Author: Heidi Cullinan
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
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.
If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would! What could have turned out to be a clumsy and awkward story in fact turned out to be a very human, very enlightening love story that was in no way easy but was very much worth it. Heidi Cullinan brought these two boys to life and what a life they have. It’s not easy, it’s not always pretty and it’s certainly not normal but then normal is just a setting on a dryer!
Emmet David Washington can solve your math problem in the blink of an eye. He can tell you random facts about almost anything, he can tell you in great detail how many cracks, including the new ones, between his home and the local store but what he can’t do is interact with you socially, look you in the eye when he is talking to you or recognise how you are feeling or reacting to a situation by looking at your face. Emmet David Washington has autism but he is determined, for the most part, not to let that stop him. Emmet was an absolute joy and his story is one of hope.
Jeremey Samson needs a lot of things to make his life easier but the biggest thing he needs is some support. With clinical depression and anxiety he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He needs his parents to tell him he’s ok but all they do is tell him to snap out of it and let him know how embarrassed they are by his behaviour. Life is a struggle, even getting out of bed in the morning is difficult, but his invisible illness garners little support or acknowledgement leaving him sinking further into himself every day.
When Emmet finally plucks up the courage, after days of practising, to speak to Jeremey both these boys lives change. Initially Emmet wants Jeremey to be his boyfriend but he is more than happy to just be friends. Their friendship is overwhelming to begin with whilst they both try to work the other out. The story is told from both their POV’s and it works well and keeps you informed of where they are both up to.
It is a book of feels. It is a book of emotions. It is so simple yet so difficult. Jeremey’s illness takes him to very dark and dangerous places but Emmet, without his ‘normal’ social skills, is extremely pragmatic in the way he treats him and becomes exactly what Jeremey needs.
They are a couple and they want to do what other couples do. They move into assisted living accommodation together which brings with it a whole new set of problems. Their problems might be slightly different to other couples just starting out together but they are still problems that can be solved and as we watch Jeremey and Emmet grow they begin to shine more and more. This is where we meet David, a quadriplegic, and where we see Emmet jealous for the first time. David becomes an important part of their lives eventually but its hard work, as they implement their coping strategies we see them grow once again.
This is a romance, a love story and a coming of age story. It’s a story of hope that tells us that whoever you are you deserve to be loved and what we see on the outside is not all there is. What we often miss on the inside is the most important thing in the world.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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