elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan

Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt Book 1) by Heidi Cullinan
Gay Young Adult
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 7, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt Book 1)

Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

The Roosevelt, Book 1

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.

Well written and empathetic, tackling characters and situations rarely discussed in other novels.

This is one of the best, most touching, truest books I've ever read, in any genre, in any category. Jeremey and Emmet's love grows from a tiny, uncertain spark to a roaring flame that warms everyone near it. Their struggles--one with major depressive disorder, the other with autism--are related and developed with a deft hand by author Cullinan, and their sexualities are nuanced and handled with impressive thoughtfulness. To read "Carry the Ocean" is to enter their minds and their world, and the journey is so intense that at their victories, both small and large, I found myself with tears in my eyes and goosebumps prickling my skin. I never knew I needed a story like this; now I feel my life has changed in some wonderful way by experiencing it.

What I loved about this book was how pure and real the characters were portrayed. It was like the author took two people who the world would loook at as deficient, different, strange, damaged, and let us see just how awesome and normal they really are...or, rather, since there is no normal, how utterly awesome they are.

It tackles mental illness and autism.  Makes you see their struggles to just live their lives. One of the sayings in the book is “It’s like Elwood Blues says; everybody needs somebody to love.  I’m an everybody. I get somebody.”  It educates you, entertains you, and inspires you.   I truly believe this book should be read by everyone.  As she says in the book “There is no normal, not really. Not a right and a wrong way to be. But there is belonging”

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Tags: rainbow awards 2015

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