Stuck in the Middle Feelings: The Rosie Project and Night Film

The Rosie Project coverThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
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Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Don Tillman #1

Goodreads description: An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

I’ve seen a lot of positive responses to The Rosie Project, but I think that maybe this just wasn’t a “me” book. I’m not sure if it was my mood or the writing, but I didn’t really connect with Don. I didn’t dislike it, but there were a few times I felt a little frustrated. Overall, it was sweet, if a little predictable. I actually really liked Rosie. I liked that Don learned about himself and learned that his strict way of doing things wasn’t always the best way. I like that he learned to relax and have some fun.

If you’re interested in this one, I would recommend reading it. If you need more encouragement, I would definitely read Jen or Christina’s review.  I think it’s a good book, it just didn’t click for me.

 

Night Film coverNight Film by Marisha Pessl
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Release Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Random House
Series: none

Goodreads description: 
Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an engima. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.
For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.
The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lost his grip on reality.

ONCE WE FACE OUR DEEPEST FEARS, WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE?

I learned about Night Film from a blogger who closed her blog since she posted about it, and then I saw a lot of buzz in general and my friend said it was a total mindfuck.

Ehhhhhhhhh. This one is more difficult, and while I didn’t hate it, it’s weighs slightly more on the negative side of the scale than neutral. It felt a bit slow to get into for me. The mystery was intriguing and drawing, but it wasn’t exactly thrilling for me. There were specific parts of the story that were thrilling and some that definitely got my heart racing, but as a whole, it was kind of tiring.

It’s been a while (a month, I think) since I read this one, so I can’t remember the side character’s names, but they were my favorite part of the story. They were more earnest and real. McGrath seems to think he knows everything, that he can expose the truth because the truth is in this small range of possibility. He isn’t open minded, which clouds his judgment. There was one part, regarding his daughter, that really enraged me and made me want to punch him. He doesn’t do anything bad, he’s just thoughtless and stupid.

I don’t want to say too much about the ending because I don’t want to ruin, but even though it was the only way it really could have ended, it was kind of disappointing for me. This book wasn’t a waste of my time, but it was a really big book and an investment, and enjoying it more would have been nice.

Should you check this one out? I would check out reviews on GR, and if you like twisted thrillers, probably. I do think I tend to be overly picky and impatient, and once I got annoyed with McGrath about his daughter my patience was very thin.

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