Review: Maybe by Amber L. Johnson

22057891Blurb from GoodReads

Letting go is hard. Admitting you need each other is harder.

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a back seat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2015 by The Writer’s Coffee Shop
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

After Puddle Jumping I have high expectation on this book. That’s why I was so eager to read it and cannot help myself not to request it on NetGalley. I know those two books are different in so many ways, so I shouldn’t compare it but they come from the same author I thought at least I can enjoy it.

Now I can say that I really shouldn’t have any expectation as in the end it didn’t live my expectation and I didn’t quite enjoy it. The story is so cliche, predictable and formulaic I don’t even find any single thing that never told before, mostly in NA stories. I don’t mind cliche and formulaic stories but usually it also has something that can attract me to say that I like it. Not in this case, unfortunately.

I usually like the hate-love relationship but here, I didn’t think so. Emily hates Tyler in the beginning but it soon, like sooner than a blink of an eye, changes to attraction (or should I say lust?) I kind of forget that she hates him in the first place. Emily being a journalist and Tyler a musician should have a conflict of interest. You know when she has to dig deep the skeleton in Tyler’s life and his band while at the same time she’s in a relationship with him. I think it should conflict her feeling but she doesn’t conflicted enough for me. And Tyler doesn’t like when people call him with his first name, Tyler, but why did he introduce himself as Tyler when he met Emily for the first time. I didn’t buy it.

I liked that the story is fast pace but in most of the time it too fast I have a hard time believe in Tyler and Emily relationship. With all of bad past relationship they had, I think at least they need time for their new one. But here it feels like they jump straight to it while they can, though mostly it’s just about sex. Well at least that was what I feel.

All in all, this one is a letdown compare to my first Amber L. Johnson book. But I’m sure it won’t be my last one, because to be honest her other books look as appealing as her two books I’ve read. I just have to read them to know the result, right?

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #9
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book by a female author

Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

21825607Blurb from Goodreads

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.

Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Published June 29th 2014 by Self Pub (first published June 24th 2014)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I haven’t read much story with characters whose have Asperger’s. The only one that teaches me much about it was Reclaiming The Sand by A. Meredith Walters. It was a beautiful heartbreaking story. So I can’t help not to compare it with this book, moreover both of them are YA books.

Although they are about Asperger’s, they are quite different in so many ways. I think in a tone, Puddle Jumping is sweeter and less brutal, if it’s possible, than Reclaiming the Sand. But it didn’t mean that I didn’t feel all the feelings I had when I read Reclaiming the Sand. It was there all over the book and to be honest, I learn something new and different here about Asperger’s as I learn from Reclaiming the Sand.

Unlike in Reclaiming the Sand, there is barely about bullying in this book. It’s focus on to show that Colton, seventeen years old boy who has Asperger’s isn’t much different than any other teenagers around the world and his relationship with people around them.

Aside the story, I fall in love with the main characters, Lilly and Colton.

I loved that Colton is eager to try as many things as his therapist suggests. He doesn’t afraid to try and in a way doesn’t care what his friends think about him. He embraces what happens to him and doesn’t let it avoid him to pursue his happiness.

I also loved how Lilly, the MC, is so persistent showing me that Colton in a way is as normal as his friends. It made me think that yes, he is indeed like any teenager boy who has a crush and fall in love. But I have a hard time to believe and love her as a character. At first I didn’t quite like her. She sounded so clingy and it was kinda hard for me to believe that she’s in love with him since she was young. And then, she does most of things based on him. It’s like she doesn’t have any idea what her future will be except to be with him. I just don’t quite like the idea that she’s ‘sacrifice’ herself willingly to be constantly with him.

It leads to the ending of the story. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t like it either. As much as it’s a sweet happy ending and surely an ending that Lilly wants, I have different opinion about it. But then, I understand her, for all her reasons she told me throughout the story.

I just wish the story is longer than what already is. It feels I couldn’t let them go only after I started reading it 4 hours ago, at the office between my works.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars