Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping
Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson
July 1, 2014
126 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary
(Contains: sexual references, some sex)
Source: Personal purchase

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.
My Review:

Puddle Jumping is a very sweet, very sensitive, and very noble story. I really enjoyed the premise of a girl and a boy falling in love, but the twist is that the boy has Asperger's syndrome. The thought and care that went into this story is obvious. The author told a beautiful but honest story without sensationalizing or over-exaggerating it, taking us beyond just Lilly and Colton, and looking at the world as a whole and how much better we can be. It was simply a girl and a boy who loved each other. It was also not simple because of the obstacles they faced, the adjustments they made, the mistakes and miscommunications they took for granted. But then, if the love is strong, if the dedication and devotion is there, and the support of those around them lift them to reach beyond the easy, then once again we come to appreciate and love this simple and beautiful story of a boy and a girl falling in love.

I will say that though I dearly wanted to mark this as a new favorite read of mine, I had to take off a star due to the writing itself. I deeply love the concept, premise, and inspiration of this story. But there is a significant amount of "telling" and not enough "showing" for me. Conversations were frequently referred to, but I really wanted to read the actual dialogue. I wanted to read Colton's actual words, what things were said between them. Though we got this in small amounts, I feel the story would have been far richer if I could have gotten to know Colton more personally rather than Lilly just telling me how much she liked him. Because Colton was an amazing character that I loved, and I felt a little cheated that I didn't get that little bit more.

Regardless of my issues with the storytelling, I definitely recommend this beautiful, heartfelt story about two wonderful characters with a deep and unconditional love and a message to take to heart.

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