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Don Tillman #2

The Rosie Effect

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Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they're about to face a new challenge because - surprise - Rosie is pregnant.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he's left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.

368 pages, Paperback

First published September 24, 2014

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About the author

Graeme Simsion

26 books5,420 followers
Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in forty languages. Movie rights have been optioned to Sony Pictures. The sequels, The Rosie Effect, and The Rosie Result, were also bestsellers, with total sales of the series in excess of five million.
Graeme's third novel was The Best of Adam Sharp, a story of a love affair re-kindled - and its consequences. Movie rights have been optioned by Vocab Films / New Sparta Films with Toni Collette attached to direct.
Graeme's fourth novel, Two Steps Forward is a story of renewal set on the Camino de Santiago, written with his wife, Anne Buist, whose own books include Medea's Curse, Dangerous to Know and This I would Kill for. Movie rights have been optioned by Fox Searchlight with Ellen DeGeneris to produce. A sequel, Two Steps Onward will be published in June 2021.

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Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,423 reviews12.7k followers
September 27, 2014
After the success of The Rosie Project last year, it was inevitable that we’d get a sequel, though so soon was surprising. In The Rosie Project we followed the adventures of Don Tillman, a genetics professor (with probable Aspergers) who went looking for a wife and found one in Rosie, who drew him into her own quest to find her unknown biological father.

In The Rosie Effect, Rosie is pregnant and Don is going to be a father. I’m going to stop there because this relates to my biggest problem with the book. There are numerous problems with this novel - in fact, I can’t name a single positive about it - and everything about it totally stinks but my biggest issue with this novel is the total lack of a plot.

See how I summarised The Rosie Project - it sounds like a real novel right, with a story? Then see how I tried to summarise The Rosie Effect - one line about Rosie being pregnant - and stopped. Because there is no plot to this book and that’s why it’s such a tedious read.

Don and Rosie are in New York, Rosie’s pursuing her degree, Don’s doing his genetics stuff, Gene, Don’s philandering colleague, joins them because his wife kicked him out. This isn’t plot, it’s just setup. Don’s friends with a guy who installs refrigeration systems and happens to have done a big job for an old rock drummer called George. And this brings me to the next problem with the book - zero conflict.

There is never a single problem in the “story” that Don doesn’t deal with easily, or Simsion magically solves for Don. Don and Rosie need a place to stay? Well, Don happens to know a guy who knows a rock drummer who is obsessed with beer and has an entire apartment below his attached to his beer cellar - they could stay in the spacious new apartment for free and Don could monitor the temperature of the beer for him! Well isn’t that convenient!

Simsion contrives numerous “obstacles” for Don to overcome that essentially end with “and the person realised it was a stupid novelistic contrivance designed to eat up pages before waving Don on”. For instance, a social worker - based on nothing more than Don’s unknowing ordering of an unecological dish - sets out to cause problems for him, threatening to deport him being as he is an Aussie living in America.

This allows Simsion to insert a well-used sitcom trope of having someone impersonating someone else, in this case one of Don’s friends pretending to be Rosie because Don doesn’t want to cause Rosie any extra stress that might harm the baby. How does that storyline end? Eh, turns out it doesn’t really matter. Social worker admits to behaving irrationally, falls for Gene, the end.

Arguably the worst offender out of these contrivances is the fact that, in the third act, Simsion realised he didn’t have any dramatic way of building to the finale because he hadn’t bothered with any story up to that point. So he invents some nonsense about Rosie suddenly thinking that Don won’t make a good husband, so she decides to leave him and go back to Australia. It’s so awkward and out of the blue, it’s staggering - really? We’re supposed to believe this crap out of nowhere?!

This leads to another “really?” moment when Don runs to the airport to profess his love for Rosie. I couldn’t believe the cheesiest of all cheeseball scenes was this book’s finale, but it was. The guy running to the airport at the last minute to tell the girl he loved her. Absolutely horrendous. And then what happens? Rosie realises that oh yeah, suddenly leaving Don didn’t really make sense and she still loved him and it was all for nothing.

Then there are the character problems of this book. Don, for example, is never explicitly said to have Aspergers or Autism, even if he sounds like Data from Star Trek all of the time (“Greetings!”). He can’t identify facial features, he doesn’t understand human emotions, most of the time doesn’t even seem to possess them, he looks at people and instantly calculates their BMIs, he doesn’t even understand certain social situations as being inappropriate, such as a man with a camera on his own sitting on a park bench taking pictures of children in the playground - but he’s definitely not autistic!!

This is another example of Simsion’s shoddy writing. Don is autistic and/or has Aspergers - he’s somewhere on the autistic spectrum anyway - but he also reacts like a human when he needs to. In other words, Simsion wants to have his cake and eat it.

But at least Don seems like a character and perhaps Gene too. The rest of the cast? There’s a trio of scientists Don labels B1, B2, and B3 because they all have names beginning with B, but also because he can’t identify faces (he’s definitely not autistic or anything!!) - and that’s how I feel all of the characters should’ve been labelled, rather than given names, because they don’t seem like characters at all. Most damningly, Rosie herself is a two-dimensional placeholder character - she’s the stock pregnant woman. She doesn’t seem like a real person, or distinctively her own person, she’s merely The Pregnant Woman in the book. That is, when she’s not behaving like a total bitch in total contrast to her character in the first book but maybe that’s the hormones or something?

Those are the main problems with The Rosie Effect though really there are too many faults all the way through this to list. And it’s labelled a romantic comedy? I suppose the romance is there, generic though it may be (airport scene!), but comedy? I never laughed once, nor did it seem that there was anything to laugh at. Was the fact that Don was photographing kids in the park, unaware that this made him look like a pedo, meant to be hilarious? Because to me it just underlined the fact that this guy needed a carer more than anything (but he’s definitely not autistic!!).

And it’s boring - my god, this book is boring! All of the problems - the lack of story, the dull characters, the absence of humour, the contrivances and cliches - compound massively on the book, one after the other, until it’s near unbearable to read! It’s so poorly written with zero imagination or skill that it reads like a first draft than the final finished product.

In the end, it’s very clear that The Rosie Effect was rushed out because everyone involved wanted to capitalise on the financial success of The Rosie Project. Except the sequel is a charmless, humourless chore to struggle through - an unending, uninteresting slog through totally artless, unengaging garbage.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Natalie.
634 reviews175 followers
November 21, 2015
I loved The Rosie Project. Don Tillman was a character unlike any I had ever encountered before. Honest, hilarious, and easy to love (for the reader, not necessarily for the characters in the book). I was beyond excited when I heard there would be a second book. I was also a little apprehensive, which happens when I finish a book that I thought would be a stand-alone and that was amazing as a stand-alone.

After reading reviews that gave only a couple stars or only one star, I was downright SCARED and took my time getting around to reading it.


Wait. I can also say:




Sorry. I understand that everyone likes different things and has different rating systems, but I am just baffled that people could give something like an unedited erotica novella that uses your instead of you're and this the same number of stars. BAFFLED.
OK. Now that I have that out of my system.

I will be honest and say that because I had read The Rosie Project so long ago and because my memory gets worse and worse for every year that I age, the details of the first book were a bit fuzzy. However, I was snapped back almost instantly and the voice of Don was as familiar and comforting as a warm, fuzzy blanket.

I loved Don's thought processes in this book as much as I did in the first. Don is a very clear character. His "voice" is one of the most memorable and easy to fall into of all the characters I've ever encountered. I love the funny situations he gets himself into and want to cheer for him when he is able to get out of them. I love his good intentions. It would be exhausting to be Don, always having to compute what to say/do/think next.

It is my love for Don's character that made it easy for me to bypass what others seem to have found very frustrating: the lack of or the change in Rosie's character in this book. I believe one reader even described her as being a "bitch" in this one. I didn't find her reactions to be as unbelievable as others. She is pregnant. She is excited about the pregnancy. Many men don't have the same excitement and instant emotional attachment to a pregnancy as women to begin with; Don has an even more difficult time because he has an extremely difficult time feeling/recognizing emotions. It's understandable that she would be upset. It's understandable that she would question what kind of father he would be able to be to their child.

Is everything that happens believable? No. Does everything align like the stars and the moon? No. But this isn't meant to be a serious scholarly book. This is light - a "beach read" if you will (although there are no true beaches here).

I'm giving this five stars because "I liked it" four stars isn't enough. I find the Don Tillman books to be unique, which is something that is getting harder and harder to find nowadays.

June 30, 2014


Please. Please oh please oh please, Mr. Simsion. Please do not ruin a good thing.

I'm trusting you.
No pressure.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,393 reviews7,240 followers
September 25, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Well, rats. Maybe my expectations were just too high after falling head over heels in love with The Rosie Project last year. Maybe there wasn’t enough magic left to make a worthy sequel. Whatever the case, I’m bummed I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would.


Still here? Okay, here we go …

This is the continuation of Sheldon Cooper’s Don Tillman’s story. Now 41, he and Rosie have been married for 10 months (and 10 days, if you want to be technical – which we know Don always wants to be technical). The couple are residing in The Big Apple where Don is an assistant professor at Columbia and Rosie is finishing up her Ph.D. Rosie is about to inform Don that they have a little “something to celebrate.”

And there’s where our problem begins. While Don remains Don and is completely over-the-top adorkable, getting himself into laugh-out-loudable (new word – add it to the dictionary, Merriam-Webster) pickle after pickle due to his inability to interact successfully with most other humans, Rosie loses her charm and basically becomes a straight-up bitch (I’m sure there are more refined phrases I could use to describe Rosie, but she peeved me off, so I’m not going to). It was impossible for me to read this as just “entertainment” when I was so angry with a main character and none of Don’s antics were enough to keep my spirits up once Rosie entered a scene. That’s not to say Don was without faults . . . Don was FULL of faults. That’s kind of the whole point ; )


I’ve sat on this review for a few days now because my head told me to give it a low rating, but my love for Don told me to keep it high. I’m settling for a 3, but not with a completely clear conscience. If I thought about it any longer it could easily become a 2 (or a 4 – I'm telling you, I have some serious multiple-personality disorder on this one). I won’t be throwing in the towel on Graeme Simsion just yet, but I sure wish he would have given me a little bit more of a “Shamy” vibe like I had been hoping for . . . .

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!!!
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,379 reviews11.7k followers
January 9, 2015
Is the magic gone?

It feels like it is.

Last year, I remember thinking that “The Rosie Project” was my favorite chick lit book ever, which was ironic because it had been written by a man. I thought it was hilarious and original.

This year, after reading “The Rosie Effect,” I am asking myself – was the first book much better or I just read it at the time when I had a better mood for it?

I don’t know. But reading “The Rosie Effect” just wasn’t the same. I didn’t find it funny, the jokes felt old and repetitive, the whole plot sluggish and strained. It mostly felt like a recycled-trope kind of sequel and it didn’t charm me anymore.

Frankly, I doubt that if Graeme Simsion comes up with another sequel I will care to check it out.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,329 followers
September 8, 2020
What a misnomer. There was hardly any "Rosie" in this book, only Don Tillman and the rest of the guys.

Also troubling, the women were portrayed as incubators, SJWs, inconsiderate and unreasonable. How did we go from adorable Don to Narcissistic Don in less than a year? *facepalm*
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,111 reviews1,975 followers
August 17, 2022
I raced through this book and enjoyed every word. There were many laugh aloud moments and lots of those delightful sequences where Don manages to land on his feet despite everything.

This book becomes much more serious than The Rosie Project though, and there are some sad and some stressful moments too. I was not happy with the character of Rosie for much of the book. She seemed to have lost her high spirits and her understanding of Don somewhere along the way, and at times I wanted to give her a good shake. Don on the other hand was always just himself and Gene almost redeemed his character along the way.

