Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.
When I first picked up this book I did not expect to like it so much.
I think this has to do a lot with Don, the main character. He has a lot of quirks. He's strictly scientific; his life runs on a carefully organized schedule and everything he does is done to increase both productivity and longevity.
“I am thirty-nine years old, tall, fit and intelligent, with a relatively high status and above-average income as an associate professor. Logically, I should be attractive to a wide range of women. In the animal kingdom, I would succeed in reproducing.”
He's exceptionally intelligent, has an apparently eidetic memory, doesn't grasp sarcasm (or any other social cues at that), and is brutally honest (to the point of being blunt). Reading the book from his perspective was incredibly entertaining, not because it was making fun of him but because he was so easy to sympathize with. Most of the time I just wanted to hug him so tightly because he's so fragile even if he doesn't realise it.
Rosie on the other hand is everything he's not. She's loud, impulsive, messy, disorganized... you name it. However she makes Don actually LIVE. With Rosie, Don gradually steps out of his comfort zone and starts living his life a bit differently than what he's used to.
The romance here is adorable because Don isn't in tune to his feelings at all. He doesn't realise that he feels WHAT he feels and why he finds himself doing certain things instead of others.
This book is absolutely hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud more than once at the ridiculous scenarios that Don's "social incompetence" created.
The "wife project" Don embarks on is the perfect way to show how there really is no one person perfect for you. As well as really make Don evolve and mature as a person.
Overall, this was a hilarious, adorable, and heartwarming book. It was definitely the book I needed to get out of my reading slump.