A few weeks ago a friend recommended I read the romance The Rosie Project, written by Australian Graeme Simsion. This friend and I actually met when she came into my library and I suggested a Melissa Senate book to her (I think she was asking for chick lit-ish suggestions, if I remember correctly), which she liked, so you can see a big part of our relationship is talking over books.*
So when she suggested The Rosie Project, I went right to the library to get it.
And it was okay. It's set in Australia (a nice change of pace, that), and the main character is Don Tillman, an academic and genetic researcher who is described on the book jacket as "brilliant yet socially challenged," and who may or may not have some Asperger-like tendencies. A case in point? His logical approach to finding a mate: the Wife Project, wherein he asks women to complete a detailed survey to assess their qualifications for the role of his potential life partner. Which is an okay plan, until he meets Rosie, who doesn't really fit any of his Wife Project criteria, but who does bring an interesting genetic quandary to their relationship: she wants to find out who her biological father is (and she's got a small sampling of candidates to test).
So yeah, it was okay, and I finished it, and even enjoyed it in bits--Don's not an unlikable main character and Rosie has her charms--but I wouldn't say it was a great book.** There were never really any moments where I went, "Awww...," and when reading romance or chick lit, I kind of need that "Awww..." moment. And then it struck me that at least part of the problem here was that I don't really care for the protagonists of my chick lit to be male. And I really don't want my romance books to be written by guys either.*** Go ahead and accuse me of reverse discrimination. But I'm trying to think of any love story written by a guy that I've really liked...and right now nothing is coming to me. I certainly didn't enjoy Shotgun Lovesongs, that's for sure.
*Which is just so awesome. It might be close-minded, but I'm at the age now where I'm pretty much looking to only associate with people who read, and who talk about reading.
**In a hilarious turn of events, Mr. CR, who rarely reads books I bring home and never reads romance (the last "romance" I suggested to him that he read was W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage), read it, liked it, and seemed disappointed that I wasn't more enthusiastic about it.
***Unless that guy is Norman Maclean, whose novella A River Runs Through It is one of my favorite love stories of all time. But more general love, not dating-relationships-marriage love.