A really enjoyable read.
Profile Image for ALPHAreader.
1,089 reviews
October 12, 2014
'The Rosie Effect' is the sequel to Graeme Simsion’s 2013 internationally best-selling novel 'The Rosie Project', which I enjoyed immensely (as did Bill Gates).
I had been very excited to read its sequel and revisit Don and Rosie – and I said as much in my 'Rosie Project' review.

But now I have read the sequel, and I did not care for it.

Allow me to try and relay the things I did not enjoy about this book, and assign them some sort of quantifiable value. I shall list what I did not like, and use a percentage marker to indicate how much their inclusion annoyed me and affected my enjoyment of 'The Rosie Effect'.

• The Baby Project – 5%
'The Rosie Project' was about geneticist Don Tillman concocting a scientific survey to find the perfect wife. He found an imperfectly-perfect wife in Rosie Jarman, who failed at his Wife Project but succeeded in the hands-on role. 'The Rosie Effect' begins when Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York – Don is a professor at Columbia and Rosie is completing her PhD. It is not a good time for them to “get pregnant”, but that’s exactly what happens … which triggers The Baby Project – which sees Don attempt to prepare for impending fatherhood by conducting extensive research into everything from suitable diet for Rosie to child-rearing techniques. Don is particularly keen to conduct such research because of an altercation with a friend-of-a-friend, who states that Don would make an unsuitable parent.
It follows that after The Wife Project comes The Baby Project (as indicated by famous rhyme: first comes loves, then comes marriage etc, etc, etc…) but this storyline quickly falters, and the book started to feel like the nine-month gestation period itself. Or, as Alfred Hickling for The Guardian noted: “it fulfils a formula familiar to many sequels of bestelling novels in that it is twice as long and only half as good.”

• Gregory Peck – 25%
Simsion repeats many jokes in this book. The Gregory Peck ha-ha was particularly annoying for it’s repetitiveness.
Rosie thinks that Don bears a resemblance to the famous actor Gregory Peck (circa: 'To Kill a Mockingbird'). This was a lovely visual in 'The Rosie Project'. In 'The Rosie Effect' we learn that Don has taken his resemblance and amplified it by repeating famous lines from Gregory Peck films ('Roman Holiday' in particular) which often results in Rosie feeling amorous towards Don. This is nice, and when Don first mentions his subtle ‘strategy’ it’s funny, and I cracked a smile … but Simsion repeats a variation of this joke about 20 times throughout the book.
It is a sad day when mention of Gregory Peck in a novel becomes frustrating.
A sad day indeed.

• Marital Violence joke – 35%
It’s not just the Gregory Peck joke that Simsion repeats.
There are two elaborate comedy-of-errors situations that take quite a bit of build-up, but the premise is people thinking that Don means to do some sort of harm to Rosie and/or the baby. He doesn’t. The misunderstanding comes from Don being somewhere on the autism spectrum (what was once called Asperger syndrome) and being entirely too honest and direct with people, particularly those in positions of authority. This sees him participating in a domestic violence counselling session, and giving the wrong impression to a flight marshal about intending to hurt Rosie.
This “funny” clunked on the page … twice.

• 'The Rosie Project' similarities – 10%
A lot of The Rosie Effect is set-up to be a mirrored sequel to 'The Rosie Project'. The Wife/Baby Project plot is just one of them. Simsion reuses another in the friendly neighbour who Don becomes emotionally (unbeknownst to him) attached to. In 'Rosie Project' Don’s kind, elderly neighbour Daphne was the person who encouraged him to become a husband … hence, The Wife Project. Simsion conveniently contrives a similar scenario for Don in 'The Rosie Effect', except this time the neighbour is an old rocker called George who has his own family dilemmas and both gives Don advice, and benefits from Don’s “boy’s night out” initiative. George also provides Don and Rosie an unrealistic housing opportunity in New York.
I didn’t love the skewed-slightly plot, especially since George didn’t hold a candle to Daphne who was a crucial part of Don’s character arc.

• Gene – 5%
Gene’s wife, Claudia, finally leaves the serial-philanderer and Don convinces Gene to come and take a position at Columbia and stay with him and Rosie.
This book is in no way improved by more Gene.
… I don’t think anything is ever improved by more Gene.

• The Women – 20%
This is a very male-centric story. Don spends a lot of “boys nights out” with his friends George, Gene and new acquaintance Dave working through various husband and fatherhood difficulties. By comparison, Rosie actually feels like a depleted character in this book – it didn’t feel like she was physically present for a lot of it (and probably wasn’t, as she’s frequently working on her thesis) – but emotionally it felt like Simsion left her to lag behind. Maybe this is because he writes her as a silly pregnant woman – irrational, baby-brained and forever frustrated – rather than an actual human being who we’ve come to know and love through Don’s search for her in 'The Rosie Project'. As Helen Elliott said in her Sydney Morning Herald review: "If ever there was a formulaic pregnancy, this is it. It might make men laugh. Women will be unamused and even cross."
Other women in the book are equally hollow – there’s the second emotionally overwrought pregnant woman (Sonia), evil professional lady (Lydia), Skype-chat ex (Claudia) or simply background extras B1, B2 and B3 (I’m not kidding).

100% disappointed.

I didn’t like 'The Rosie Effect'. I first became worried when I got to Chapter Eight and realised I hadn’t chuckled once – compared to my belly-laughing by that point in 'The Rosie Project'.
Sure, a few scenes elicited smiles:

Loud Woman laughed. Loudly. ‘He’s Rain Man! You know. Dustin Hoffman when he remembers all the cards. Dan’s the cocktail Rain Man.’
Rain Man! I had seen the film. I did not identify in any way with Rain Man, who was inarticulate, dependent and unemployable. A society of Rain Men would be dysfunctional. A society of Don Tillmans would be efficient, safe and pleasant for all of us.

But they were far and few between.

To be honest, I rushed through reading the end because I just wanted to be done with it. I still think Don is a great character, and I will pick up the third book when it comes out … but I might have to rein in my expectations, and I suggest you do the same if you’re going into 'The Rosie Effect'.

