psychology student under Gene, and that’s the reason why they met.

After a series of unethical, illegal, gross cases of getting DNA of people who might or might not be Rosie’s father, and a series of misunderstandings, mostly due to Don’s ability in not being able to comprehend social cues and how to best respond to them, they felt awkward around each other but then was later resolved along with the conclusion of both the Wife and the Father Project.

The premise is simple – opposites attract. It was presented though through a narrative like never before. It was engaging to read and I cannot stop reading. The story was relayed from the point of view of Don and was written with precision of how a character like Don thinks. Even though I did not understand some of the more scientific words and processes, it definitely did not prevent me from enjoying the novel as much as I did.

It also emphasized once again the notion that love moves in mysterious ways. There is no equation that even the most brilliant person can generate predicting who you should spend the rest of your life with coz sometimes even if someone is perfect on paper (like Bianca in the story), you cannot help that your heart will want what it wants ever if your brain opposes to do so.

Also, it’s a reference to the idea that someone out there is a match for you. He or she might not come in the way or form that you expected them to be but you will surely find the one. Maybe not now, maybe later but you will find the one. Even when you have given up all hope in finding that one special person because of how you are perceived to be different by society. As long as you’re open to possibilities, anything can happen. You just need to accept it when you come across it and work towards keeping it.

The Rosie Project is definitely one of the most brilliant novels I have read so far and one that created impact that one will remember. I hope I can see it in the big screen one day.