Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson | Book Review

About the book: 

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.

Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Pages: 121
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: June 29, 2014

My Rating: 
5 stars

Sale Alert: Puddle Jumping is 66% off it's original price until December 31, 2015 at 11:59PM! You need this beautiful story on your kindle (read my review for reassure) so seriously grab it now while it's on sale! Link to purchase on: Amazon Kindle
Spoiler-free Review:

"It begins with a boy. It begins with a boy and ends with a boy, but what story doesn't?"

After a slow reading year, fate has me ending 2015 with a bang. This incredible, heart-warming and -twisting bang of a story. Take one look at Puddle Jumping's official synopsis and you might have a guess as to what this book is about. A chapter into the story you might have a pretty good guess what makes Colton special. But you don't really know Lilly, Colton, and their stories until it all unravels...or blossoms or whatever you want to call it.

This story is so much more than just a love story, and yet, it's normalcy at its core. It's not a "disability" or a pity story and by no means is it romanticizing something that never should be. It's a story of the struggles and triumphs that come with the complexities of life and love. It's a story about how scary new waters are and no matter how ready you think you are, you cannot control the outcome. It's a story about people and understanding and not focusing on the differences.

"When you love someone, their differences fall away. 
I don't look at him and see anything but him."

Puddle Jumping hit me right where I needed it and then some. I needed the honesty, the raw pain and love it delivered. I needed the doses of selflessness, understanding, and reality that changed my heart on the topic of disability, and without being too forward, I would say others need these things too. By no means would I say I was prejudice or ignorant on this topic, nor am I implying that anyone else is, but the realness of this story put my prior understanding into even greater focus. Before, there was pity in my heart. Now, there is none. I look at this story and there's no "Oh, good for them" or "Bless her heart" about it. I look at Lilly and Colton and love this story for exactly what it is. As the Amber L. Johnson summed up, "It's a true story about a girl falling for a boy. Nothing more. Nothing less."

Although Puddle Jumping is her most well-read book, Amber L. Johnson isn't as well-known or highly-raved as so many of our favorite authors. So if you're hesitant about reading this book you haven't heard of from an author you're not familiar with, please let me reassure you: you need this book in your life. If you can't end 2015 with this incredible story, please start 2016 with it. It's a quick read (121 pages), which is not enough as much as it's just right. By any means, you won't regret it.

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