Profile Image for Baba.
3,503 reviews725 followers
January 19, 2023
Apologies in advance, but I need to get to a place where I don't waste time detailing reviews of reads that I have conferred One Star on; this is a rehash of the first book in the series where almost every bit of 'humour' is centred around Tilman's social skills that are very limited because of his ultra nerdish disposition, with the added 'twist' that his partner is pregnant. So, can a book be maintained off of a single joke/situation? My answer is capital lettered NO! A 3 out of 12, One Star read that is merrily making its way to my local charity shop at the earliest opportunity.

2023 read.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,077 reviews1,643 followers
April 3, 2022
After reading Chapter 1 of "The Rosie Project " on a plane, I turned to my friend and said, "you've got to read the first chapter of this book, right now!" pausing to allow him to read it. It was just so "laugh out loud" funny!

So, when I heard that there was going to be a sequel (Don Tillman #2), I did something that I rarely do...I "preordered" it!!

A few friends, ended up reading it first, and as the "less than stellar" reviews started coming in, it continued to sit on my GoodReads "to read" shelf, as other books got moved ahead of it. Well, I finally got around to moving it to my "currently reading" shelf, and unfortunately, I must agree with those who read it before me..not nearly as charming.

Maybe, it's because I have never been interested in becoming a mom, but I did NOT laugh out loud, even one time.

In fact, at times I felt sad.

And disappointed in Rosie.

Not sure if I would even be up for a (Don Tillman #3). 😔
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,507 reviews2,506 followers
December 10, 2014
(3.5) I was wary after the Guardian review called this sequel “twice as long and only half as good” as The Rosie Project, but I actually enjoyed it just about as much as the original. In a new NYC setting, Rosie’s unplanned pregnancy has Don Tillman – and everyone else around him – assessing his suitability for fatherhood. He manages to supplement his textbook knowledge of obstetrics with some bizarre practical experience, such as assisting with a lesbian parenting study and having a hand in a (bovine) delivery. Expect much madcap hilarity.

“My innate logical skills were significantly greater than my interpersonal skills,” Don notes in typical deadpan style, but by helping friends old and new he has some success in developing empathy. Whether this is believable for a character with Asperger’s I couldn’t say with any authority, but it makes for an emotionally satisfying storyline.

My favorite lines: “A society of Rain Men would be dysfunctional. A society of Don Tillmans would be efficient, safe, and pleasant for all of us.” As a big fan of appropriate fetus names, I also appreciated Don and Rosie’s choice of “Bud” (= Baby Under Development, but also fits cleverly with ‘Rosie’ and indicates friendly informality).

Where could the series go next?
Profile Image for Ali Abdaal.
17 reviews32.4k followers
June 13, 2021
Not quite as good as the first one, but still pretty solid
Profile Image for Suz.
1,045 reviews531 followers
February 17, 2019
Don Tillman what a guy. Graeme Simsion what a guy. I attended the Sydney launch of this book, so was really happy and interested to hear the background story of the author, and how The Rosie Project was bought to life, as well as this lovely second half. Don Tillman is such a quirky character, that I can see it took someone as equally charming and full of life as the author to bring this character into our lives, so many lives as it has - it's a very popular set of books and fans around the world will understand why. I recommend re reading The Rosie Project, as the book is full of fun characters that to re visit them will really do its sequel justice. This time around I didn't enjoy the character of Rosie as much, she was somewhat unrelenting in her lack of compassion for the man she knew was very 'different' when she agreed to marry him, and as for the pregnancy, this was an odd situation to spring on our beloved Don. Although the entire book revolves around the issue! This book was a very enjoyable read, I don't think anything can top The Rosie Project, but I did not expect it to in any way, but it was the perfect sequel to a very special book. A fantastic theme these books address perfectly is the realm of issues that people all around the world face with mental illness, and that is a very important and worthy outcome. All Aussies will love this, as I'm sure people all around the world will, so if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting this series yet, I would highly recommend it to everyone. Loved the characters and loved the whole fun ride!!
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,243 followers
August 6, 2016
Have you ever watched Curb Your Enthusiasm? I liken this book to that only in the way that you can see the train wreck happening from a mile away but it’s going to happen anyway and you can’t look away even though the anxiety of the awkward social situation is just burning a hole in your stomach. Unfortunately, The Rosie Effect is not like Curb in that it’s just not funny or entertaining. I should have listened to Kelly before I read this.

Anyway, what I choose to write my review on is the conflict in this story that falls on the feet of a despicable character named Lydia. Ugh, this woman is just obnoxious! She’s one of the worst kinds of people imaginable; She condescends to others and uses guilt tactics without being completely informed (but of course she thinks she knows it all and will not listen to logic…), is pretentious, and she abuses her power. She’s basically that smug Gwyneth Paltrow, so full of herself and out of touch with reality and still sets herself on a pedestal. Ugh.

I do love it when she gets some shade thrown at her though by Seymour at a lunch when she goes on a rant against people with Asperger’s:
”You want some guy with Asperger’s flying your plane?” said Lydia
“Better than someone who uses words they don’t understand,” said Seymour. (p. 64)

That’s the only interesting part of this story. The rest was bland and a bore to read. Even Rosie—who is now pregnant—is basically used as a prop for most of the book, Gene’s wife finally kicks him out for being a skeeze, and Don is breaking people down (Charlie’s Angels style) when he’s not Sheldoning around.

My advice: stick with the first book and treat it as a stand-alone because the sequel is a waste of time to read.
Profile Image for Jessica J..
1,007 reviews1,874 followers
September 26, 2014
I am such an asshole.

I think I was among the minority of readers who wasn’t blown away by The Rosie Project. I thought that it was rather sweet at times, but the character development didn't always feel natural. Even taking into consideration the idea that you have to compromise and address personal issues before you can be successful with relationships, the changes the characters underwent for the sake of the plot just struck me as stretching credulity a little too much.

