Review: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Publication Date: September 24, 2014

A year after the completion of the Wife Project, Don Tillman is settled into his new life and new career with Rosie. They've moved to New York and created a great routine that they both enjoy.

Until Rosie announces that she's pregnant. Not foreseeing this in his plans, Don scrambles to understand parenthood and finds himself in several sticky situations. With his new friends and some outside help, Don begins the Father Project.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Date Read: December 19, 2018

I read the first book some time in the middle of summer and flew through it because it was so easy to read and I had loved it. So when I was feeling overwhelmed with school, I picked this up to hopefully fly through it quickly too.

Maybe it's the focus of this book, but I had a much harder time getting into the story and feeling like I was connected to the characters. I'm not married, nor am I expecting a baby any time soon, so I couldn't really relate to what Don was going through. This disconnect made it really hard for me to want to keep reading, and I put it down for a few weeks as I focused on the end of the semester.

There was something about the way all the characters were acting that made me feel more frustrated with them than sympathetic. The conflict between Rosie and Don felt really trivial. Not only was it a simple case of miscommunication, it felt like it was getting way too blown out of proportion. And the way the drama spiraled from there, it could have been solved by something as simple as taking more than two minutes to communicate.

I'm not really a fan of the trope of conflict due to minor miscommunication, mostly because it annoys me in whatever format it comes in. As someone who is really straightforward and confrontational, I find it trivial and dumb when the main drama is because two people can't communicate properly or choose not to communicate properly.

Also, considering that all of the prominent characters in this book were in long-term or married relationships, they weren't very good at being in relationships and considering their spouses. It wasn't limited to the men or women specifically, both had their issues with attending to what their significant others needed. There was so much selfishness, particularly from one character who refused to apologize and change, that I found it almost as stressful to read this as it was to deal with school.

This book felt really long for something that I felt could have been resolved in fewer pages. The conflict really dragged out, and I don't think it added anything to have been dragged out so much. I wanted to get down to the good parts sooner, but there was so much going on all the time that it was hard to focus on one specific person's drama.

I still enjoyed the story, but being in Don's head this time around didn't feel the way it did when I read the first book. I liked the way he came up with solutions and the way he processed things. To me, he was still the most logical and level-headed person in the book. But there was an element of charm that was missing this time around, and I really missed it.

The end of the book felt like it was trying to accomplish so many things at once that it all fell into a jumbled pile. Suddenly, there was an unexpected turn that never actually got resolved and it put one of the characters at fault entirely, when it wasn't completely their fault. It was like there was no way they could be convinced they were wrong, and they were forced to get to their resolution because someone else knew better than they did. I was just really disappointed with how their arc ended, and I felt like it defeated the purpose of a lot of things that was set up for their character.

I still really liked Don and the way that he processed things. He may not think like everyone else, but he tried his best in the ways that he knew how. Sometimes it got him into more trouble, but it was the heart behind it that really mattered, and I like how he was written.

Rosie felt more minor in this book, and it felt like a lot of what we knew of her from the first book was slowly being unraveled here. I didn't like the change in her character in this book. Had she been more like the Rosie I knew from the first book, I would have enjoyed her more in this book.

Gene is still really frustrating. The fact that he refused to change or actually take responsibility for his actions made him a huge burden to everyone. There were so many instances in which he could have made things better, but he didn't. I know that he's a foil to Don's character, but that didn't mean he had to be so incredibly for two books and barely go through any character development.

3 stars. I felt really let down by this book. I don't think it's necessary to pick up this sequel after reading the first book.

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