25 September 2014

Book Review: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

"With the Wife Project complete, Don settles into a new job and married life in New York. But it's not long before certain events are taken out of his control and it's time to embark on a new project . . .

As Don tries to get to grips with the requirements of starting a family, his unusual research style gets him into trouble. To make matters worse, Don has invited his closest friend to stay with them, but Gene is not exactly the best model for marital happiness. As Don's life with Rosie continues to be unpredictable, he needs to remember that emotional support is just as important as practical expertise."

Rating: 4/5

You can pre-order The Rosie Effect as a hardback or an eBook now.

I've been eagerly awaiting this book since I read Graeme Simsion's first book The Rosie Project last year on my Kindle. It isn't my usual kind of read, but I'm so glad I decided to give it a go. It was a funny and unique book, unlike anything I have read before and I loved the lead character Don Tillman. This book picks up about 10 months after the last book left off. Don and Rosie are happily married, living in New York, but Rosie has a bit of shocking news - she's pregnant, and Don doesn't quite know how to cope with the news. Cue 9 months of worry, organisation, research and much more for our resident Professor as he prepares for a new life as a father...

Sometimes, when you go into a sequel with really high hopes, the result can leave you a tad disappointed. While I did enjoy reading The Rosie Effect, I do have to confess that I don't think it was as good as the first book, it seemed a bit convoluted in parts and I did struggle to work out where it was going in parts. However, the best thing about the book, as it was in the first book, is the main character, Don Tillman. He is as hilarious as ever, managing to get himself into some very unique situations that honestly had me laughing out loud (the park scene in particular was just brilliant). He is determined to find out everything about pregnancy and birth, taking things to his usual extremes to quite funny consequences.

However, one thing I struggled with in this book is Rosie. She was likeable in the first book, a breath of fresh air for Don, but in this book, it was like she was a different person. Yes, I know she is pregnant, but even so I struggled to like her. She was horribly mean to Don, not seeming to understand him at all which was strange considering their relationship in the first book. Gene, Don's professor friend from the first book is back in this one, and is again a changed character, not quite as funny as he was previously but I still enjoyed his presence in the book. He was good for Don too, and I enjoyed reading their 'boys night out' with their other new acquaintances in New York.

The fact that Rosie's pregnancy is unplanned is what causes Don so many problems in the book. If you've read the previous book, you will know Don loves order, that he plans things to an absolute n-th degree, so when Rosie drops this bombshell it completely flummoxes Don. He has to embark on serious research, everything that can go wrong in pregnancy, how the foetus is growing and everything concerning Rosie and her health. I actually found all this fascinating to read, and in Don's narrative voice, it was very funny and had me smiling as I was reading. It does throw up interesting ideas of fathers struggling to connect to their unborn child and how to deal with these issues, there's certainly a lot of food for thought in this novel.

While I have to be honest and say I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one, it was still an enjoyable read, and one I would recommend to people. It's especially good if you have read the first book - usually sequels work as stand-alone novels, but in this case, I really would recommend you read The Rosie Project first, simply to get used to Don, his eccentricities and how his relationship with Rosie came about - I feel it'll all make much sense if you have the background before you read this one. I'm  not sure whether a third book would be a good idea, this one felt like it struggled slightly in parts, and in a way, it's a nice place to leave the story as the book ends. As I said, an enjoyable read and it was fab to be back with Don Tillman again. A fun read.

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