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Puddle Jumping

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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.

259 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 29, 2014

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Amber L. Johnson

10 books1,082 followers
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,055 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
April 20, 2015
5 Stars!!!

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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 love stories like this. Stories that make me feel, make me think, make me love and leave my heart happy. Acceptance, friendship, beauty and love. Puddle Jumping was a fantastic tale of two childhood friends named Colton and Lilly.

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Lilly is such an endearing character. Even from her childhood, she’s fun and spunky. I love how she sort of marches to her own drum. She doesn’t care what others think of her or her relationship with Colton. She only cares about whats important… him. She has an endless supply of patients and I completely adored her. More than anything, I loved looking at Colton through her eyes.
The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he's not what they think he is. Words he's been branded with could never describe him. He's not special. He's extraordinary. To me. And I feel like I am, too, when I'm with him.”

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Colton was such a lovable character. He has Aspergers, but that doesn’t define him. He is an artist, he’s a boyfriend, a son, a smart guy. He is kind and he is exactly what Lilly says he is. Extraordinary. He always kept a smile on my face. I loved his kissing comments.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Colton is very literal. I told him he could kiss me anytime. He did just that.

He might not have always understood Lilly’s emotions and what she was feeling, but he did his best and she was always understanding.

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Colton and Lilly were two amazing characters. But it was more than that. They were even more amazing together than apart.

Another character I adored was Colton’s mom. I thought she was great. She was good with Lilly, was always there for her and tried to support her. She never gave up on her son and pushed him to be the best he could be. She loved him unconditionally and just wanted him to have the most normal life as possible, to be able to fall in love and follow his dreams like any other teen.

This authors writing and story telling ability was wonderful. The story was profound. I loved how the author was able to tell their story with love and kindness, yet still showing some of the difficulties and hardships these two had to endure. It was a refreshing story. It didn’t take long to read, once I started, I read straight through. A fun, beautiful and emotional read I would highly recommend!

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Life is meant to be lived, and if you’re offered the chance to experience exceptional things with an extraordinary person, then there isn’t one reason in the world to say no.
Profile Image for elena ❀.
257 reviews2,869 followers
September 24, 2021
“You’re my Lilly. You’ve always been my Lilly.”

This is one of the cutest love stories I’ve ever read.

It simply follows the story of Lily and Colton, who met when they were kids. Colton was nine and Lily was ten because she was his babysitter at that time. Why is a ten year-old getting paid to baby sit? Don’t ask because I don’t know either. They had to be separated due to unfortunate events but reunited in high school during their senior year, where Lily and Colton becomes friends again. The two begin developing mutual feelings for each other, and the rest is their story to tell.

Puddle Jumping is a character driven story than anything else. There really is no plot, as we follow Lily’s perspective through first person and her story with Colton. It's as if she's talking to us because we asked her to, and I, personally, loved the narrative.

One of the most beautiful things about this is the perception Lily has of Colton. After Lily learns Colton has Autism, she doesn't let it define him. It isn't something she uses against him nor feels the need to explain to others. She only continues falling for him every day as he is, and the way he is, is human. One of the most amazing things about her character is her want and, even, need, to not look into Colton's 'condition' too much because she was afraid it would change the way she sees him, and honestly, it's a pretty valid reasoning. It's common, for people to have this belief of you because of a condition you mention you have, that they start having pity for you. It's as if your condition changes the way they look at you. But that's exactly what Lily wanted to avoid, and she did. The way she saw Colton was the way she saw him when they were kids. The memories, good and bad, that she had of them remained intact. Every day passed, and every day Lily realized her romantic attraction towards him.

“This emptiness inside of me here,” he placed my hand on his chest, “means I love you. When you’re not here, I can’t focus. It’s too loud . . . But my heartbeat does this when you’re close.”

Not only that, but Lily is understanding and empathetic. Being the complete opposite of Colton, she still does her best to learn about him—what he likes, such as his love for Monet, his passions, like art, his triggers, like loud noises and crowded areas, and makes sure to know how comfortable he is, what she needs to do to show him that she loves him. Her care, love, and deep understanding grow each day. While the book is quick and time passes fairly quickly, with days turning into weeks and weeks into months, we are told about how their relationship develops, and it's heartwarming. The reasons for Lily being drawn to Colton are realistically believable. They both act like regular high school kids, from walking to class together holding hands, to going to school dances, to her asking her best friend how sex works and how she can protect herself. Not only that, but we see how Lily's character towards Colton grows as well. From not knowing anything about autism to managing to understand that she also needs to change herself in order for his comfort shows the reality, hard work, and dedication to the relationship.

It shows the love she has for him.

Considering how Colton and Lily are, in terms of attitude and personality, it's clear that it's not always easy, but love continues driving Lily towards that determination she set up for herself when she realized she would do anything for Colton. And it is beautiful.

I tightened my linked fingers around his neck. “Tell me about Monet.”
So he did and it was music to my ears. To my heart. He talked so passionately about the things he loved and I ended up resting my head against his chest to hear him speak through his sternum, all low and rumbling.

Colton's character is humble yet cold. He does not express, show, or understand emotion like others do, he behaves differently than everyone else, he's passionate about art, and he's blunt. Straightforward to the point, cares about art more than anything else, and does not pay attention to anyone else but Lily. His character is adorable, real, easily likable and even sympathetic. Despite what everyone thinks about him when they learn that he's autistic, he's intelligent, kind, and tries his best. He's also liked Lily since young, and the separation between them was felt throughout the years. He feels the most comfortable around her, and his character development even shines and grows through her. While we don't get his point of view at any point in the story, Lily's descriptions of his body language, eye movements, triggers, and words are obvious to how he's acting. Uncomfortable, lonely, sad. Free, loved, happy.

Their relationship starts off like any other regular high school relationship. There was never an indirect and clear indication of asking one another out, so their relationship status isn't obvious until she asks him if she is his girlfriend. They kiss, they hold hands, they have class together, they are simply together. Lily tells us about different moments they have together, moments that challenge and reaffirm their relationship. Moments where she realizes she is head over heels in love, and moments where she wishes she could confront Colton but knows she can't. Lily, especially, is so understanding of Colton, and she learns more and more about him and how she can help. Their relationship is healthy in every sense, and it's heartbreaking at times while joyous on the other occasions. It shows the reality and the beauty of fighting for the person you love. And it also shows the struggles of realizing there will always be a lot to that person that you won't understand because you are not like them. Amber L. Johnson made it adorable and cute, but she also showed the reality of how difficult it can be.

There is also one sex scene, and it is not explicit, but it is heartwarming. It's the first for both, and some may say it's awkward (just as Lily said), but it was a real experience. Some people believe autistic people are sexless just as they are 'emotionless,' but it's not that. It has to do with communication, and it is here.

“I’ve read this was Van Gogh’s way of portraying hope. Hope from escaping his hell on earth; being trapped in his body as it began to recede. An escape from his mind as he stayed in an asylum. Those clouds . . . they’re representations of freedom. Heaven. A cure for his illness.”
His fingers rose to point.
“The brush strokes are impeccable. The majority of the print is from memories of his childhood.”
I just stood as still as possible, taking in the meaning behind of each of his words.
“And what would you paint from your childhood?” I asked, simply a whisper, forgetting about being put-out from dinner, and now completely entranced by him.
He looked over at me with that smile. Slight. Meaningful.

If I'm honest, this made me tear up. I was crying at 2AM. I'm honestly just really sensitive, though.

Constantly, neurodiverse people are torn down and not given their proper and happy ending, as if they're unable to experience those, especially autistic people. While the way their brain works is different, it doesn't take away the fact that they're human. The tears came because of the understanding I had for Colton and the way he thought he couldn't show Lily everything he wanted for her. But what he didn't know is that he had already given her and done so much for her, he just didn't realize he already owned her heart and was the only one who could also break it.

My only complaint—and one I wouldn't doubt others might have—is that we're never really told when and how Lily developed feelings for Colton. While it's not insta love, it also happened quick. Whether it's because it happened off-page or not, it's quite unsure. Lily didn't really feel any attraction or want towards someone else but Colton, and this realization happened before they reunited their senior year, so when they reunited, she was already attracted to him. It probably happened when they were young, since that was kind of stated. At the same time though, there's not really a reason for how the attraction happened. It just did, and we're basically supposed to accept it. Other than that though, their relationship growth and development was lovely.

Puddle Jumping, while fluffy and loving, is also a storytelling of loving someone with autism. It is beautiful. It is hard. And for Lily, it is worth it.

There is a HEA in the end with no cliffhanger. and I'd recommend this story for anyone looking for something quick to read with beautiful mental health representation, an adorable teenage male lead, healthy high school love, loving family dynamics, and, most importantly, a love story.

“You’re my quiet, Lilly.”
Shaking my head, I mumbled, “I’m the one who got you worked up in the first place.”
His fingers traced the sides of my waist. “For as long as I can remember, you’ve been the one to calm me down.”
“How’s that even possible? When we were kids, I almost died every time we were together. I’m a mess. I’m chaos.”
“No,” he whispered. “You’re my beautiful Lilly. The one who makes everything right in my world.”
That day I felt like we saw each other in exactly the same way.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
November 4, 2015

“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.”

The first time I met my friend, Melissa a lot of months ago, she urged me to read Puddle Jumping and one other book which I can’t remember (sorry, Melissa). I didn’t bother reading this then because I thought this was another cheesy romantic novel (sorry again, Melissa^^) but then recently, I have met a new friend, April, and she said if there’s one book that changed her life in some way, it had to be this. So I thought there must be a reason these girls love this book so much. It didn’t take me farther than the prologue to figure out that reason and consequently, to fall in love with the book myself.

To tell you frankly, this is the simplest, most genuine love story I have ever read and yet the story is anything but simple. Lilly is an ordinary teenage girl who has fallen in love with a very special young man named Colton who has Asperger’s , an autism spectrum disorder.

Written in the genuine voice of a girl in love who like any other girl, has ridiculous expectations from the guy she loves, the story tells us the true meaning of ultimate sacrifice, untiring understanding, true love and selflessness despite the reality of being in love with someone who doesn’t have the emotional capacity to love her back.

" It’s a true story of a girl falling for a boy.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way. "

It’s taking everything in me to keep myself from gushing about the story but this is something that you have to read and discover for yourself so I’m holding myself back.

The story is short, at times bitter but mostly sweet, touching and definitely life altering. Highly recommended!

Thank you, Melissa and April for bringing this book to my life. You can see their reviews by clicking on their names. ;)
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
904 reviews1,080 followers
July 9, 2017
God, this book was so damn beautiful. I loved it too much. Such a sweet and innocent love story. You should read it asap! :)

"This emptiness inside of me here,” he placed my hand on his chest, “means I love you. When you’re not here, I can’t focus. It’s too loud . . . But my heartbeat does this when you’re close.”
Under my palm, the erratic cadence was more apparent than I’d ever noticed before.
“I dream of you. And I don’t like it when I can’t talk to you or see you or touch you.”
His eyes found mine again.
“That’s love."

Profile Image for Brandi.
633 reviews1,279 followers
July 10, 2014
"You’re my beautiful Lilly. The one who makes everything right in my world."


I don't know how to express how much I loved this story. Puddle Jumping is a beautiful, sweet, unique and enduring story. A beautiful portrayal of a young girl who falls in love with a boy, who may is considered a little different, but is perfect to her.

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

Lilly first meets Colton when she is asked to babysit him. She finds it a little strange since she is only a year older than him - but Colton has Aspergers and his mother is just trying to give him the opportunity to spend time with someone his own age.Unfortunately after a number of mishaps, Mrs. Neely decides that Lilly's adventurous ways may not be the best thing for Colton. That it may best for them to part ways.

"I was seriously afraid you were going to kill yourself on our property..."

But fate has other plans, and they are reunited when Colton shows up at Lilly's high school. Lilly is drawn to Colton, and he has never forgotten her. As their relationship grows they face challenges, but they don't give up. These two stole my heart. I had a smile on my face and tears in my eyes throughout this one.

"The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he's not what they think he is. Words he's been branded with could never describe him. He's not special. He's extraordinary. To me. And I feel like I am, too, when I'm with him."

I highly recommend this heartwarming story about two extraordinary people.

Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,377 reviews4,626 followers
July 16, 2014
"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."

Amber L. Johnson delivered a wonderful story about Lily and Colton. This story is a well written tale of love and friendship.

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Lily and Colton had a friendship as children and when their paths cross in their high school senior year, they embark on a relationship. What makes this story a tad different from other young love stories is that Colton has Asperger's.

"He trusted me implicity to be his friend, and I was doing my best. But I was falling for him, and falling for him fast."


”You already saw me today.” It was all I could take. “I wanted to kiss you some more, if that’s okay.” He smiled. “You should have said that first."

Colton and Lily struggle with the ins and outs not only of teens but with the added ingredient of Colton's condition.

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Colton's immense talent for painting adds so much color to the story...

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This short story is well worth your purchase and precious reading time. I found it completely endearing and the writing was just fantastic.

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"Hollywood has to get their happy endings from somewhere."

Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 5, 2018
(Full review posted)

*5 Stars* … A beautiful love story with a refreshingly unique plot!

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It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in one sitting. Puddle Jumping was fairly short, but it held so much power in its minimal pages—I was barely able to put it down.

I knew after the first line that I was going to love this read:

It begins with a boy and it ends with a boy, but what story doesn’t?

