I didn't really think this one would work for me. It got on my nerves even before I read it. First, because I was afraid it would be a book like The Fault In Our Stars, which I promised myself I wouldn't force myself to read any more (even though now everyone keeps asking me what my opinion is on Paper Towns; not falling into that particular trap). Second, because I couldn't understand the arrogance of expecting women to fill in that ridiculous questionnaire. And last, because I (like I suppose everyone else on this planet) had the feeling I knew exactly what would happen when Don met Rosie.
However, when this book was book of the month on one of my online forums, and someone gave me copy, I decided to try it (after some heavy assurances that no, it wasn't like TFIOS at all; and it was an easy read anyways, so I should be able to finish it in a few hours).
For who's not familiar with the plot. Don is a (more than a little bit) autistic geneticist with a dubious friend, and he's decided that a wife might not be such a bad plan after all. Even though he doesn't seem all that social incapable (although a bit awkward), I mean he does attend speed-dating and whatnot, he decides not to waste any time and make a questionnaire to filter out anyone who's not a complete fit (read: everyone). Only to throw all that hard work away when he meets Rosie.
I have to admit that I looked at the part of the questionnaire that was printed at the end of the book, and some of it made me smile (especially the minus points for using antibiotics for the common cold :) ). The idea in itself, I still find repulsive, and should anyone I'll ever date offer me a questionnaire I would not be pleased, to say the least. I was quite surprised at the gigantic number of women who actually did fill in the form. If I recall correctly is was more than 300?!
It is in fact a very fast read, and a light one. The clichés unfortunately were there and the ending won't come as a surprise. I wasn't super invested with both Don and Rosie nor their relationship. Although it was an easy read, I didn't completely see the wonderfulness that I'd heard about this novel. It felt to me, like most of the contemporary novels I've read, too polished, too fake. I don't really know how to describe it and it's not necessarily a bad thing (just something I can only read once in a while).
I didn't completely understood Gene's role in the novel. I'm usually not one for really seeing messages in novels, but I didn't understand why a novel, that's already on the edge of objectifying women (because of questionnaires and Don's one way thinking) would add a character that literally does so by trying to sleep his way around the world (he's got a map in his office not unlike the ones people usually have to keep track of where they have been). To me, it made very little sense.
Would I read the sequel, The Rosie Effect? Perhaps someday, but not too soon I think, it's not the kind of book I could read all summer long.