Genre: Contemporary, humor, romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
352 pages, hardcover
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for letting me read this.
Let me start off by saying that if you haven’t read The Rosie Project, this review could possibly spoil it for you. It is impossible to talk about the sequel without telling you the ending of the first book.
Alright, if you’re still here, The Rosie Effect starts with Don and Rosie now living in NYC; Don is working at Columbia as an assistant professor and Rosie is finishing up her Ph.D. They have been married for 10 months and 10 days (I love how technical Don is). Rosie surprises Don by telling him that they are pregnant (note that I said “they are” pregnant). Don reacts in his own way and, of course, struggles to connect with the Baby Under Development or Bud. Because he doesn’t understand a lot of social protocol, he gets in trouble with the law. Hijinks, heartwarming advice, and heartbreaking events ensue.
I’m so torn on this one, you guys. I wanted to love this so much more than I did. One thing that I still loved was Don. Even though he is outrageously frustrating at times (he has a lot of faults, most of which aren’t his fault, and these get him into a lot of trouble and sticky situations), he is charming and tries so damn hard in his own way. I fell in love with him again, which was why it was so heartbreaking to see him struggling to know how to deal with this situations he finds himself if. He is adorkable and oh so charming.
SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT SOME SPOILERS: On the other hand, Rosie loses pretty much all of her charm. She decides that Don has no say in what happens to her or her body, stops taking her birth control without telling Don (Don and Rosie had decided to wait), and gets pregnant. She is in the middle of her Ph.D. thesis and program and has no plan for how to take care of the baby once it comes. And then she gets mad at Don when he is not immediately excited and attached to Bud. Um. What? She becomes mean, petty, even rude, and she changes it from “we are pregnant” to “my baby”. It’s like she completely forgot who Don was and the type of person he was (even though she’d accepted him and knew who he was when she married him). The way this plays out is completely heartbreaking and I spent most of the novel hurting for Don.
A favorite quote (taken from an e-ARC and subject to change in the final version). Excuse the language, but it’s funny to me.
I am well aware of my incompetence in predicting human reactions. But I would have been prepared to bet on the first word that Rosie would say when she received the information. I was correct by a factor of six.
“Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.”
The bottom line: This Guardian review said The Rosie Effect was “twice as long and only half as good” as The Rosie Project, and I think I might have to agree. I’m struggling to rate this one because there were still things I loved about this book (Don – mostly, the feels, the writing, seeing the world through Don’s eyes, the ending) but Rosie’s changes pissed me off and Don’s idiosyncrasies got a little out of hand and were very frustrating at times.