I’ve felt that way a few times before, only to end up eating my words, but in this case, it was true. I adored this book from beginning to end.

This young adult story was flooded with hormonal teenagers but offered almost no angst. Not much angst, people! What a concept. I adore an ansgt-filled plot, but this didn't need it. Its honesty and tenderness singlehandedly carried this book without falter. There was depth and intrigue without the need of additional tension. *Happy sigh*

Lilly and Colton meet as kids and form a connection their young minds cannot yet define. Even after years of separation, that connection remains; only now they are both teenagers and mature enough to see it for what it is.

Colton lives with a condition called “Aspergers”—a high-functioning level of autism that impairs his social skills and makes it difficult for him to express himself emotionally, as well as recognize the emotions of others.

Lilly was a phenomenal heroine: patient, kind, understanding, and utterly in love with Colton. The story is told through her perspective, as she looks back. I appreciated the raw portrayal of her initial judgments of Colton—and the way she corrects those judgments as she relays the story, sharing what she’s since realized in the process. It was easy to love her for her honesty and growth in character. Readers have the ability to learn right alongside her. Her voice was relatable and powerful, and just a great representation of this story.

The romance was gentle, heartwarming, believable, and age-appropriate. There was not much else going on outside of the love story, but that seemed to be enough since I found myself quite addicted to their connection.

However, I do wish the story would have shown a little more through dialogue. I adored the narrative, but Lilly would often describe conversations which I found myself longing to see play out. It felt like I was receiving a glossed-over account from only one perspective, at times. I loved the hero, as well as the secondary characters, and I wanted to know them on an even deeper level.

I also felt that Aspergers could have been explored just a little bit further. Yes, the story completely revolved around the condition, but I felt it was largely a representation of acceptance and how surrounding loved ones adapt—which was remarkable, but left me at a slight disconnect with Colton. He was an amazingly original character. I didn't need his perspective, I just wanted a bit more access into his complex and beautiful mind.

That said, this inspiring story was bursting with originality, and its content, as well as writing, was simply beautiful. The fact that I wanted a bit more didn't alter my rating or enjoyment for this book. A topic such as this needed a love story, and I can’t imagine a better one than Puddle Jumping. An unforgettable MUST READ!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪  Genre/Category: Romance/Young Adult
▪ Romance: Sweet, tender, and heartwarming.
▪  Characters: Patient, understanding heroine. Lovable hero dealing with Aspergers.
▪  Plot: An inspirational journey of two teens in love dealing with obstacles.
▪ Writing: Powerful and profound
▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine
▪  Cliffhanger: None. Standalone.
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,674 followers
October 17, 2014
5 stars!!


How the author packed so much in so little pages truly astounds me. I think this is one of the few times I can say I loved this book from cover to cover: Qwen Salsbury’s quote on the front gave me shivers and the dedication and acknowledgments had me tearing up all over again. The story itself is like a diamond of the first water. Strip away all the drama and other unnecessary plot twists and you get this book – the most heartfelt, touching, and purest kind of romance all girls dream of and boys roll their eyes at.


Lilly and Colton are childhood friends and first meet when she’s paid to watch over him. However, Lilly’s accident-prone personality gets the better of her several times and eventually Colton’s mom decides it’s too dangerous for her to come over. They lose touch for several years but fate has something else planned for them and finally, in Lilly’s senior year in high school, she sees Colton a locker away. All her bottled up old feelings come lose, and she’s determined to be there for him, in any way she can.

“I would do whatever it took to be what he needed me to be. He was worth it even after only one day.”

I was extremely worried about reading this book and had to be repeatedly assured it was “Feifei friendly.” First it’s YA and that genre is just not my cup of coffee 99.9999999999% of the time. Then, Colton’s Aspergers is a delicate subject matter. What if the author butchered it? But no, she didn’t and she rocked the YA part too. I could not stop highlighting the book, and there wasn’t one moment where my heart didn’t feel full of emotion. Lilly is such a gem! She had so much patience and love for this extraordinary boy and Colton was equally as wonderful. Though he didn’t always understand Lilly’s thoughts and feelings, he did the best he could and seeing how well these two complemented each other yanked hard at my heartstrings.


Their love is unconditional and sweet, and their story is profound and meaningful. It’s a really easy book to read and even easier to love. I highly recommend it!

P.S. I really have to thank all the friends who urged me to read this or I would've missed out on this awesome book!
Profile Image for Eda**.
699 reviews444 followers
June 30, 2015

** Full-review#3 of Eda's US Trip Reads **

** 10+++ “You’re my quiet, Lilly.” STARS **

“Why do you like me?”

“I don’t understand the question. You’re my Lilly. You’ve always been my Lilly.”

My heart was his forever when he spoke those words. HOW COULD IT NOT BE?


I have a 12-year-old cousin that loves playing volleyball. But only if the ball is green.

I have a 12-year-old cousin that loves eating chocolate-chip ice-cream. But only with his silver spoon with white stripes on it.

I have a 12-year-old cousin that looks with a blank face when someone drops a pencilcase on the floor and gets up to get it. To go count how many pens there are on the floor. Because he HAS TO know.

I have a 12-year-old cousin that has never told me he loves me. But I know just how much he really does, when he hugs me a little bit too tight, when he smiles at me with green toothpaste dripping from his mouth, when he tugs on the sleeves of my shirts whenever he gets excited near me.

I have a 12-year-old autistic cousin. He rarely looks into my eyes, but when he does...God, when he does, my world just stops spinning, my heart fills with a feeling of bittersweet contentment and my stomach feels like a thousand butterflies suddenly started flying around in it. He is my favorite person in the entire world and is the reason for me to believe in the goodness of people.

And Colton Neely, this boy with Asperger's Syndrome, reminds me so much of him.

“I wish you were like me… Because then you would understand.”


I had NO IDEA what this book was about before starting it. I have never read any of the reviews about it or the blurb itself. I just vaguely remembered seeing it around a lot once and learned that it's quite short, so I said to myself "Well...why not?"...

THANK GOD FOR THAT! Because I feel like this book filled some kind of an emptiness inside me. Because after reading Colton and Lilly's story, I look at the world with more strength and hope that my sweet cousin, and all the other kids just like him, will find happiness somehow. He won't always be alone. He will live a happy life and flash that sweet smile of his that I love a lot more. I sincerely believe that now.

I don’t believe there’s such a 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 trying.

I loved a boy who was EXTRAORDINARY beyond words, in my eyes. I don’t think I’d ever wanted to live an exceptional life before him. A life filled with COLOR and KNOWLEDGE and feeling BEAUTIFUL.

But for a little while, I had it.


OVERALL: A story that will stay with me forever. I'll always remember Lilly and Colton's incredible love story with a small smile on my face, maybe even a few tears on the corner of my eyes, and thank Amber L. Johnson for the priceless gift of hope she gave me.

Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
July 12, 2014

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

Wow!! What an incredible story! It took me by surprise in the best of ways and definitely was one of the most beautiful love stories I've read!

This is a mature YA standalone romance about two childhood friends, Colton and Lilly, who are reunited in the senior year of high school. Early on in the story, we discover that Colton has Asperger's and we also see that Lilly loves him unconditionally for who he is. This is their love story.

"I'm Lilly Grace Evans and this is the true account of how I ended up falling for a boy who made me believe love is anything but conventional."

I read this in one sitting and did not want to put it down even for a minute! The writing was so fluid and just drew me right into these characters' journies. We're told the story through Lilly's eyes and the writing perfectly captured the voice of a teenager telling us the story of how she fell for the boy she now loved.

Colton stole my heart! He was such a sweet guy! The author did a fantastic job of portraying him in a sensitive, yet realistic way. He was smart, talented, and kind, but also socially awkward, incredibly literal, and said whatever he thought. But deep down, he was just a 17-year old guy falling in love with a girl who'd stayed in his heart since they were kids. My heart really went out to him as I saw him try so hard to fit into a world where most everyone was different from him and where few people understood him.

With a small sigh, he squeezed my hand tighter. "I wish you were like me… Because then you would understand."

But at the same time, I was so impressed with Lilly. The world would truly be a better place with more people like her in it. She was incredibly kind-hearted, open-minded, accepting, and loving. She saw Colton for who he was, without labels, and more importantly, without judgement.

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

Puddle Jumping has a lot of depth and a very powerful message. On the surface, it's a very sweet and beautiful story of first love. But beneath the surface, it also delivers a very honest and profound commentary about society, and acceptance. The author really dealt with the subject matter in a very respectful and sensitive way. It was truly a joy to read.

"The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he's not what they think he is. Words he's been branded with could never describe him. He's not special. He's extraordinary. To me. And I feel like I am, too, when I'm with him."

I want to reassure you that this is a feel-good story. There's no bullying or extreme-drama or anything strongly negative in it. Yes, there are natural hardships stemming from the situation at hand, but it's a gorgeous journey to go on with these characters.

This book leaves you with a wonderful feeling and my eyes were filled with tears by the end. The powerful message of unwavering love and acceptance we are shown is universal and I think everyone will be able to take something beautiful away from this story.

Rating: 4.5 stars.
Standalone. Mature YA romance.


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Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,538 followers
September 8, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Love, for those lucky enough to experience it, is extraordinary.”

Chicago commercial photographers

I’m pretty sure I have a cavity from all of the sweetness that was contained within the pages of Puddle Jumping. This is the story of Lilly and Colton who met when their mothers arranged a playdate. At said playdate Lilly proceeded to tell Colton he should color in the lines . . . and then encouraged him to go outside to play in a thunderstorm where she was promptly struck by lightning. After a series of near-death experiences, Colton’s mother decided maybe it would be for the best if the two didn’t play together any more. Fast forward to Senior year where Colton and Lilly cross paths once again and Lilly learns that, although she was a danger to herself and everyone around her, Colton has been missing from her life due to being homeschooled. Due to his Asperger's syndrom it was easier for him to not be surrounded by all of the stimuli that comes with a school setting. Lilly doesn’t see a diagnosis when she looks at Colton, though. She just sees that the friend she has been missing for ages has returned to her life and he’s the same awkward, charming boy she liked spending time with as a kid . . .

“It felt like the beginning of something incredible.”

This is Lilly and Colton’s love story and how sometimes it’s necessary to color outside of the lines . . .

“When you love someone, their differences fall away.”

Chicago commercial photographers

Puddle Jumping gets 4 Stars for being such an adorable yet important love story (and also for that cover - boy oh boy is that a pretty cover). My only real complaint was that it read very young to me (Lilly’s 9 year old voice and Lilly’s 17 year old voice were exactly the same) so I was a little uncomfortable with the two “hitting a home run” if you know what I mean. However, since I’m not the target demographic for this book I’m overlooking that personal little peeve and simply appreciating this book for what it was . . . .

“I don’t believe there’s such a 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.”
Profile Image for Mysza.
476 reviews386 followers
July 19, 2014

This one reminded me Reclaiming the Sand very much, but it was much softer and sweeter. If you'ver read it and liked it then you'll probably be a fan of Puddle Jumping too.

I'm sitting here, thinking, what should I write to make you see how fabulous this book was? Sure, I could say that the characters were wonderful, that their love was beautiful, no matter what and in spite of their differences, that the story was captivating, etc..... But still, it wouldn't do it justice. So, instead of writing what it was about and how it made me feel, I decided to share my favorite quotes. And maybe after a sample of this exquiste writing you'll decide to read it yourself. Enjoy!
"FRIENDSHIP: A true friend in one soul in two bodies."

"I wish you were like me. (...) Beacuse then you would understand."

"The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he's not what they think he is. Words he's been branded with could never describe him. He's not special. He's extraordinanry. To me. And I feel like I am, too, when I'm with him."

"I have to ask. Why do you like me? (...)
I don't understand the question. You're my Lilly. You've always been my Lilly."

"Talking with you would be much more enjoyable than talking to Talia, Lilly. She's paint by number; you're a watercolor."

"I dream of you. And I don't like it when I can't talk to you or see you or touch you. That's love."

"I don't believe there's such a 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."

"You're my quiet, Lilly. For as long as I remeber, you've been the one to calm me down. You're my beautiful Lilly. The one who makes everything right in my world."
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
961 reviews143 followers
July 9, 2014
5 Sweet and Amazing Stars

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This was such an amazing story and I just loved it. Though it is a YA, something I don’t read too often, I found Colton and Lilly’s love story touching and passionate in a way of their own.

"I'm Lilly Grace Evans and this is the true account of how I ended up falling for a boy who made me believe love is anything but conventional. Love, for those lucky enough to experience it, is extraordinary.”

Lilly meets Colton at the young age of 9. Lilly is 10. Even at that young age Lilly knows that Colton is different but special. But their time together is short and they don’t end up seeing each other again until she was 15. It is then she finds out that Colton has Asperger’s. Lilly still feels a strong connection with him and wants to be part of his life but it just doesn’t happen.

Lilly thinks Colton is out of her life now forever. That is until the first day of her senior year of high school. This is when Colton walks back into her life. This is when their love story begins

Colton~ It was so easy to fall in love with him. He was kind, sweet and such a smart young man. Because he had Asperger’s his ability to be social with others was awkward and his words were always direct. Colton knew how to love, he just loved differently.

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"When you love someone, their differences fall away. I don't look at him and see anything but him, and how sweet he is.” ~ Lilly

Lilly ~ She really was a beautiful person. She was kind, considerate and fell in love with Colton unconditionally. It wasn’t always easy to be with Colton but being with him was more important than anything else.

