The Rosie Project is an interesting book by Graeme Simsion. It’s a romance novel, but in first person and 100% from the man’s POV. Not just any man though ~ Don is on the autism spectrum. I enjoy how Don makes his plans and lists, scheduling his days/weeks for maximum efficiency. Although he is very judgmental about other people’s inefficiencies, brainpower, and BMI, which could have been annoying to read, the narrator infuses it all with humor, and Don is often able to engage in a bit of inadvertent self-mockery. Those factors make TRP fun.
At the start, Don begins a “wife project,” which reminds me of all the endless dating questionnaires and tests and bullshit I’ve engaged in over the years. There’s nothing that weird about Don’s method, except he devises his own very complex questionnaire rather than going online and doing a canned version. Of course it fails, like they all do, because love doesn’t spontaneously generate from a pile of matching scores. I don’t mind the predictability of this because it is a romance, after all, and true to the formula, but at a certain point I just get a little bored.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that The Rosie Project becomes repetitive toward the end, and it suffers the fate of all first-person romances, which is that while we are treated to Don’s thoughts and feelings (yes, he haz feelings!) in glorious detail, we’re never in the heroine’s POV, so her moods and actions are as inexplicable to us as they are to Don. What are we supposed to make of Rosie’s abrupt changes of mind? Idk, because she may or may not be telling Don the truth ~ maybe she isn’t sure of it herself. Don has a hard time processing other people’s confusing behaviors, and since we are in his head, it’s hard for us to do that as well.
So, I gave the book four stars on Goodreads, which means I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t “amazing.” Most of the Amazon reviewers gave it five stars.