The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

rosie project“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.”

Ahead of the release of The Rosie Effect due out later this week I have decided to give you the review of the first novel in the series. This little jem I picked up after brilliant reviews and an amusing blurb is not something I regret… read on to find out why.

Don Tillman PhD is a man of science and order. One day he decides to begin a new project for himself, something society will most certainly approve of – The Wife Project. After asking for the assistance of colleague and one of two friends Gene who knows a lot about women (enough to be in an open marriage), Don is sure that if he finds a compatible date he will finally be able to conquer the second date! It’s scientific of course!

Candidates must be:

  • A non-smoker
  • Punctual
  • Logical
  • Intelligent
  • A non- drinker
  • A meat eater

Rosie Jarman is none of these things, a kind of wild child who works as a bar maid she tells Don exactly what she thinks of his Wife Project and angrily declares him sexist. After offering to help Rosie with a project herself, to find her biological father Don starts to spend more time with the mysterious Rosie and her unscheduled ways. Out of all this a strange friendship emerges and both Rosie and Don learn something about themselves as well as each other.

What I find incredible is that Simison has managed to take Aspergers and create a character who doesn’t know he has it to educate us all. He’s sweet and although at times can seem rude he is a genuinely nice person with a rather different view of the world. For fans of the amazingly popular The Big Bang Theory another review has described this as ‘Sheldon’s quest for love’, although nothing to do with the show this may give you an idea of the hilarity that is in store. The novel is fun but also has undertones of seriousness and warm hearted humour. The novel flows easily and the characters are easy to love and understand, it’s also showing normal people how to embrace those who are different to us.

I give this novel five stars *****. When I found out that there was to be a second novel and more Don Tillman adventures I actually cheered. Although I can’t spoil the ending for you (it’s too good), I will tell you all that it’s worth reading and not always what you expect. I can’t wait for more adventures from Don and Rosie and neither should you!

 

Review by Chloe Metzger

 

Where Love Lies – Julie Cohen

where love lies

To the outside world Felicity has the perfect life, a job as a children’s author and illustrator, a lovely home in a small village and a doting husband most women would dream of. Underneath all of this though, Felicity is struggling. After the loss of her mother something hasn’t felt right but one day she catches a scent she hasn’t smelt in years…could it be her mother? Following her senses has never been more risky as it all comes down to following her head or her heart.

The novel revolves around love, loss and questioning yourself. As Felicity struggles with what she knows is right and what she feels it leads us as a reader to question our own lives. It is also very important to recognise that Felicity is on her own, the mother she adored has gone, she’s never known her father and feels suffocated by the expectations that life in a small village have put on her.  After the whole village seems to know that her and husband Quinn have even considered having a baby (something which she hasn’t even decided on yet) her feelings of not belonging come to the surface again.

The fact that Cohen has also used multiple POV’s makes this go further than the chick lit title that some have given it (you are WRONG this novel goes further than that!) seeing both Quinn and Felicity’s side opens up a whole new set of questions and feelings towards the characters. I fell in love with both of the characters and it spurred me to read constantly, Cohen has an incredible knack of making you know something isn’t quite right but giving you no clue as to the real answer!

After reading Dear Thing, I was hooked by Cohen’s talent and eagerly waited for Where Love Lies, as I suspected Cohen didn’t disappoint. The novel focuses on the fine lines of love that we sometimes forget, the hazy days of a first love and the realities of settling down. While Felicities’ feelings are confusing and at times hard to understand you live through them with her and are just as desperate as she is to work out what is going on.

Although I can’t spoil it for you, the ending of this novel is absolutely spectacular and so well researched. To top it all off it’s something that you would never suspect and if anything can be slightly chilling as well as an interesting perspective. There is a worry of mine that when a novel builds steadily throughout the reveal will disappoint but I can assure you Where Love Lies is completely worth the wait and the suspense.

I’m giving this novel 5 stars *****. Although initially I wondered how this would work and worried it could be just a romance Cohen has crafted something inspiring with Where Love Lies, the novel makes you think, question and follows you for a long time after you have finished. I think quirky Felicity and loveable Quinn will live in my memory for a long time, and so will the ending but you’ll find out why once you read it yourself!