So if The Rosie Project was seen as essentially Sheldon Cooper Falls in Love, then this is essentially Sheldon Cooper Has A Baby.

Here, Rosie announces she's pregnant ten months into their marriage. She and Don are living in New York, where he's working in a lab and she's finishing her PhD/MD at Columbia. Both halves of the couple have doubts and insecurities about their impending parenthood, and Don tries to address these insecurities in the same methodological, overly rational way he addresses everything. Hijinks and calamities ensue, leading to extra tension in already tense marriage.

I didn’t enjoy this book really at all, primarily because Don’s “quirkiness” has gone over the top to the point where it’s more annoying than charming. I also don’t think that the people in his life would realistically just go along with him to the extent that they do. Yes, friends and partners ought to be more accepting of your idiosyncrasies than the general public, but Don’s friends were too quick to shrug and say That’s Don for you while the general public was too quick to say This is a man that needs to be locked up. This dichotomy was no doubt meant to be humorous, but it was just too severe for me to swallow.

I have no doubt that readers who enjoyed the first book more than I did will also enjoy the second book more than I did. But I am an asshole, so I could not wait to just be done with this one.
Profile Image for Dana.
440 reviews292 followers
December 31, 2014

As you may be able to tell from my status updates, I was a little frustrated with Rosie in this book. In turn that made me think perhaps this sequel was less enjoyable than the original, but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that this book is just as good if not better than The Rosie Project. I was just taken for a loop because this book seemed so much more “real” than the first, and real life is hard and awkward and rage inducing.

Its possible that I was being too hard on Rosie, I think it is just so much easier to relate to Don, or at least to like Don because he is so transparent. However after closing the book and thinking on it I confirmed my suspicion that Rosie wasn't being a bitch, she was just being herself in a hard situation.

While still filled with laugh out loud moments like the original, The Rosie Effect is noticeably more dark, and I have to respect the author for going in this direction. It was a risky move but I think it paid off. I am definitely interested in another installment of the Don and Rosie show.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Profile Image for Jenbebookish.
600 reviews154 followers
January 15, 2015

What a total disappointment. And not just a lil one, but a total train wreck. I can't believe I wasted a day's worth of precious reading time on this. It was just that I kept expecting for it to get better! The first time around was the perfect blend of a slightly irritable, short, straight to the point, and sweet-but-simultaneously-almost-removed way of reporting the story. Don's voice was unusual, but yet still genuine, and despite him being an obviously unusual person, we were still able to connect with him as readers. This time around it became too much of a good thing. Everything Simsion did the first time around, he tried to do again this time but it was as if this time he just ran out of steam to do it right; he lacked the heart, the sincerity, the humanizing aspects and what was left was this robotic telling of a story from seemingly robotic people. It was just weird, and off. What it sorta felt like to me was that "The Rosie Project" was a novel; something an author put heart and soul into, bringing characters to life and falling in love with them and being invested in their lives and outcomes. One the other hand, "The Rose Effect" felt like it was the quickly jotted down, unedited, unloved and uncared for brother of "The Rosie Project."

I would 100% recommend just skipping this one, especially if you loved "The Rosie Project." Just leave The Project fresh in your mind and don't ruin a good thing by warping your perception of Graeme Simsion and his abilities by reading "The Rosie Effect," because thats exactly what it did for me! Truly doesn't even feel like the same person could have written both, it feels more like The Rosie Effect is somebody else's sad attempt at mimicking The Rosie Project.
Profile Image for Mark  Porton.
350 reviews289 followers
March 3, 2021
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion is the second in the “Rosie Series” and although it isn’t quite as good as the first (The Rosie Project) I still found it to be thoroughly enjoyable.

We follow Professor Don Tillman and Rosie to New York, Don is an academic and Rosie is studying to become a medical doctor, and she is pregnant. Don’s peculiarities predominate and I still found them to be interesting and very funny at times and the interplay between he and Rosie was interesting. However, the interplay between the two weren’t as interesting to follow as the first book and not as much fun. This is probably due to the fact they are now in a serious relationship where the rubber is hitting the road. In fact, there were a few sad times in this book, like all relationships, they have their ups and downs.

Even though Don follows a meticulous protocol for pretty much everything, he ends up in totally unexpected and often disastrous situations. For example, in this story he was suspected of being a paedophile and a terrorist, not at the same time though.

The journey of Rosie’s pregnancy takes Don on a process of self-reflection and self-assessment. This can be challenging for Don. He therefore often finds himself in funny/awkward situations, however, I doubt Rosie finds this as humorous as I did. Afterall, she is looking for Don to be a good father to their baby.

One issue I do have with this story is it’s told in the first person, from Don’s perspective – which tends to make Rosie a little ‘wooden’. This is an obvious consequence of this format, but I found it difficult to understand Rosie, her role was almost a passive one which is a shame, particularly as she is a very interesting character. I can’t recall this being an issue for me in the first book.

An example of a funny Don-like exchange, involved a guy he was talking to where he said to Don:

”You must enjoy talking to your wife more than I do”

Don replied…..”That seems probable, since she and I chose to be married and you haven’t met her”.

………that’s our Don!

Along the way we see some of the characters from the first book, such as the prolifically promiscuous Gene, Don’s parents – I love the telephone exchanges between he and his like-minded father. We also meet some new characters like fading rock star and neighbour George, and friends David and Sonia. Be prepared, there’s a bombshell and a certain amount of skulduggery which adds a little suspense and intrigue.

This story again is mainly about Don, that’s okay – it was still a fun read and so well done, I am looking forward to reading book 3 of the series.

4 Stars

Profile Image for Angela M (On a little break).
1,270 reviews2,217 followers
October 7, 2014
I smiled, laughed and got teary eyed in this book just as I did in The Rosie Project because it's fun, funny, sad and just an all-around feel good story . I was thrilled to meet up with Don Tillman and his wife Rosie again. It‘s light hearted in the sense that there are some very funny moments in this book as we see Don trying to cope with married life , and preparing himself to be a father . You just can't imagine the things he does and I certainly don't want to spoil the fun of reading about this by telling about them here . Don gets in to considerably more trouble than when he sneaks around trying to steal DNA samples to find out who Rosie's biological father is in the previous book. However, this is more than just a feel good story.

He and Rosie seem to be having some communication issues but they are not alone . Don's “normal “ friends ( and those are very big quotation marks ) are having communication issues with their wives as well so it's just not Don. There's a lot of deception going on here but from Don's perspective , he just wants to protect Rosie and things just sort of spin out of control. I would have given it five stars but it just seemed to get a little over the top towards the end .

I read this sequel in a little different light than The Rosie Project because I remembered how my GR friend Margi's review touched me where she tells of her personal perspective on the story. Here is her wonderful review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... that I hope will make readers think about this book and people with Asperger’s in a different
light . Because of Margi’s review, the novel was more than just a light hearted, funny read for me. (The link was included here with Margi's permission.)

While Don tries to conform to what people tell him he should be doing or saying, the truth of the matter is that he really can’t and doesn’t change who he is and it is a beautiful thing that Rosie, even though she doubts him at times, loves him for who he is.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advance copy.

Profile Image for Wilma.
106 reviews49 followers
April 5, 2016
Humoristisch, hilarisch...ik heb regelmatig hardop gelachen...!!
Ik ben groot fan van Sheldon Cooper - The Big Bang Theory - en heb weer genoten van Don en Rosie, twee hartverwarmende personages. Het verhaal leest als een trein, vlot en goed geschreven. Ik kan niet wachten tot het volgende deel verschijnt!

Profile Image for Diane.
1,079 reviews2,605 followers
April 3, 2016
This was an amusing sequel to The Rosie Project. The socially awkward scientist Don Tillman and his wife, Rosie, are now living in New York and expecting a baby. Don is worried he won't be a good father, so he sets out to get some parenting experience, which leads to a few disasters and damages his relationship with Rosie. Luckily, Don has some friends who can help him resolve the misunderstandings.

This plot hit a lot of the same notes as the first book, including how Don uses his idiosyncrasies to solve problems, and that every conflict occurs because Don has trouble interpreting social customs and behaviors, but it's still a sweet, enjoyable novel. Recommended for those who want a lighthearted romantic comedy.

Profile Image for Paula K (on hiatus).
414 reviews428 followers
December 4, 2016
A fun follow-up to the Rosie Project. Not as hilarious as the first book, but I did get to laugh out loud a couple of times. I do enjoy the antics of Don Tillman and will look forward to listening to the narrator's voice when the next book in the series comes out.

3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,264 reviews114 followers
September 14, 2016
The Rosie Effect is the second novel by Australian author and playwright, Graeme Simsion, and the sequel to his highly popular novel, The Rosie Project. Now married, Don and Rosie are living in a cramped New York apartment while, as a visiting professor at Columbia, Don continues his research on alcoholic mice and Rosie studies to gain her MD qualification. Don’s friend, Gene, a geneticist and serial adulterer, has finally exhausted his wife’s tolerance for philandering and been thrown out, so Don invites him to stay with them, unwisely neglecting to check with Rosie first. And before he gets a chance to do so, Rosie announces that they are having a baby.

Don’s solution to multiple problems (accommodation deficit with respect to the imminent arrival of an overseas guest and an eventual addition to the family; a laundry confrontation with a neighbour; a twice-daily beer-related commitment; financial stress due to the (Don-induced) loss of employment at a cocktail bar; the need to keep Rosie’s stress levels at a minimum) is a wonderfully elegant example of lateral thinking that only someone of his extraordinary talents could manage.
Gene’s advice on fatherhood is mostly sound, but unfortunately rather too vague for Don, who manages to get himself into trouble involving police, counsellors and support groups.

Mindful of the results of Rosie’s own research into the effects of stress during pregnancy, Don wants to spare her any anxiety and eventually tangles himself (and several others) in a web of deceit. His eccentric manner of dealing with Rosie’s pregnancy and his own impending fatherhood ends up threatening their happiness together. Luckily, he has friends (six, now!) who care and his boy’s night out group (recently expanded to include a rock star, and a psychology professor in addition to a refrigeration engineer) provide unique support.

In Don, Simsion has created a character who is easy to love: he cares about his friends, is completely guileless, somewhat innocent and totally without malice. He has wholehearted enthusiasm for, and dedication to, any project he decides to take on. Simsion introduces a few new characters and expands on characters that readers will remember from The Rosie Project, so there are a few sub-plots keeping Don busy. This novel is filled with an abundance of hilarious situations that will have the reader snickering, groaning and laughing out loud as Don navigates his way through dinners (the Bluefin Tuna Incident), toddler observation (the Playground Incident), counselling sessions (the Good Fathers Project), research projects (the Lesbian Mothers Project), errors in judgement (the Second Ultrasound Misunderstanding), encounters with Loud Woman, Bubonic Plague Woman and an opinionated social worker, and tries to reinstate the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version).

Don’s instinctive solution to any problem is a spreadsheet, and his Baby Project bathroom-tile spreadsheet sounds fascinating. Ditto Jim’s soundproof crib. There are Gregory Peck impersonations, Rosie impersonations, men sharing their deepest secrets, a perfect anniversary celebration engineered for Don by Rosie, and, of course, bouts of morning sickness which elicit Don’s logical (if unsympathetic-sounding) response: “Feeling unwell is normal in pregnancy. It’s almost certainly a good sign.…..Your body is probably assembling some critical component, such as an arm, and is minimising the possibility of toxins disrupting the process.”

Simsion’s latest novel takes a light-hearted look at medical research projects, sustainable meal choices, social workers, pregnancy and of course, fatherhood. Apart from the many laughs, there are also a few lump-in-the-throat moments and readers who loved The Rosie Project will not be disappointed. A funny, moving and sometimes thought-provoking read.
Profile Image for Ashley - Book Labyrinth.
1,251 reviews307 followers
October 21, 2014
I'm SO UPSET to give this book only two stars. I'm tempted to bump it up to three stars, because there are definitely some good parts to it and because I absolutely loved the first book, but honestly right now it feels like a two star book.