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“You’re my beautiful Lilly. The one who makes everything right in my world.” ~ Colton

Lilly and Colton’s love story will touch your heart in so many ways. As I watched them try to fit into each other’s world my heart broke a little. But as they learn about acceptance, experience true feelings of love and realize love is unconditional, it was simply beautiful. As they flutter through their daily lives, going through typical teenager things, there were moments when I just wanted to tell them things would be okay. But they find their way.

Puddle Jumping was more than a sweet love story. It also dealt with matters of society and acceptance. I thought this author did an amazing job with such sensitive subjects.

There were some tears but mostly happy ones. Please take the time to read this story. It will leave you with a happy heart! ❤

November 26, 2017

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You know those 90s makeover movies where the guy feels like he ought to have "first dibs" on the newly beautiful girl because he liked her when she was "ugly"? This book is basically a gender-flipped version of that, except it's between annoying brat of a heroine and a hero who has Asperger's, and she feels super possessive of him because she feels like she's the only person who treated him like he was "normal" before everyone else realized that he was just a normal, even cool guy too. You know what the problem with that is, though? You're assuming that you deserve gold stars for just treating people the way they want to be treated. And this 'heroine' right here? She wants all the gold stars.

PUDDLE JUMPING has a 4.22 average rating among my friends, so I was expecting to like it. I wasn't expecting to hate it, or have it fill me with disgust - which it did. First problem for me is that the writing style feels really amateurish and is super chatty, with tons of pointless asides from the narrator that add nothing to the plot. I was willing to roll with it in the beginning, because it's written from the POV of the 'heroine' as a child, but the problem continues - and worsens - over the course of the story. It's just bad writing.

Second problem, the treatment of the hero with Asperger's. The whole 'romance' is basically the heroine's big crusade to make the hero her big makeover project. Right away, she goes up to this other girl who's also dating a neurodivergent guy and starts asking for tips. She Googles Asperger's and is totally shocked that people with Asperger's are people, too. She gets a big stick up her bum when the hero gets a job and skips out on prom (not somewhere someone with Asperger's might want to go) to work at his new job, which he loves, and gives him a big lecture about how she is just as important as his job, and then gets his mom on his case to make sure he follows up on all their subsequent dates. At the end of the book, the hero gets an amazing opportunity to pursue his dreams abroad, and the heroine storms out of his party without congratulating him, because she had his future planned out for him and this goes against her plans. She felt like she should have been consulted first, and wants to make him stay. His mom actually has to come over and explain to this 'heroine' what a great job she did with her son, and butter her up to make her cool with it.

The constant tone of superiority and condescension hanging over this book like a cloud really put me off. At first, I wondered if I was maybe being too harsh on this book, so I kept reading, and the more I read, the less I liked. By the time I got to the end, I couldn't brush aside my qualms anymore. It had this galling "savior" tone to it, like the heroine was making it her personal mission to "humanize" the neurodivergent and it was her own personal discovery, and she expected all the awards for it. I went to look at the negative reviews for this book once I had finished and saw, to my relief, that I was not alone. Some people used the word "fetishization" and I think that's the word that was escaping me: Colton's hotness was basically used as an excuse to make him worth pursuing, in spite of what made him different, and the entire journey was one-sided and written entirely from a privileged, ableist perspective about how brave people are who bother befriending those who are different.

Thirdly, I really didn't like the slut-shaming and the way sexuality is treated in this book. It's a short book, and yet the 'heroine' is constantly making jabs at her friend, Harper. Oh, and this girl who gets chlamydia from a tanning bed is called "Chlam-face" - by the heroine, no less. Is the heroine innocent and pure? Of course. She's so innocent and pure that she's too afraid to get birth control from her parents, so she has a friend steal her some from a clinic. #InnocentAndPureFTW

For better romance novels about neurodiversity, I'd suggest K.J. Charles's AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION, and Jennifer Ashley's THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE. Both are historical fiction, unfortunately, since I don't read too many contemporary romances, but I thought both did a fairly good job with this - although I will be honest that THE MADNESS (as the title might suggest) comes across as dated and shares many of the same issues as PUDDLE JUMPING.

This was a pretty terrible book. I took a nap before reviewing it so I wouldn't sound *too* cranky, but it still made me pretty irritated (as you can probably tell, haha). I wouldn't recommend it.

1 to 1.5 stars
February 15, 2017
Beautiful, just beautiful. Colton's story really made me think how difficult is for people to accept diversity, but above all this is about how Love can find us all.

This is one of the most romantic stories I've read in while. I love how sweet the romance was and how much the characters cared for each other. The story is quite short, I flew through it in a couple of hours.

There was one thing I didn't like. Colton's mom not telling Lilly what was going on and thinking that Lilly would be okay to unexpectadly throw that rock on her. In front a whole crowd. I got so, so angry and I wish Lilly had insulted her.

As a fan of romantic not graphic That scene was so beautiful and romantic.

The book is short so there's a lot of internal dialogue and a little bit of tell don't show which is something I always appreciate even if some people think it's boring. I love to know what's going on on the heroine's mind. I like that Lilly was so brave and loyal to Colton.

Please please read this one.
Profile Image for destini.
239 reviews503 followers
August 10, 2014
*cracks knuckles and does finger dance over keyboard* let's begin . . .

And maybe some people would say that I loved him too much and forgot myself in the process, but from what I've seen of relationships, there's always that one person who does.

This was the cutest, sweetest, most precious book I've had the pleasure of reading ♥

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 just had to add that gif^^ If you've read Puddle Jumping, you know that is so Colton ;) ♥

Puddle Jumping was such a beautiful, unique story about love and I never wanted it to end. I completely loved it. Sometimes you need a book that makes you smile, giggle, and just make you feel really good.
"You'd love to think it's a choice to love him, but it's not, Lily. You've already decided. I can see it on your face."

Lily was absolutely amazing. I loved how caring and devoted she was to Colton. She knew what and who she wanted and never let anyone bully/pressure her into changing her feelings. She was never embarrassed about her love for Colton.

There is no doubt that Colton has my heart. Completely. He was the sweetest , most amazing and talented guy. It's not easy to be with him, and Lily's patience was admiringly unwavering . . . and in the end, it was worth it. He was worth it.
"I do . . . love you. If you needed me to say it before you should have told me so. I know what it means." They way he said it was like the words were forcing themselves from him mouth almost painfully, his face contorting as they left his lips and his eyebrows drew together. "This emptiness inside me here," he placed my hand on his chest, "means I love you. When you're not here, I can't focus. It's too loud . . . but my heartbeat does this when you're close."

I never stood a chance at not falling in love with him.

This book, at times, was heartbreaking. I just wasted to gather Colton into my arms and never let anything hurt him.

