Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Author: Amber L. Johnson
Title: Puddle Jumping
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Cover Design: Annie Rockwell
Release Date: July 1, 2014
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.

Amber is a full time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believes in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day – despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they’re sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist, a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads ‘Cocoa’ – because she’s a rebel. If she’s not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she’s supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.
I believe the same dreams apply for every parent when their child is born.  They want them to be perfect, live a happy life, and one day find love.  When the word autism is introduced into a family’s vocabulary, those dreams become tainted with the idea that a parent’s perfect baby is now “special” and all of the dreams that were made when that baby was born fade into the background of therapy, rejection, and despair.  
As a parent with a child on the spectrum, I was instantly drawn to Amber L. Johnson’s book Puddle Jumping.  It’s a story about a teenage girl named Lilly who falls in love with a boy named Colton, only to discover he’s different from other boys.  He’s autistic.
I felt this book straight in my heart.  I connected with each character on many different levels.  I struggled with Lilly as she tried to understand Colton, my heart reached out to Colton as he strived to make the world see him beyond his condition, and my heart broke with Colton’s mom as she described what life is like in an autistic household.
I don’t ever give spoilers, but there is one scene I must commend the author on.  The way she described a meltdown was absolutely perfect.  Meltdowns are common occurrences in my life, not as common as they once were, but still common.  When a person with autism becomes overstimulated they lose control of their emotions and themselves.  Amber’s description of this event and Lilly’s reaction to Colton during it was, in my opinion, amazing!
Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone.  It’s a clean, sweet romance.  This is a book that will stick with you long after you finished it.  It will reach deep into your soul and never let you go.  

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