Puddle Jumping

Puddle Jumping

author: Amber L. Johnson
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.48
book published: 2014
rating: 3
read at: 2014/07/09
date added: 2014/07/10
shelves: contemporary, families, fiction, high-school, psychology, romance
review:
I enjoyed this book. I really did. It was a good read. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can give it more than 3 stars. There are 3 reasons why.

I guess there are spoilers ahead? The “big reveal” happens EXTREMELY early in the book and is pretty obvious before that, but stop reading now if you TRULY don’t want to read anything remotely close to a spoiler.

1. The whole thing just screamed condescension to me. As much as Lilly wanted people to treat Colton normally, Lilly did not treat Colton normally. She treated him like he was a charity case. The author seems to have some personal experience with autism so maybe she just did a poor job with Lilly’s characterization, but Lilly seemed to be in love with Colton because she wanted to “make his life easier” and to “be what he needed.” These are terrible reasons to love someone. Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial and mutually hard. Colton and Lilly were not on equal footing that way. Lilly was a saint who seemed to believe she was put on Earth to do whatever and be whatever for Colton. It made me a little sad. If I’m being completely honest, it almost seemed a little fetish-like to me. Ok, A LOT fetishy. Like Lilly liked Colton BECAUSE of his Aspergers, not despite of it.

I think it would have helped if Johnson had written more about times when Lilly and Colton were doing normal couple things and not mentioned his Aspergers. As the book is written, it’s mentioned constantly. Even when Colton acts like “a normal boy,” the author felt the need to tell us how normal he was in the situation, which in turn reminded me that he had Aspergers.

2. Lilly was a fracking doormat. She was completely spineless. The entire novel I was waiting for her to completely explode and rage on Colton. He would have deserved it. Every time Colton did something crappy because he didn’t understand or process something the way someone without Aspergers would, Lilly would do one of these things:

a)say nothing and justify his behavior with his Aspergers.
b) be half-heartedly aggravated until Colton said something semi-romantic and then she would completely forget about the shitty thing Colton had done.

There was never any conversation about how Colton could better meet Lilly’s needs. If there ever was any correction, Colton’s mom would do it! It was totally insulting to Colton how Lilly didn’t respect him enough to talk about their issues and the way he makes her feel sometimes. Just because he has Aspergers doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be what Lilly needs too, but Lilly doesn’t ever give him the opportunity to do that for her because it doesn’t seem like she believes him capable of that. She just needs to take what she can get and be happy with it. Poor Colton has Aspergers and he can’t do any better. That’s bullshit and Lilly should be ashamed of herself. The whole book seemed to preach about how people with Asperger’s are just like everyone else, without actually having the main character treat him like everyone else.

3. I didn’t like the way it was written. It was written like the main character was writing down her memories or telling her story to a stranger. This is my least favorite way to tell a story. I HATE when the main character knows everything and I don’t. Lilly would have these random asides where she would basically just wax poetic about her relationship and how awesome their love is. The prologue was awful. I almost didn’t keep reading. Here is the first paragraph of the book. It makes me want to die.

“It begins with a boy. It begins with a boy and it ends with a boy, but what story doesn’t? In my eyes, this one is the most amazing person I have ever met. 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.”

and then…

“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. So here it is.”

and then…

“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.”

THOSE QUOTES ARE ALL FROM THE FIRST (FIRST!) PAGE OF THE BOOK!

Again, this is a good read. I enjoyed it a lot more than I have other contemporary romances in the genre, but it was like the entire book was covered in a greasy film. I liked it, but it was kind of gross.

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