The only complaint I have is that I want more! But that's not really a complaint . . . more like a request/plead/me begging on my knees. Pretty please, can we have more Colton? *puppy face*
Plans change.
Life changes.
And as an after effect, love changes too.

This is a story I'd recommend to anybody .
You want the cutest story? *hands you book*
You want the sweetest book boyfriend? *hands you book*
You want something with humor? *hands you book*
You want mystery, erotica, fantasy, or something dark? Well you won't find that here but . . . *hands you book, anyways*
This is my story. Our story. It's about an incredible guy who changed my mind about everything I thought I knew. And maybe I helped change his world, too.

♥ My casting for Colton and Lily ♥

Profile Image for Corinne.
146 reviews
May 26, 2017
This is one of the best books ever. It's an easy, short read that pulls at all your emotions. Lilly falls in love with a guy that other people think is an idiot, but he isn't, he is smart and different and just dreamy. They fall in love slowly and although their love faces a lot of challenges, his mom being one, they get together and all is tied up nicely in just 120 pages. This is a very inspirational book.
Profile Image for Natalie.
287 reviews65 followers
February 9, 2019

And what would you paint from your childhood?" I asked, simply a whisper [...]
He looked over at me with that smile. Slight. Meaningful. "You."

I'm still a little overwhelmed right now to be honest. Of how much I loved this book. And the writing really blew me away, I fell in love with this book from page one. Books like these are the reason I am reading and I doubt I had found it without goodreads.This is a well hidden pearl that I hope won't stay hidden for very long. I want everyone to read this amazing book.

Puddle Jumping is a story about a boy and a girl. Simple right? Nothing is ever simple when it comes to love. Especially when one of them has Autism/Asperger's. This is a beautifully portreyed story about a girl who loves a boy more than anything. A boy that may be a little different, but perfect For her. But it's also a story about the real aspekts of loving someone who other calls special.The story is told entirely from Lily's POV. A girl down to earth, with a suprisingly mature and sober view on their relationship. You can't help but instantly like her.

She met a boy when she was nine. But life drove them apart (of fear that she would accedently kill either of them), but the boy never forgot her. And the girl never forgot the unusually quiet boy.I fell head over heals for Colton. If I could I would give him 10+++ stars! What an amazing, sweet guy. He was so completely and totally devoted to Lily and it was so heart warming to read.

Oh how I wish this was longer. I never wanted it to end. The writing had a fantastic flow that it felt so effortless to read this story. I so hope we get more Lily and Colton. Especially Colton would I kill to read more about. Everything he said and did literally melted my heart and was so spot on in a behaviour of a boy/man with Autism, or at least how I can imagine.

I am completely taken aback by this author. Just the writing, WOW WOW WOW!!!Amber is my new favorite author. This was the most beautiful story I have read in a long long time. Now I have to read her other work ASAP! I'm just sad that she only has three books out at this point. I will be counting the minuters for her next work to be released. When you highlight most of a book on your kindle you know you're reading a good book. Puddle Jumping is amazing, a unique, adorable, sweet story that you don't want to miss, trust me. The characters are deep, the storyline is terrific and the writing is superb. And I cannot point out enough how talanted this author is!

Where can I read more books like this?
Profile Image for ❃**✿【Yasmine】✿**❃.
810 reviews596 followers
September 23, 2015
4.5 Stars
'Being with Colton is not easy. It's hard. It's work. But if I think about my life before him, and my life with him... the struggle and work is worth all of it.'

Genre: YA characters intended for an older audience
Cover: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Heroine: 9/10
Hero: 9/10
Humour: 5/10
Hotness: 2/10
Romance: 9/10
Extra book Details: Approx 130 kindle pages. Heroine POV; 1st person. Stand-alone.

Lilly meets Colton when she's about 10 years old; paid to be his 'buddy', when he moves home, though gone, she never truly forgets about him.
'I constantly felt like there was some sort of unexplainable viod inside me. Something was missing. You know that feeling like you forgot something? I carried that feeling around with me for years. Years. Then, during the summer I turned fifteen. I found what i'd been looking for.'

What ensues is a beautiful sweet romance over a long period of time, about a girl fighting to understand how a boy ticks and following her heart.
'He's not special. He's extraordinary. To me. And I feel like I am too, when i'm with him.'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

First of all, I was really worried how this book would go. Fiction books with a lead character that has any kind of issues like Aspergers can get it soooo wrong. Sometimes it will come off as condescending, preachy or educational. Other times it will make with the clichéd drama and insensitive characters. 'Jumping Puddles' didn't do any of these things.

This brings me on to rating. I deducted half a star, my only reason for not loving this book harder because I felt very anxious. A lot. Lilly went through many struggles with Colton, and the author wrote in many sentences that left me feeling like something really bad was going to happen.

I really loved how this book was written, a little correction here and there was needed. But I loved how Lily talked to the reader, and she was so real all her emotions felt right and just how I would feel in that situation.

Colton was incredibly endearing, I love adorable heroes, and he was definitely one of the best. Lilly was mostly self-assured, honest, understanding, incredibly clever and wore her heart on her sleeve. She was also pretty funny. A lot of this book was beautifully funny.

I wished I had more time with them both. Such a short but lovely little story. Would have liked to have seen more dialogue between the two characters because what I got was very enjoyable. Recommend for everyone
Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews580 followers
July 21, 2014
*****10+++++ Extraordinary Stars******

(BR with Mel & Patty)

This remarkable novel has giving me an infinite amount of hope and inspiration. My vision is still a bit blurry from all the tears I've shed while reading this story, but I'll tell you, best tears I've cried this year. I will never, ever forget the beauty and simplicity of Colton and Lilly's story... This precious book is truly a MUST READ!

Lilly and Colton met when they were kids, she was apointed as his babysitter which to her at the moment didn't make much sense because she was only a year older than him. Her adventurous personality coupled with her clumsiness caused her to have a few accidents while hanging out with Colton and he was always there to save her and then visit her in the hospital, gifting her a beautiful drawing that would instantly make her feel better. After one too many accidents, Colton's mom decided it was best if she didn't babysit anymore. But they never forgot each other and years later on Lilly's first day of her senior year of high school, a few lockers down from hers, was none other than the beautiful boy who had left a big void inside her heart all those years back.

Lilly knew Colton had Asperger's, she had learned this fact years ago but never really wanted to find out more, to her he was amazing in every way. On the first day of school they re-kindled their friendship instantly and her devotion for him started. She wanted to know more about him, not only about his disorder though but about his heart. This boy with the striking eyes and incredible talent had stolen a piece of her heart and she was now ready to claim his. Very patiently their friendship turned into a relationship, and little by little they learned and shared together all the little and big things about love. It wasn't always easy for Lilly, but when you love someone you take the good and the bad and never quit trying.
Short yet powerful, this story delivers a meaningful message about unconditional love and friendship.