While the first book wasn't perfect, I found it to be utterly charming. Everything about it was so sweet and fun and real. The Rosie Effect, by contrast, feels like ... well, it feels like an author rushing out a sequel to capitalize on the enormous success of the first book. I'm not saying that was the author's intent, but that's what it feels like.

Both Rosie and Don clearly have some issues, but it's the way they work together that made the first book work so well. Rosie is a tough character to get, but it seems like she like understands and accepts Don and is making progress in her own life. Don, on the other hand, doesn't logically feel like Rosie is his match, but he connects with her and loves her despite that. Obviously when you have a sequel that's based on a romantic pair you need to throw a wrench in their lives and cause chaos, because otherwise you don't have a story. What I didn't expect was a total reversal of these roles from the first book. I didn't expect the characters to regress.

Despite being the titular character, Rosie is basically absent for a lot of this book. She's in the background completing her thesis and generally being every kind of stereotype for an absent-minded shrew of a pregnant woman. Seriously, I wanted to strangle Rosie for the things she was doing and saying. Obviously she's a character with issues, but she was also sweet and fun and accepting. I didn't see any of that here, and it really upset me to see the author write Rosie this way.

There are so many other things that made me dislike this one. Don's actions were beyond ridiculous. There are the social faux pas that I would expect from his character, and then there were things that went WAY over the top. There's also the way Gene was part of this book, of which I would say there was way too much of his character -- there was really no point to his part in the story. And then, probably most importantly, is the fact that this book doesn't really have much of a plot. It's all about marital problems, lack of communication, and a crazed social worker (surprise! it's a female character acting completely unprofessionally and illogically) taking out her own issues on Don. Of course things happen, but it really feels like one long ramble with very little purpose to it.

I was so looking forward to this one after enjoying The Rosie Project so much, but honestly I would suggest stopping after the first book. This was such a disappointment.
Profile Image for Britany.
940 reviews414 followers
July 21, 2016
The second book in this series picks up shortly after the first book. I enjoyed the same parts of this book as I did the first one. The characters, the mis-interpretations from Don, the banter, and the situations. I enjoyed imagining living in a gorgeous apartment with a beer cellar (is this the dream?!). I just love Don's character- his antics and lists make me smile and appreciate the book.

In my personal opinion, I don't think this series was warranted, I think the first book would've been enough. I enjoyed re-visiting, however I would've been fine without it.
Profile Image for Gypsy.
397 reviews497 followers
January 29, 2018
هشدار: اسپویلر!

هشدار بیشتر: اگه جلد اول رو دوست داشتین، نخوندین هم نخوندین. ولی اگه جلد اول رو دوست نداشتین، دیگه به‌هیچ‌وجه نخونین!

نمرۀ واقعی: دو و نیم.

خدایا خدایا. کاش نویسنده این جلد رو نمی‌نوشت. توی جلد قبل رزی می‌گفت دن واقعاً دوستش نداره، صرفاً از نظر تئوری دوستش داره و احساسات مردونه بهش نداره. بعد حالا اینجا می‌گه من ایمان دارم تو منو دوست داری ولی نسبت به بچه‌م هیچ حس پدرانه‌ای نداری و فقط از نظر ذهنی سعی می‌کنی پدر باشی. سؤال من اینه: مگه مردای دیگه چطوری‌ان؟! بچه توی شکم مادره. هورمون‌ها توی بدن مادر ترشح می‌شن. طبیعیه اون حس مادرانه داشته باشه. ولی مردها تا قبل از به دنیا اومدن بچه، احساس پدری دارن؟ نه بچه رو اونقد حس می‌کنن، نه هورمونی روشون تأثیر می‌ذاره. تا یه مدت شوکه‌ن، تا یه مدت ذوق‌زده‌ن و بعد، وارد فاز پدری می‌شن. :دی

از طرفی دن تمام تلاشش رو می‌کرد که دربارۀ پدر شدن بدونه، همون‌طور که توی جلد پیش هم تلاش می‌کرد دربارۀ مرد خوب شدن اطلاعات کسب کنه. متنفرم که این جمله رو بگم، چون خودمم رشته‌م روانشناسیه و وقتی بقیه بهمون می‌گن شما که رشته‌تون اینه باید فلان باشین چنان باشین، اصلاً منطقی نیست. ولی رفتار رزی مثل یه دانشجوی روانپزشکی نبود. رزی سی- سی و دو سالش بود. ولی ده سال کوچیک‌تر رفتار می‌کرد انگار. به‌قدری رفتارهاش مسخره بودن که هرچی توی جلد اول سعی کردم ازش خوشم بیاد، الان فهمیدم تلاشم بیهوده بوده.

نویسنده توی این جلد داستان رو واقعاً به‌حد کتاب‌های عامه‌پسند و زرد پایین آورده. یه سری چیزاش خیلی خوب بودن؛ مثلاً جریان اون پارک بچه‌ها و دستگیر شدنِ دن و برای اینکه به رزی استرس نده، سونیا رو به‌جاش می‌آره و دربارۀ افسردگی بعد از زایمان تحقیق می‌کنه و اینا. این تیکه‌ها خوب بودن. ولی می‌تونم بگم یکی از بدترین تیکه‌هاش، اونجایی بود که رزی می‌گه پای مرد دیگه‌ای در میونه و صفحۀ شخصی درست کرده. واقعاً این رفتار یه زن سی و اندی ساله اونم اینقد تحصیل‌کرده نیست. تازه دن فکر می‌کنه طرف استفانه، ولی من شخصاً فهمیدم طرف فیله. متن اسکایپش بیشتر مثل یه پدر بود تا یه معشوق. و دن که قبلاً با فیل برخورد داشته و جریان حلقه هم توی داستان مطرح شده، باید حدس می‌زد طرف فیله.

