Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Self Pub
Genres & Themes: NA, Contemporary, Fiction, High School, Friendship, Disability.


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.


I don’t believe there’s such thing as conventional love. Love is bending. Love is breaking. Love is constantly learning about the other person until you go crazy because it will never be perfect, but there’s no fault in trying.

I could quote the whole book. That’s how beautiful it is. Meaning: the story, writing, characters, themes, and everything else…

This isn’t your run-to-the-mill fairy tale. It’s not some Harlequin romance.

Because I’m not the kind of person to fall in love.

And neither is the guy I’m head over heels for.

I never thought a novella could be so complete, as in there’s actually an important story and characterization that will impress us, readers. Puddle Jumping is not your typical YA romance story. I mean it. The love that is contained in this book is honest, true, faithful, powerful and meant to last. A love story that I, without a doubt, believed in…and I know it will make me dream these next few days. If I’m sure of one single thing about this, is that I will not forget what I just read soon…or maybe ever. Which may sound like an exaggeration to you, but I can’t help but feel it.

It would be hard for me, since I was used to being able to have people read the tone of my voice, or the look on my face. This was completely foreign to him. But it was a bit of a rush knowing I would be on the same uncharted ground as he was. We were almost on a level playing field at the point and it was scary but refreshing at the same time. I could learn right along him. I could learn him.

Lilly met Colton at a young age, while babysitting him. They always had this ‘connection’ that makes it wonderful to watch their friendship and, later on, love, grow and develop. Colton is one love interest that you can’t help but smile when he’s around. He’s pure, honest, passionate about art and…autistic. I may not be familiar with this disorder but my best friend’s brother is autistic…so I can understand how hard it may be to approach with understanding sometimes and try to interact with autistic people. Yet, Colton is someone with whom you would try anyway, I believe. I know that I would, because getting to know him throughout the story was something I would do over and over again. He’s everything I would like in a friend, or more…

With a small sigh he squeezed my hand tighter. ”I wish you were like me.”
The breath in my body just rushed out all at once as I asked him why.
His gaze traveled my face again before he focused on my hair, saying exactly what he had on his mind. ”Because then you would understand.”

Speaking of friendship, it is one very important theme, along with love, of course. Lilly and Colton don’t start their relationship by a romantic one. It takes time to get there and, the fact that there is no insta-love in this made it all better. I do admit that they are very different from each other, and you make think so as well, but that’s what made it all more interesting, in my opinion. It may be sad that Colton wasn’t necessarily interested in what Lilly was, but that is to be expected since he is in his own bubble…but tries to open up with others. I guess I’m a little disappointed that Lilly thoughts – and talked to us – about his physic so much but, at the same time, when you’re in love, that’s a normal thing to do. Even constantly.

”I have to ask. Why do you like me?”
He shifted away from me then, his brows pulled together making him look ever cuter, if that was possible. ”I don’t understand the question.” His hands were squeezing mine tightly as he looked down at them. ”You’re my Lilly. You’ve always been my Lilly.”

Definitely the best short story I’ve read so far. The writing was a good one that softly invited us to feel so many emotions that we weren’t necessarily expecting to affect us – in a positive way. I surely can’t compare the writing to…a flawless one, but that irrevocably doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an appreciative one that was fitting the story well. The narrator, our protagonist, was a voice that was enjoyable to hear – read. She never tried to mislead us into thinking something that tured out to be false. On the contrary, I don’t recall her lying to herself – and so to us, by the same occasion.

I’ve always heard the best match in life is the person opposite of you that makes a complete whole.

Truly a book you should read if you want a cute, sweet and smile-worthy romance that will likely fill your heart with joy and love.

16 thoughts on “Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

  1. This book sounds lovely. I love stories that require the characters to work on getting into relationships by being friends or don’t automatically launch them into date made after the couple’s had two conversations. The quotes are so beautiful and I love the cover. I need to buy this book or acquire it in some way. Where did you purchase it?


  2. wow 5/5? it’s impressive and now I’m so curious! The romance, the characters and everything sound so well done! I didn’t know about the book but I think I want to try now! thanks for the great review!


  3. Fantastic review, Lola! I haven’t heard a lot about this book, but what I have heard as been good. Definitely going to grab a copy of this sooner rather than later. 🙂


  4. I loved this book too! It was super cute and sweet. I was kind of hesitant to read it in the first place because apparently it was a fanfiction at first, but then I was just like “what the heck. Let’s do this!” Hahah. I’m really glad I got it though because so good!


  5. I like that she didn’t try to make the love perfect, makes it more real. Sounds like a good romance and a slow one too. I love that the male lead is autistic! What a good idea for a book! It would be really hard to pull off, but it sounds like she did.


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