February being the month of love I thought I would keep on with that theme in my reading. After doing a bit of research (really just binge watching itswaypastmybedtime, also known as Carrie Fletcher) I chose two books that I noticed where popping up in popular reads of the moment :
the rosie project
eleanor and park
The first book I got through this month was The Rosie Project. The protagonist of this book is Don Tillman, a thirty-something year old genetics Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia (despite this my mind automatically gave all characters American accents) who wants to find a wife. Don himself is a sufficient cook, incredibly tidy, amazingly fit - due to practising Aikido and Karate - and uniquely smart. He's quite a catch, or so it would seem. As a result of unrecognised Aspergers Syndrome, Don's life is governed by schedules and he often finds himself in difficult situations due to a lacking filter and comprehension of what is socially and morally acceptable.
In order to avoid some such situations, Don devises a plan that is sure to uncover the best candidate for a partner, the wife project. A detailed questioner that essentially acts as a first date - helping Don to weed out the no-gos without having to actually initiate contact.
cue rosie ... and she is everything that Don doesn't want / doesn't know he wants.
Rosie essentially takes Don's little world, turns it upside down and shakes it around a little. But Rosie's got problems of her own and Don might be the only one who can give her the answer she needs. Over the next few weeks Don and Rosie work together to uncover the mystery of the father project. who does rosie belong to ?
I am sad to say that I really didn't love this book. I loved the concept, it was fun, smart and romantic but it was also - pardon the pun - all over the page. I thought the writing was really unorganised and bland, so I found if difficult to really invest myself in.
On the contrary, I actually had a bit of trouble putting Eleanor and Park down. Its writing style was like a flowing stream - HAHA - and very captivating.
Eleanor and Park seem an oddly paired couple, not just to those around them but to each other as well. "Like, if you try to break down why you fall in love with someone, it never adds up, right?" - I found this quote on a blog called A Beautiful Mess and it just made so much sense to me after reading this book that I simply had to share it !!!
eleanor is awkward, big, takes very little care of her appearance, has flaming hot red hair that almost glows in the dark and is the butt of every school joke. As far as family's go, Eleanor's got it a bit rough with four younger siblings, a timid and figuratively blind mother and a short tempered and abusive step-father. With all this extra baggage on her back she's unsure of showing her heart and her mind to Park. And fair enough !
park , having previously dated miss popularity, has a hall-pass for bullying. That's not to say he's alpha male, but it offers him the - very welcome - opportunity to blend into the hustle and bustle of school life. At home he has a distant relationship with his father who holds certain expectations and hopes for what and who his first born son would be. But Park isn't holding up to his end of the deal. He's listening to punk-rock, reading Marvel comics and spending far too much time helping his mother in her at home beauty salon when he should be learning to drive stick, practicing his Taekwondo and in general doing what a real man ought to do.
Its a pretty predictable story line, I'm not saying that that is a bad thing by any means, in fact its so realistic and relatable that it could just about be anyones story - yours, mine, the person sitting across from you on the bus, the waiter bringing you your lunch, your boss - anyone ! I mean I'm pretty darn sure that anyone of us can say we've experienced similar emotions, experiences and relationships in out teen years.
This is a book that sums up perfectly what its like to be an awkward bumbling teenager, hopelessly and blindly in love and afraid.
"I'm going to tell Mrs Burt that my mom doesn't want me to do anything that might rupture my hymen," Eleanor said. "For religious reasons." - quite possibly my favourite quote from the book, I just had to throw it in there for you.