In keeping with the spirit of the books, I will start with a list of why and how I came to read this series.(It is a much longer post than my usual so bear with me or read it in parts whenever you get a chance!)
- I found an ARC of the most recent book, the version of which is set to release on April 4th. I requested and was approved for it.
- I requested it because of multiple reasons
- The author was male and I have a significantly low number of male author reads and am always on the lookout for good ones to supplement my reading
- The cover and blurb were interesting
- There were other reviews which claimed that I could read the third without prior knowledge of Rosie and Don even if it is the third in the series.
- The above may seem very superficial reasons for picking a book, but when I saw that my library had the first two, I did the right thing and requested them and read them all back to back.
Although I may not have put too much thought into why I read this series I am more than glad than somehow (however convoluted) I found and read these because I loved the experience.My ratings seem to vary from popular opinion on goodreads but since I read them back to back without any prior expectation, I guess they differ from those who loved the first and had certain expectations of the second.
This first installment introduces us to Asst. Prof Don Tillman who has reached the socially acceptable stage to obtain a partner. He sets about it in the only way he knows how, considering his social awkwardness and inability to understand social cues exactly. Rosie then enters the scene and is a complex person who carries her own burdens. The writing is light-hearted while carrying the emotional weight required from the situation. Some of it is funny and other parts are more serious. Every book in this series has a happily ever after for that ‘project’ and this one is no exception. I gave this one four stars only because I liked the next two way better in comparison (the differences between this one and the next has been debated hotly on goodreads since most people did not like the second book)
The second installment begins time ten months after Don and Rosie get married. They have settled into a routine and then things start to change. The couple now lives in New York and all the trouble and joys that come with that situation. Rosie then finds out that they were pregnant and this bring forth a lot of thought on Don’s part. He muddles through with advice from a lot of people but you can see the derailment as it happens. It is not the happiest of situations but Don is inherently a good guy trying to do the right thing and I actually shed a lot of tears for the situations he finds himself in. Rosie is not actually present in this story(much) but the effect she has on Don’s thoughts are constant and mould their reactions. Don is a lot more pro-active now in trying to keep his friendships constant and to keep learning.
This is the third book in the series and has a sense of finality to it, and I do not think the author would probably build on this any further.
Just like the time between the previous book and this, significant time has lapsed in Don’s life. They have lived in New York for twelve years now and have an eleven year old son. Their son takes after his father in the need for order and systems that make logical sense to him as well as the social awkwardness. He therefore does not deal well with a complete move all the way back to Australia. There is a lot of interaction between the varying members of the cast that we have been introduced to in the previous tales and they have not gotten any less entertaining in the years since we last saw them.
There is a lot of heart in this one as Don and Rosie as a parental unit and Don as a father (we do not have access to Rosie’s private thoughts so we cannot actually know what she thinks) as well as finally having that hovering conversation about autism that was introduced all the way back when Don gave his speech in the first book and continues to wait in the background all this time. There is a lot of reflection about motives and expectations all the things related to those emotions. People who are family get involved in trying to help Hudson get to a place where he would be happy with the life he is leading. I shed a lot of tears and mentally cheered many instances and revelations and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a feel good book with heartwarming characters.