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Every word and every character in this book took my breath away, this is the reason why I love reading, to feel inspired and be moved by stories that will teach me something beautiful. I'm sure everyone who reads this book will be blown away. This little gem will be part of my most treasured library, one I hope to share with my daughters when they are older.

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My Puddle Jumping Playlist:

*Always in My Head by Coldplay
*Ain't No Reason by Brett Dennen
*The Show by Lenka
*Nothing More by The Alternate Routes
*Tee Shirt by Birdy

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Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
July 21, 2014
5 stars

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Colton and Lilly are childhood friends turn lovers. Its not your typical high school romance though, because Colton has Aspergers.

I loved it. From the face paced story, the writing and the main characters to Coltons condition and their struggle. Individually Lilly was awesome n funny, Colton was adorable and blunt, together they were just too freaking cute!!!

Overall it was a quick unforgettable novella with amazing characters. How can a book be so sweet but hurt my heart at the same time?? Amazing! I cant fault it!!!

BR with Daisy and Harriet
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
810 reviews328 followers
January 4, 2016

Lilly is only a little child when she meets Colton. She's set to babysit him and she's too young to understand why she needs to babysit a child barely a year younger than her. A clumsy moving danger, Lilly loses her chance to remain friends with Colton after a while. She didn't know then that Colton was special, but she find out several years later when they meet again in an art exhibition of his, where she finds out that he has Asperger.

Now at 17 Colton attends her school and is no longer homeschooled. Lilly and Colton immediately connect once again and their friendship only manages to blossom into something more.

It was a really beautiful and sweet journey. I've had this book for a very long time and i always wanted to read it. I'm glad I finally did. As it seems, I truly love this kind of reads. My most favorite book has also a character with Asperger syndrome, so I was certain that i would love Colton. But I have to admit that Lilly also won me. Her character was really well written showing that it may not always be easy and how sometimes it could be a struggle, but she would fight for it and I couldn't help but love the progress of their relationship.

Definitely recommended if you haven't read this one yet!! :))
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,161 reviews7,561 followers
June 17, 2016
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TITLE: Puddle Jumping
SERIES: (Puddle Jumping, #1)
AUTHOR: Amber L. Johnson
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 29th 2014

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This was recommended to me because I'd hit a book funk at the time, an oldie that's been sitting on my ipad for a while now and I am keen to see what journey this author is going to take me on with this book.

PUDDLE JUMPING: Puddle Jumping is told from Lilly's perspective and is kind of told in diary format. This is the story about Lily & Colton, these two meet when Colton is 9 and Lilly is 10, she's his babysitter and finds it strange that she's getting paid to babysit a boy whose not that much younger than her.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This isn't you run of the mill fairy tale. It is not some Harlequin romance. I wouldn't even categorize this as much of a romance at all. Because I'm not the kind of person to fall in love. And neither is the guy I'm head over heals for.

I don't believe there's such a thing as conventional love
Love is bending
Love is breaking
Love is constantly learning.

Colton is a quiet, withdrawn, young boy who lives in his own world whose passion is drawing and painting. Lily is what you would call an accident prone young girl who is always getting herself into scrapes and needs rescuing twice from Colton himself.

When we were kids
I almost died every-time we were together
I'm a mess
I'm chaos

Lily always knew there was something different about Colton but isn't told until she's 15 when they meet again that he has Aspergers.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I loved a boy who was extraordinary beyond words.

It took me five years to figure out exactly what was so different
about Colton Neely.

This is what I'd class as a second chance romance, it's not until their college years that their friendship/relationship grows into so much more.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Your're my quiet, Lilly
For as long as I can remember
You've been the one to calm me down.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A few times I felt my eyes prickling with tears, then the next moment I'd be giggling, sighing over my love for these two, this was just amazingly well written, there's nothing I would change about this book. No words really describe the feels that raced through me when reading this..

I am so glad I took that leap and one clicked this after the recommendation to read it.

Such a unique, beautifully thought provoking read that has claimed a piece of my heart forever.
Profile Image for Saswati.
406 reviews280 followers
August 11, 2020
5 + “You’re my quiet” stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Love is anything but conventional.
Love, for those lucky enough to experience it, is extraordinary.
I first read this in July 2019 when I was just getting started with novellas, and I loved it. A year and loads of novellas later, I can confidently say that this is hands down one of the best novellas out there !

It begins with a boy and it ends with a boy, but what story doesn’t?

It is the story of two teenagers, Lilly and Colton (who has Aspergers syndrome), who first meet when they were kids. The story then picks up when Colton starts attending Lilly's high school.

Lilly is really mature and sees Colton for the extraordinary boy he is. She doesn't care what society thinks of their relationship.

The one thing I wish I could explain to people is he’s not what they think he is. Words he’s been branded with could never describe him. He’s not special. He’s extraordinary. To me.
And I feel like I am, too, when I’m with him.

Colton, on the other hand, is a smart, talented and sweet boy who loves Lilly in his own unique way.

With a small sigh he squeezed my hand tighter. “I wish you were like me.”
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.”

I can't quite put my love for Puddle Jumping into words. What I can do is quote a few of my favourite extracts from the book: ~

I had finally gotten up the nerve to ask the question I wanted the answer to “Am I your girlfriend?”
“Of course.” Like it was the most obvious thing in the world.


“Why do you like me?”
He shifted away from me then, his brows pulled together making him look even 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.”


“What would you paint from your childhood?” I asked, simply a whisper.
He looked over at me with that smile. Slight. Meaningful.


One thing was certain: I would do whatever it took to be what he needed me to be. He was worth it.


“I don’t care what other people do. Because none of those other people are you.”
“I only want you, no matter what, okay? Only you and me. The rest doesn’t matter.”


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 dream of you. And I don’t like it when I can’t talk to you or see you or touch you.” His eyes found mine again. “That’s love.” 


Our love is no different than anyone else’s. It’s ours and that’s all that matters.
It’s a true story of a girl falling for a boy.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Honestly, this book is so beautiful, I could quote it entirely.

Puddle Jumping reminds me why I started reading romance in the first place. The sweet simplicity of these characters melts my heart. 10/10 recommend this to everyone out there!

It's short, but so very powerful tale of friendship and unconditional love.

I would never call loving Colton an accomplishment. It was an honor.

I really wish I could rate this book more than 5 stars. 💞

P.S.: I took a break from reading adult romances, and it was so worth it!
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,961 followers
July 21, 2014
*****4.5 Watercolor Stars*****
(BR with Melissa & Dee)

Lilly Evans and Colton Neely met when they were just ten and nine years old, when she was given the job as his baby sitter.
She never understood why she was given the job of baby sitting since they were so close in age.
But these two formed a strong bond.
She was his companion and the one to bring excitement into his life, which often times landed her in the hospital.
Lilly was very accident prone.
So Colton's mom decides to end Lilly's services for fear that she may end up killing herself.

