Author ~ Heidi Cullinan
Published ~ 18th April 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.
Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.
In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.
He only hopes there isn't a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.
I was worried about reading this book. I loved the first one so much I was afraid the sequel wouldn’t live up. Thank heaven I was wrong.
I’ve evangelised about Carry the Ocean and have made no secret that I’m a big fan. In fact, I would go as far as saying it was one of the best books I have ever read. This one, if anything, is better.
Although I think both books are perfect as they are, and although I appreciate it’s totally in keeping and right for the story, I am disappointed there is sex in them. Not that I dislike it per se, but because it precludes them from being accepted by schools, and I think every school should have both books in their libraries. I also believe they should be taught within the curriculum. They are simply that good, and more than that, the messages they carry are important.
Jeremy and Emmet are back, with some friends, fighting for the rights of disabled people in Iowa and all over the world. Both books have an important message. The first concerned Jeremy and Emmet; this one, everyone.
Two other characters have emerged from the cast of the first book: David and Darren. The four of them form the Roosevelt Blues Brothers, spearheading a push for social change after the Roosevelt, their assisted living accommodation, is threatened by government cuts. From lobbying, to proposals, to travelling to Hollywood for a television appearance, the boys face challenges that sometimes seem unsurmountable, but when the Roosevelt Blues Brothers set out to do something they might not get what they want but they certainly make an impact.
I have never read a book that presents such a positive and living depiction of people with disabilities. Emmet considers difficulties to be superpowers, things that disabled, and specifically autistic people, can do that people “on the mean” can’t. Having an autistic son I can attest that this is true.
Emmet is amazing, and if there is any character I would like to have to created, he is it. I love Emmet and root for him absolutely in everything he does. He may be an unlikely hero, but he is a hero nonetheless. Even if all we hear about was what he did for Jeremey, let alone the disabled community as a whole, he would be a hero. Everyone should know about Emmet and people like him. Everyone should listen to his message
[People are] able-bodied. I am not. We are not. But because people in our lives have cared enough about us to help us, we’ve been able to do incredible things. What we are saying is why not care enough about more people […] so they can do more incredible things?
Don’t get the wrong impression though. This book does not preach and it is not at all serious. Yes, there are some very moving parts and, as a whole it is informative and inspiring, but there is a lot of humour too. I will leave you with one of my very favourite parts and send you off to read the rest. This is not a book you should read, but a book you must read.
What did depression want?
Technically what depression was or what it sought inside the brain wasn’t known, but it was thought to be about neural circuitry. So it was similar to my brain octopuses. But it was a sad octopus.
What did a sad octopus want?
I don’t know why but the last line made me crack up. I hope you will laugh too… and cry, and get angry and be happy and, most of all have a little more understanding of what really lies behind the uncomfortable face of mental health.
Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt #1)
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 young man with a double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he has autism.
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 Jeremey’s 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.
As Jeremey and Emmet find their feet at The Roosevelt, they begin to believe they can be loved for the men they are beyond their disabilities. But before they can trust enough to fall head over heels, they must trust their own convictions that friendship is a healing force and love can overcome any obstacle.
Meet Heidi Cullinan
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family.