MtSnow reviews ‘Carry The Ocean: The Roosevelt Book #1″ by Heidi Cullinan. Published by Samhain Publishing on April 7, 2015. 268 pages.
During RGR’s anniversary celebration the readers had a chance to vote for which books they wanted us to review the most. Carry the Ocean was one of them. Because I loved the book when it first came out more than a year ago, I gladly picked it to review for Reader’s Choice Week. The gorgeous cover is very memorable. I purchased it in paperback, and in ebook form from both Samhain AND for my Kindle. No review copy needed 😉 I was VERY happy to do a re-read. No arm twisting needed here!
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.
It’s like Elwood Blues says: Everybody needs somebody to love. I’m an everybody. I get a somebody” -Emmett
This one left me speechless. It was perfect. First thing I did after finishing it, I bought it in paperback to loan to a friend of mine who is a para-educator.
I smiled, I cried, I got angry, and I just felt so much, that it’s hard to put into words how this book moved me. This story will honestly stay with me for years. It takes a special person to be able to relay the emotions of those that have trouble sharing THEIR emotions. The author must be a very deep, empathetic person, and I am in awe of her gift.
The way the characters were written, and spoke to each other, I visualized and saw things happening for real. The darkness and despair that Jeremey felt in his depression. The following is a perfect quote from Jeremey’s perspective:
Sometimes I feel like everyone else is carrying a bucket of water but I’m trying to carry an ocean. Its very hard. Sometimes I would rather not carry my ocean, even if it meant I couldn’t be alive.” – Jeremey
Emmett, in his straight forward, matter-of-fact way, was able to coax Jeremey out of himself, and I wouldn’t have thought of the two completely different thinking patterns to be able to mesh so well. But in action it all just worked and made sense.
The thing about Emmett’s autism, well, Jeremey never had to guess what he was thinking because, wow, Emmett just up and said what was on his mind. And this took the stress off Jeremey. He didn’t have to panic or worry if he’d say the wrong thing as Emmett, by the nature of his autism, well he didn’t play games. Everything became so transparent and open through Emmett’s mannerisms, words, and memorizations of what he learned he was ‘supposed’ to say. What a relief to someone that has trouble communicating like Jeremey. He learned by Emmett’s actions, and lack of reactions, and his unconditional acceptance.
The whole story setup and conclusion was just plain fantastic. Felt to the depth of my toes. Perfect pacing, equal time with both main characters points of view. If it wouldn’t scare the dickens out of the main characters, I’d give them both a great big hug 🙂
As for the assisted living facility for the learning disabled, I wish there was a place like The Roosevelt in every town and city. A perfect stepping stone from living at home and being dependent upon parents, and desiring to step out into the world. EVERYONE is deserving of love, and this story just goes to show there can be a special someone for anyone, no matter their circumstances. And, it also shows me not to judge a book by its cover (figuratively, as personally I fell in love with this cover); meaning just because we can’t see below the surface of these special individuals does not mean they do not have the capability of feeling the depth of love that the rest of us do.
It took me ten months to introduce myself to Jeremey Samson. To learn and memorize the etiquette, to find the right words that would show me to Jeremey, not my autism…..I shouldn’t have worried so much about it. Frankly, I’m awesome, and anybody that doesn’t agree should get out of my way.’ – Emmett
More perfect words couldn’t be said. Loved it.
To see Beth’s fantastic review of this same book, click on this release day review.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars.
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her family. Heidi also volunteers frequently for her state’s LGBT rights group, One Iowa, and is proud to be from the first midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage.