After the Rosie Project I was looking forward to reading the next story about the developing relationship between the quirky Rosie and the socially challenged Don.
Like the Rosie Project, the Rosie Effect had some lovely funny moments as the reader meets up with this eccentric couple again as they face the second year of their marriage with a baby on the way. Quite a few of the old characters are still floating around, such as the sleazy but insightful Gene, as well as some great new characters; they offer light relief in what is a much more sombre book as Rosie battles to work out whether she can stay with Don now that she's bringing a child into the relationship.
I feel for authors who enjoy such stellar success with their first novel, especially when the first is so quirky and memorable. I knew it was going to be a tough job recapturing the spirit of the Rosie Project and it didn't really surprise me when it turned out to have such a different mood to the first.
Rosie was such a sad character in this book; I really missed the 'I don't care what anyone thinks about me' freshness, strength and humour that she'd brought into Don's life in the first story. For most of this book she seemed to be seriously depressed and because Don didn't have Rosie's character as a foil to his own, his personality was heavy weather, much more so than in the Rosie Project (although I 'read' this as an audio book so Don's repetitive and pedantic behaviours were intensified). By the end I agreed with Rosie: I wasn't sure that she and Don should be together after all.
If you've read the Rosie Project and enjoyed it I would recommend the Rosie Effect which is a terrific book too, although for quite different reasons.