“To the world’s most perfect woman.’ It was lucky my father was not present. Perfect is an absolute that cannot be modified, like unique or pregnant. My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”

What is this book about?

This is a sequel to The Rosie Project in which scientist Don Tillman is looking for a wife. He is not diagnosed, but does act like he’s autistic and this leads to all kinds of wacky situations. If you haven’t read The Rosie Project and don’t want spoilers, stop reading now. So at the end of the first book Don and Rosie get married and move to New York. In this second novel about the endearing Don, he gets into even more trouble living in New York after knocking Rosie up. He has to start lying about certain things to make sure she doesn’t get too stressed out and from this web of lies more shenanigans come forth. Oh yeah, and suddenly he has to save his marriage. What?!

Why is it boring?

It is very much a repeat of The Rosie Project and the book almost felt as formulaic as a bad sitcom. While The Rosie project was still cute and made me laugh sometimes, The Rosie Effect felt more like sloppy seconds.

Who would you recommend it to?

If you loved The Rosie Project, there is enough in the sequel to keep you going. It’s by no means a terrible book, but it’s definitely not a book for people looking for a stimulating or exciting read. This is one of those beach reads that our book club really isn’t fond off.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I would only recommend this book to people who love romance novels, chick lit and that kind of thing, while I would recommend Simsion’s first book to anyone looking for a fun read. Quite a lot of people made the remark that this book was probably rushed to publication to make sure it could still benefit from the hype of The Rosie Project and that is exactly what it feels like. The story is very messy, not really thought through and the characters have changed completely since we saw them last. Rosie gets pregnant and turns into kind of a bitch, suddenly hating everything about Don that she used to love. This gets explained away by Genetics Gene – Don’s best friend – but to me it mostly felt like a plot device, the obstacle that Don needs to overcome. Out of nowhere, a lot of the relationships shift and it doesn’t really get explained why people do what they do. The reason that Gene and Claudia break up seems mostly related to Gene having to be where the action is and when they both end up with a new partner at the end it is just to wrap up the story neatly. Luckily Don is still the same and Simsion does a great job writing him as our narrator in this book as well. Don to me was the only saving feature of this book, so thank god he was the main character, but when an autistic protagonist is the one person that seems the most human, something isn’t right. I’m mainly disappointed with this book, because I think that if the author had taken his time, it could have been another hit.

Rating: 2/5

Review Copy attained through Netgalley with special thanks to the publisher Penguin Books UK.


Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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