April 7, 2015

Book Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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“…when you love someone, their differences fall away.”
(Chapter VIII, Puddle Jumping)
This book I swear has the most beautiful innocent love story I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
I swear (again) Puddle Jumping is and always be my most favorite read forever in my life…

I don’t know where to start because I want to talk EVERYTHING about this book but I’ll probably end up telling you guys the whole story. I often saw this book while browsing on GR but it was just last week that I decided to read it and I swear I felt like hitting my head to the wall every time I thought of why didn’t I read this book sooner. It felt like I was so missing out a very amazing moment from reading this in my life. Puddle Jumping managed to steal my heart completely within the span of 2 hour and 121 pages.

Lilly Evans was 10 when she was assigned to babysit 9 years old Colton Neely.
Colton was just like any other kid his age: quiet, not really a fan of sharing, loved coloring, and was a bit dismissive ―at least that’s the impression Lilly got from him at first. Apparently Colton was not just a common kid. He’s the perfect picture of future artist. It was shown in a single paper with the most intricately colored artwork he gave to Lilly one day. The more Lilly spent her time with Colton, the clearer it became that it was Colton who babysitted her instead of the other way around. Being a trouble-magnet, Lilly constantly having near-death experiences in which Colton always be the one who helped her first every single time. It went a little extreme every time and put an end to their brief encounter at last. They went separate ways ever since.

“I think sometimes we’re presented with the truth but we don’t want to believe it. We see things the way we want to see them. Sometimes, we choose to live in denial.”
(Chapter III, Puddle Jumping)
Lilly Evans was 15 when she saw Colton standing in one of the booths at the fair. 

It was the first time after years. The booth was crowded where he had his own artwork exhibition there. The second Lilly laid her eyes on him, she got this feeling of wanting to redo the childhood memories they shared together. Colton had grown up into an attractive boy with eyes that put a shame to every other boy’s that Lilly ever seen. Just when she thought that Colton probably had forgotten her, he called her name making all the sparks inside her soul ignited even wilder. But then something unraveled about the boy she thought she’d known for years. Something that made Lilly’s young mind jumbled in every direction. At 15, Lilly thought it was better to just forget Colton and his mystery away. But fate had different idea of showing Lilly how to deal with her confusion.

“One thing was certain: I would do whatever it took to be what he needed me to be. He was worth it even after only one day.”
(Chapter V, Puddle Jumping)
Lilly was 18 when her eyes caught Colton on the corridor of her school one day.

She was enchanted like it was the most beautiful sight she’d ever seen for years in that boring corridor. His sudden appearance made a click in the back of her mind.

A click telling her that she was attracted to Colton Neely.

A click telling no matter what was that Colton had, she still wanted to know him even closer.
A click that something she’d learned about Colton 3 years ago actually made her looking at Colton in a whole different light, in a more beautiful sight.
When Lilly finally made her first step of getting back to Colton’s life, she knew that things wouldn’t always be easy in the future. But Lilly was determined that getting to know Colton was something she would always want in life. Actually, she should’ve done that 3 years ago. Putting aside her own ego and willing to go with Colton’s pace were nothing compared with the chance she got to see the real Colton ―the bright, amazing, beautiful-soul Colton.
Hurdles kept coming to their path until one day one thing threatened to make things even harder for them. Lilly’s devotion was once again tested out and this time she was supposed to understand fully that the strongest love always got the hardest test.
When the word ‘separation’ made its way back to the frame again, could they both survive?

I was and still am so mesmerized of the way Ms. Johnson put each scenes together, build the story slowly, so smoothly, and in the same time full of little surprises that pulled me to the very center of the book. I felt in love with both characters, Lilly and Colton from their very first encounter 8 years ago. How they were so different yet that’s the thing that makes me totally melting helplessly to the ground like a cone of ice cream in the heat of summer.
“I’ve always heard your best match in life is the person who is the opposite of you that makes a complete whole.”
(Chapter XI, Puddle Jumping)
How Ms. Johnson put Lilly into a three phase of meeting Colton before she decided to go all in was awesome. I truthfully a bit jealous to Lilly because I wished I could posses her determined soul and pure devotion in loving someone like that.
I was 14 when I was attracted to this boy in my class. He had this illness that made him could not play football like the rest of the boys so he always ended up spending PE class sitting alone in the edge of the field watching his friends having fun. I always saw him from afar but not brave enough to go near him. Actually, I never made an attempt to be his close friend or just casually hang out with him ever. But I always made sure that the other boys won’t make fun of him by scolding them behind his back. No girls wanted to befriend him as well because he always had this pale face everyday due to his illness so he just mostly avoided talking to them. But I always smiled when he looked at me and walked with him to the parking lot almost every day. We stayed that way for years and 2 years later he made a surprising change of getting cuter, hotter, and far more attractive. I was still there when he took his pill during lunch like he’d done for years and eventually got close for a while during last year of junior high right before we graduated. Even though we ended up going to the same high school afterward, we didn’t get a chance to become close because he started having a girlfriend that year. And I ended up burying this feeling I had for him until now.
Seeing Lilly reminded me of the 14 years old me. But I regret of not having her strong loyalty and braveness. I know that my story did not have the ending Lilly had because I did not fight for him strong enough like what Lilly did for Colton. So, reading a story like this felt a bit like a reminder of my silly shy-acts and a healing to my old failure.
I loved it every single thing about this book. Every page screamed sincerity and love to me. I love love love Colton so much. I personally think that Colton or people like Colton are actually people who have the best level of honesty and sincerity in their hearts. It’s just so darn touching when Lilly thought of wanting to be like him. I melted and melted and melted thousand times reading this book. I swear I died a little when Colton uttered his exact mind to Lilly about wanting her to be like him… It was… my God, it was so sincere and had me crying nonstop. Oh, God, I’m crying again now
Aside from Colton and Lilly, Colton’s mom was the next most favorite character in this book. Her charm was over the top. The way she treated Colton so very good and how she treated Lilly with all her understanding not just as a mom but as a woman as well. It was so lucky of Colton to have a mother like her.
I don’t have any complain whatsoever about this book. I think Puddle Jumping just made it to the top shelf of my ever after favorite reads. So so so glad I read this book and I definitely recommend this book to everybody. Seriously, this is the one read you would never want to miss!

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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