Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Carry the Ocean
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Series: The Roosevelt #1
Heroes: Jeremey Samson/Emmet Washington
Genre: NA Contemporary
Length: 268 Pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Normal is just a setting on the dryer.
High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.
But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.
As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.
Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.
Review: Wow. From the beginning to the very end, this was such an amazing story. I loved every word and did not want it to end.
From the very first chapter, as Emmet tells us about himself, I fell in love. What an amazing character. It really is difficult to describe how wonderful he is, but I’ll try. He has autism, but, with the help of an unbelievably supportive family, has found ways and mechanisms by which to cope fairly well with life. They have a series of codes, either gestures or different clothing, that speak for Emmet when he is unable to verbalize his feelings. He is a math wiz, but where he really excels is making everything in life work in the simplest way possible. I absolutely adored how he explained everything. From his research to execution and every attempt in between, I was head over heels.
Then he finally gets the opportunity to put his plan into motion and meet his neighbor, Jeremey. Jeremey is quite the opposite of Emmet in many ways. For starters, he looks “normal” on the outside. His issues are all internal, but, unlike Emmet, he has not found ways to cope with them. His family just wants him to be normal and believes it is merely within Jeremey’s power to wish the same and make it happen. They are quite detrimental to his well-being, almost disastrously so.
Emmet becomes the shining beacon in Jeremey’s life. They overcome obstacles together, whether their own issues, or issues as a couple. Seriously, these two could not be any sweeter. My heart warms every time I think about them. From their first real kiss, to their first tongue kiss and their sweet lovemaking, I was gushing. They take things very slowly; they don’t have actual penetrative sex until almost 95% because neither was ready, and when they finally do, it is absolutely perfect.
There are a lot of fabulous people in this book, with the exception of Jeremey’s parents, many who helped enable these boys to live an independent life which they strived for. From Emmet’s parents, to their doctor, to David and his father who built The Roosevelt, to Sally, the aid who’s always there for them. David becomes an important player, but they all play a part in supporting and helping Emmet and Jeremey overcome various obstacles.
This book totally touched my heart. I absolutely adored every word and cannot recommend it highly enough. It gives a totally different perspective on how people living with disabilities see things or even feel about those around them. I loved that we got the perspective of each character and could practically feel what they were going through. It is heartbreaking at times but so beautifully written. Both characters are completely endearing and sweet, especially together. I wanted to wrap this book up in a big hug and not let go. I’ll definitely not be forgetting about this one for a long time to come.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*