"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton
This is where I chronicle my reading life. I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.
Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #39: A book set in a place you'd like to visit
After discussing some of the book's flaws with my book club last week, I realize I may have been a bit generous in awarding it the elusive five stars. But despite its weaknesses, while I was reading this book I did not want it to end -- this happens rarely even when I am enjoying a book, and that tends to be what bumps it into five-star territory.
While I agree that Rosie is a bit of a manic-pixie-dream-girl, and while I do think she's a bit on the self-centered side, and while I had such a hard time picturing her even though she WAS described, she didn't really get on my nerves or interfere with my enjoyment of the book. The most fun aspect of this book for me was Don's "voice" -- I loved the unusual way he saw the world and the various adventures and misunderstandings that arose from this. Not only is the book a sympathetic portrayal of someone who is on the autism spectrum, but it also underscores the ways that neurotypicals and those with different brain types are very much alike. All of us have certain ideas that we are unwilling to be flexible about, and all of us feel pretty clueless when it comes to understanding love.
Overall, this is a "feel-good" book that would make a delightful romantic comedy -- and this coming from someone who isn't a huge fan of romantic comedies. What I liked about this as a romance is that the misunderstandings and tensions that arise in Don and Rosie's relationships are not manufactured for the sake of plot -- instead, they arise naturally from the way that their minds work differently. Thus, it's not one of those books where all the tension would be dissipated if the characters would just TALK TO EACH OTHER ALREADY. Talking to each other, with their differing communication styles, is often part of the problem.
I like that Don's relationship with Rosie made him more "open" to new experiences and "flexible" in the way he lived his life, but I think the criticism that he was expected to change "too much" is valid. Rosie probably could have learned a thing or two about being organized and methodical, too!