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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Heidi Cullinan (P)2017 Heidi Cullinan

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • HB
  • 05-31-17

Heidi Cullinan + Iggy Toma = Excellence !!!

I knew from Amazon reviews this would differ from what I think of as a Heidi Cullinan story and still be Amazing!

Loving & Living w/ your quirks & complications and finding the people to help you flourish is pure Heidi. What's different is how little sex/sexuality is the focus of that process here. There is a dark edge in Special Delivery / Love Lessons series that has been replaced w/ a sweetness reminding me of TJ Klune's Bear, Otter & Kid.

In other words, this is a REALLY good book!

As Heidi started exploring w/ "Baz" in Love Lessons, these characters have different mental/physical complications making them hypersensitive and unable to react the way people w/ average sensitivity do. Heidi manages to get across that people under umbrella terms like Autism Spectrum, Depression/Anxiety & Quadriplegia vary not only from person to person, but within each individual's experience over time. She has written very realistic portrayals of these experiences and the benefits/detriments of the visibility/invisibility of the problems involved. She gets across the depths of their difficulties, joys of love without angst & wallowing.

Carry the Ocean is brilliant and memorable, a surprisingly enjoyable book, definitely worth reading! The abundance of characters and media are handled Beautifully by Iggy Toma.

Like Heidi's Love Lessons series, this is a New Adult book.
Also, while her books often head past R into NC17, this just barely escapes PG13.
It gracefully achieves 5 stars anyway.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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RECOMMENDED!

Any additional comments?

I was really impressed with Iggy Toma's performance. I thought he did a good job portraying Emmet's ("almost robotic") and Jeremey's (sometimes anxious) particular tones of voice.

I loved the audio. Sure, it's definitely an extension of the love I feel for this story (which topped my faves of 2015 and remains one of my favorites of all time), but I think even if you hadn't read the story and only listened this still completely works.

I was a little worried because there is a lot of texting in the story, but Toma handles it all organically and brilliantly.

This is a terrific love story about finding acceptance in (sometimes) the most unlikely places. I love this story even more with the narration.

If you were in the fence about it? Don't be! Absolutely recommended!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Iggy Toma has done a remarkable job narrating this amazing story by Heidi Cullinan. He has captured Emmett in a way I didn't think would be possible however his intonations and mannerisms are SO Emnett I could not imagine another narrator doing half as well.

This story is already one that is special not only for its' characters but also for its' heart. I dare you to listen to this and not feel, to not get that hitch in your breath or that wonderous smile on your face.

Just brilliant.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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This book just guts me.

Every single time I've read it, I've cried and smiled, sometimes simultaneously. I adore Emmet and Jeremy. Their story is a beacon of hope.
Iggy Toma did a great job on the narration. I have heard him narrate other books by Heidi Cullinan and was confident I would love the narration of this book, but he far surpassed my expectations.
I hope he'll soon be narrating Shelter the Sea.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this book; when I was done listening, it left me longing for more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Perfection!

Would you listen to Carry the Ocean again? Why?

I would, I would make sure to have tissues handy the second time around though...

Who was your favorite character and why?

I'm not sure I could pick a favorite character between Emmet and Jeremey. They are both very good characters & excellently written. The emotions are so well described you can almost feel what they are going through.

What about Iggy Toma’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed the different narration he did for the 2 main characters. He did a very good job changing the timing for Emmet's narrative to illustrate the different cadence an autistic brain travels at.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it really was, I flew through this in 2 days.

Any additional comments?

The feels..... so many feels

This was a very good book & touched on so many emotional issues. I think there are many mental illness issues discussed in this book that many can relate to. Some of it was very enlightening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Carry The Ocean

This book is Phenomenal!
God, I seriously just loved every Single Thing about this book.. OMG and don't even get me started on the Incredible Audio Narration that goes along with it...
The story between Emmett and Jeremy was literally Perfect! I'm not sure how Heidi Cullinan does it but every single book I've read of hers has just been Fantastically well written.
Emmett is on the Autism Spectrum and just wants to find a Boyfriend-someone to love and some Independence. Jeremy has Clinical Depression and Anxiety and is mesmerized by All of Emmett from basically the minute they meet. They are sooo perfect for each other you can feel it in every word. This book tore me apart. Made me Laugh. Made me want to Cry. I was feeling all the emotions with every word written/said in this book. This is such a cute straight forward romance between the two men and you get such an insight on what its like to be in their positions, the author obviously put in a lot of effort to make these characters feelings lifelike. I am pretty sure this is going to be one of my top 5 books read this year, maybe even one of my all time favorites (well have to wait and see). And I cannot wait to get my hands on the next in this series.
Audio - *sigh* I have no words for how much I absolutely positively LOVE Iggy Toma's Narration. It is literally Perfect. More of a monotone type feel for Emmett's Autistic voice and more emotion put into Jeremy's, to where you can hear the anxiety laced into parts. All the supporting character voices seemed to be on point as well. I already feel like I need to re-listen to this one right after finishing it, I just don't want to be done yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Very Lovely Book

This is definitely one of the best books that I have listened to on Audible. The story is very beautiful and the narrator is amazing. I will cherish this book forever😭❤️.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome narration, unbearable book

What disappointed you about Carry the Ocean?

I usually love Heidi Cullinan, but I found this unbearable. I kept listening because I was impressed with Iggy Toma's narration, but eventually Cullinan's depiction of depression had me rolling my eyes. I couldn't relate to it as a reader or as someone with clinical depression. Also, though I've loved Cullinan's books in the past, I found this one uncomfortably close to fetishizing both autism and depression. It also seemed like the author was trying to dump a lot of knowledge and research about autism onto the page, like she was saying, "See? I know about autism! I know about depression!" and I was too annoyed with the depressed character to care.

Would you ever listen to anything by Heidi Cullinan again?

Yes. I've listened to pretty much everything she's written, some multiple times, and I've loved all but this one.

What about Iggy Toma’s performance did you like?

Everything. He is an awesome narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Through Their Eyes...LOVE IT

Heidi Cullinan is a go to author for me - she just has this knack for digging deep and showing you the world through their eyes! I read these books a while back and didn't hesitate when I saw them coming out on Audible! (I hope there is more to come in this series Heidi!!!) An autistic Genius (Emmett) and a chronic depressive (Jereme) find a way to each other and like the Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - they give "the mean" as Emmett calls mainstream people (I hesitate to use the term "normal people") a view into the special world of Autism and those with Psychological Disabilities - and their lives are a challenge to say the least. I love how Heidi shows us Emmett & Jereme's internal progression and stretch towards Love. Heidi manages to show us a world of possibilities for these two, in a society that we like to think of as "progressive" but many times is not. II know it gives me much more to think about and be aware of when interacting with and hopefully making a contribution to these special people. Heidi, thanks for your translation! We appreciate it, I'm looking forward to listening to the 2nd book of this series next! Iggy Toma is doing a fantastic job!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Harry Taylor
  • 08-05-17

What's Normal!!!

The reader captures the three main individuals in this story brilliantly. One is the crude jock who has more empathy than you could imagine. The second is the anxious depressive who's afraid to venture forth. The third is Autistic and I feel is the best portrayed of all by the reader. It is about what turns out to be a gay couple but I hardly noticed that bit apart from the rather blunt factual way Emmet talks about sex but then that is his autism not gratuitous sex.
When I did my teacher training we had a book called The Normal Child to study. I only remember the opening sentence after nearly 50 years. It read. There is no such thing as a normal child! Heidi Cullinan just says it better. I've got more touchy feelly in my older years and have learnt to laugh and weep easier. Her books and characters have made me do both with gay abandon

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  • BevS
  • 06-06-17

OUTSTANDING AUDIO FOR MY #1 BOOK OF 2015!!

Has gone straight onto my Awesome Audio Narration bookshelf, I think it's the best thing Iggy's done [that I've listened to]....other than Nowhere Ranch and the Love Lessons series. His interpretation of Emmet was spot on....slightly stilted, quirky and with underlying humour. Jeremey was also wonderful, softly spoken, tremulous at times when he got really nervous. David was exactly right....well, let's cut to the chase shall we?? JUST EVERYTHING ABOUT IT WAS MAGNIFICENT!! An outstanding audio book for my #1 book of 2015!! Congrats to all concerned.