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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

The Rosie Effect: A Sequel That Delivers the Goods

When I read Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, I loved it (and reviewed positively)–funny, charming, sweet, with something real to say about humanity. But I had some doubts about it’s teen appeal, which was the only reason I didn’t give it a starred review. So I was pleasantly surprised when one of our other reviewers nominated it for this blog’s Best of 2013 list.

Nevertheless, when I picked up the sequel, and subject of today’s review, The Rosie Effect, the same doubts nagged at me, especially since this book is about marriage and parenthood, rather than dating–a topic farther removed from teens. But I was once again proved wrong–this time by a real live teen. I took my ARC of The Rosie Effect on a plane flight to Arizona (don’t ask why I would want to go to Arizona) and sat next to two teen brothers. The younger of them–maybe 12 or 13–proceeded to spend the entire flight reading over my shoulder, laughing along with me, and asking me questions about where I’d gotten the book (he was quite disappointed to find out that it wasn’t out in print yet).

So without further ado, or further doubts about teen appeal, here’s our review of Simsion’s wonderful sequel to The Rosie Project.

SIMSION, Graeme. The Rosie Effect. 344p. S. & S. Dec. 2014. Tr $25.99. ISBN  9781476767314. LC 2014034569.

Don Tillman is back, and fans of The Rosie Project (S. & S., 2013) won’t need any persuading to snatch up this sequel. Don and Rosie are settled in New York, where Rosie is going to grad school and Don is working as a visiting professor at Columbia. Then everything changes: Rosie announces that she’s pregnant and simultaneously, Don’s friend Gene from Australia, gets thrown out by his wife and arrives on Don and Rosie’s doorstep. After a brief meltdown, Don goes into his normal logical mode and initiates The Baby Project, researching pregnancy, childbirth, and child care (including observing and videotaping small children at a playground, a tactic that gets him noticed by the NYPD and referred to counseling). Don wants to protect Rosie from stress during her pregnancy, but as a result he fails to provide the kind of support she needs and wants, and Rosie withdraws into her schoolwork, failing to face up to the realities of what a baby will mean in their lives. Despite (or because of) his quirks, Don manages to gather around himself some genuine friends to help him through this time of uncertainty—and he does his own share of helping his friends through their own relationship problems. With laugh-out-loud moments and touchingly sweet ones, this will appeal to teens who like funny books and those who appreciate a somewhat sideways look at modern customs and mores, especially those surrounding relationships and families.—Sarah Flowers, formerly of Santa Clara County (CA) Library

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About Mark Flowers

Mark Flowers is the Young Adult Librarian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, CA. He reviews for a variety of library journals and blogs and recently contributed a chapter to The Complete Summer Reading Program Manual: From Planning to Evaluation (YALSA, 2012). Contact him via Twitter @droogmark