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Eight years later, Lilly runs into Colton at a county fair, where he is selling his paintings. She has never forgotten him and had always harbored a crush on him.
She learns through local gossip, that Colton has asperger's syndrome.

I found myself comparing this to another book I read with a similar story line, and I have to say this one outshines the other!
What made this story so amazing was Lilly!
I loved this girl!!
She never treated Colton as if he was different.
She was quite smitten with him and when he enrolls in her high school she immediately seeks him out and they end up rekindling their friendship as if they hadn't been separated for the last eight years.

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Their relationship turns into something more and I just loved how their family and friends were so supportive of them.
Colton's mom was such a kick-ass secondary character.
I loved how she could see when Lilly was affected by some of the things Colton would do or was unable to communicate to her.
She was always there, providing encouragement.

Lilly was definitely the one that had to make a lot of compromises to make their relationship work, but for the most part, she was understanding. There were a couple moments that it all got to be too much for her, and I just wished to be able to jump into the book and give her a huge hug.

I don't believe there's such a 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.

This was such a sweet and beautiful story.
I felt my heart bursting with joy while reading it.
I fell in love with Colton and Lilly!!
And by the epilogue I was pretty much in book heaven!
Profile Image for Stephanie Alexander.
84 reviews20 followers
June 13, 2014
When ten year old Lilly is asked to babysit her neighbor Colton, all she sees is a sweet little boy who fascinates her. But after getting electrocuted (amongst other misadventures) and unintentionally putting Colton in danger, their friendship is abruptly severed...

Until years later, when Colton walks into her high school, and something in Lilly stirs.

Colton is still the extraordinary boy he was when they were little, only now he’s all grown up and Lilly really wants to know him better. After she spots him at a local fair selling his gorgeous paintings, Lilly knows that his talent far exceeds that of anyone she’s ever known. She realizes then, that he’s different, but it doesn't matter to her.

Lilly tries to learn everything she can about Asperger’s, because she knows that if she wants to be friends with him, then she needs to understand what makes him tick. Lilly does whatever it takes to help Colton, who has been sheltered for years, navigate in society amongst fellow highschoolers. And soon, she realizes that falling in love with Colton presents more challenges that any normal teenage relationship can guarantee. She also realizes that he’s worth it. Even when everything falls apart and she's left wondering what it means.

This is the story of two friends reunited, who fall in love despite all the odds against them saying they shouldn’t. It’s honest, clearly well researched, touching, sometimes frustratingly heartbreaking, and beautifully written.

My cousin belongs to an Autism support group for her teenage son, who has high functioning Autism. I gave an early version of this book to her when she was in a dark place- watching all the typical teenagers taking pictures outside before Prom and she was wondering if her son would ever find friendship, or even love. This is the story that gave her hope.

After years of teaching children with high functioning Autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome, I have had students contact me later on in their teen years, regaling me with their accomplishments, their friendships with neurotypical peers, and their successful relationships. It's incredibly heartwarming to learn that everyone can be loved and love in return.

One of the biggest problems with fictional literature that features Autistic characters is that they are often portrayed as disabled and incapable of love or relationships with non-Autistic partners. Amber Lynne Johnson has squashed that stereotype, giving her main character a voice of his own, and a realistic portrayal of what is possible between two people who care for one another despite what outside expectations dictate.

I was enthralled with this book and so genuinely moved. And I am proud of her for facing such a controversial topic and doing it extraordinarily well.
Profile Image for Kathie (katmom).
689 reviews46 followers
November 10, 2014
OH MY GOSH!!! PUDDLE JUMPING is a nominee in the GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS!!!! If you read it and loved it, please consider VOTING FOR it! https://www.goodreads.com/choiceaward...

I was blessed to be an editor for Puddle Jumping. Have to confess that I had to keep going back and rereading because I'd forget that I was EDITING...and would just READ. That's the sign of a good book, at least in my opinion!

Colton is an artist. He's one of those genius artists that start young, and improve even more over time. When he talks about art, adults listen. When people of all ages look at his work, they are enthralled. Lilly remembers when she tried to teach him to color in the lines. She didn't understand then, but she's starting to understand now.

When Colton enrolls in her school for their senior year, Lilly figures it's time to learn who he really is beyond the artist savant that others admire.

One of the many things that impressed me with Puddle Jumping, was the amount of research that went into the writing of it. Ms. Johnson kept this real. At one point, Colton and Lilly are watching some Hollywood flick about a guy with Asperger's. She doesn't want their relationship defined by what others think. She and Colton both want to experience life in a "normal" way. Of course, as my husband says, normal is a range, not a point.

Puddle Jumping is a romance. It's a story of two young people coming of age and finding their way, together. It will make you smile, maybe cry a tear or two, and in the end? Well, it will be a couple hours well spent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and maybe, you'll come away knowing a bit more about people who are in the range of normal.

Puddle Jumping comes out on July 1, 2014...and I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands!
Profile Image for Sydney Logan.
Author 34 books633 followers
June 11, 2014
I was so excited to receive an ARC copy of Puddle Jumping. While I love to read, it's been a long time since I've sat down and read a book, even a novella, all in one day. I couldn't put this down until I'd read every last word.

Puddle Jumping, at its heart, is the story of a boy and a girl. Simple, right? But love is never simple, and it can be even more complicated when Autism and Asperger's come into play. Love is supposed to be patient and kind, and that was definitely the case with Lilly and Colton. When you love someone who struggles with socialization and communication, that patience can be put to the test, no matter how much you love them.

In Puddle Jumping, the author offers a beautiful, sensitive, and realistic portrayal of a young man struggling to just be. To be a son, a friend, a boyfriend, and a man. Amber Johnson has no idea how wonderful her writing really is. I plan to keep telling her until she believes it.

Profile Image for Diana.
534 reviews18 followers
August 2, 2014
My GR friend recommended this book to me (Thanks Yasmine) and told me there would be happy tears, and boy was she right.

Lilly and Colton meet when they are young kids and are torn apart. They run into each other when they are teenagers and Lilly decides to rekindle their friendship. She realizes Colton is different and is finally told by Colton's Mom that he has Aspergers. Lilly dives right into learning all she can about Aspergers and soon realizes that their relationship is going to be more difficult than a typical boyfriend/girlfriend. Lilly is so sweet and patient and at times is heartbroken, but yet tries to understand his world and she does an amazing job.

Colton is absolutely beautiful and brilliant. I loved watching him take on new challenges and how his mind worked. Some of the things he says are cute/funny and others are just so sweet.

"You're my Lilly. You've always been my Lilly"

"She is paint by number; you're a watercolor."

It is a precious story of love, devotion and understanding that warmed my heart and yes, plenty of happy tears.

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