توی این جلد نویسنده خیلی سطحی نوشته و ایده‌هاش دم‌دستی‌ان. رزی خیلی بچگانه رفتار می‌کرد. تأثیر هورمون‌ها و بارداری هم باشه، اینقد احمقانه رفتار نمی‌کنه که بخواد از دن جدا بشه و بره استرالیا! کسی که حتی نمی‌خواست مرخصی بگیره که از درس‌هاش عقب نمونه! صد صفحۀ آخر اینقد همه‌چی درهم برهم شده بود و شخصیت‌های زیادی توی این رابطه نقش داشتن که واقعاً می‌خواستم ولش کنم. شبیه سریال‌های ترکی شده بود دیگه. :/

نکته اینه که دن واقعاً شخصیت جذاب و معرکه‌ایه. برای همین نویسنده می‌تونه اِن جلد درباره‌ش بنویسه و بازم برامون جذاب باشه. ولی از نظر داستانی بخوای حساب کنی، مسخره‌ست! نمی‌شه که به‌خاطر یه شخصیت و شخصیت‌پردازیِ خوب، توی هر موقعیتی داستان خلق کنی! برای تمرین خیلی هم اتفاقاً عالیه. ولی آخه جریان پدری‌کردنِ دن فقط؟ جلد سه‌شم می‌تونه بحران میانسالی و آشیانۀ خالیش باشه دیگه. جلد چارشم شرح چگونگی مُردن دن باشه دیگه! بابا محض رضای خدا! :/

این قانونی که می‌گن هیچ‌وقت جلدهایی که به‌خاطر استقبال جلد اول نوشته می‌شن خوب نیستن، بسیار بسیار بسیار قانون صادق و محکمیه. بهوش باشید.(اصلاً هم منظورم خودم نیست. :همر: )

+ فونتش خیلی خوب بود. بیشتر کتاب‌های چشمه فونت خیلی ریزی داره که چل پنجاه صفحه می‌خونی چشات درد می‌گیره. ولی این قشنگ صد صفحه رو می‌خوندی. البته تندیس باز توی ویرایش و صفحه‌آرایی مشکلات خودشو داره. ولی درکل گفتم، چشم‌هام اصلاً اذیت نشد و این خیلی مهمه. چشم چیز مهمیه. :دی
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,721 reviews6,661 followers
January 5, 2016
The Rosie Effect is the second installment in the Don Tillman series written by author Graeme Simsion.

I adored the first book The Rosie Project, so imagine my disappointment when The Rosie Effect failed to live up to it's predecessor. That is my opinion at least. Please note though that three stars isn't horrible! It was still a good read, but when compared to the endearing, sweet, and funny story that came before it, there's just no comparison. The Rosie Effect was a bit more serious, as the theme of falling in love has now transitioned into making a marriage work and preparing for the logistics of a traditional family. So naturally, it's not going to be all butterflies and rainbows this time around. But even so, the writing felt much dryer. I didn't laugh much at all, or smile really. I just felt sad for most of the characters much of the time, even when the crises Don got himself into were likely intended to add humor. However, the ending had the same urgency and fast pace as the first book did, with our hero Don finally concluding the perfect way to connect with his love Rosie, which I appreciated. It just wasn't enough for me to bump up my personal rating.

If you're a fan of The Rosie Project and have been looking forward to this one, please don't let this review stop you! Sometimes, one's expectations get in the way of overall enjoyment, and I'm realistic enough to accept that this may have been my situation. If you do check it out, let me know what you think! Happy Reading!!!

My favorite quote:
“Watch some kids, watch them play. You’ll see they’re just little adults, only they don’t know all the rules and tricks yet.”

The Don Tillman series includes the following installments as of January 2015:
#1-The Rosie Project
#2-The Rosie Effect
The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2) by Graeme Simsion
Profile Image for Amanda.
72 reviews21 followers
June 3, 2017
I loved the second installment of this series! Okay, it wasn't as fabulous as the first one, but I think that was because I'd already 'met' the main character Don Tillman so knew all his quirks and traits. The first book 'The Rosie Project' was super brilliant because Don's personality was so interesting and new. In the second installment, his personality is still interesting and I think he is really quite a beautiful character, but I guess the premise was already set in the first novel, so no real surprises there. Still a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who fell in love with Don in the first book :)
Profile Image for Helene Jeppesen.
685 reviews3,629 followers
May 3, 2015
I must admit I was a bit disappointed in this book which is - in my opinion - nothing like The Rosie Project. It was fascinating being back inside Don's head, but I couldn't really stand how the author was consistenly trying to create funny situations that turned out not being that funny at all. I didn't feel a connection to the story nor Don or Rosie throughout most of the book, mostly because I didn't agree with their decisions which I considered silly and inconsiderate.
I am a bit flabbergasted at how much this book actually disappointed me. There were several chapters where my mind started to drift because I didn't really care for the story, which is completely opposite to my reaction to The Rosie Project (which I adored!). This book didn't have any of the sass and endearing scenes that we get in the first book; in contrast, it was boring and predictable and contained too many foolish scenarios that I didn't really buy into.
In my opinion, this sequel should not have been written because it didn't add anything new and refreshing to the story - which is sad.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,283 reviews639 followers
February 15, 2015
I found “The Rosie Project” to be whimsically entertaining and hilarious. “The Rosie Effect” is far more stressful. Poor Don! In this sequel, Rosie isn’t as charming. She’s pregnant, so perhaps that’s why Simsion wrote her to be less than pleasant. Don, on the other hand, remains in character of the first book. His character carries the novel. Simsion is brilliant in writing typical events that go drastically wrong when the human element of raw emotion is taken away and in place is severe logic. Don gets himself into some hapless shenanigans. An exchange with an Air Marshal was my favorite.

I do think Simsion changed Rosie’s character to the detriment of the novel. I really didn’t like her in this novel. That said, it’s a quick read and worth the time. Not at the same level as “The Rosie Project”.
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