Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jake and Lily” as Want to Read:
Jake and Lily
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jake and Lily

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,872 ratings  ·  574 reviews
Jake and Lily are twins. Even though they seem pretty different—Jake is the calm one and Lily has a temper; Lily is obsessed with trains and Jake collects cool rocks—they feel exactly the same, almost like two halves of one person. When one of them gets hurt, the other can feel it. They can communicate without words. And mysteriously, every year on their birthday, they sle ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jake and Lily, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jenny It has a modern setting in a small town somewhere in america.
Jenny Interesting question. I'd say that the theme is: even if you have a twin, you are still your own person. But it could also be: A bond can be broken, b…moreInteresting question. I'd say that the theme is: even if you have a twin, you are still your own person. But it could also be: A bond can be broken, but it can be mended too.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,872 ratings  ·  574 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Jake and Lily
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, arc
Jake and Lily are twins. They were born in the California Zephyr train, in the Moffat Tunnel.


They have something special that intertwine them. Both can feel the other’s thoughts, fear, and presence. In their birthday since they’re sixth, they somehow wake up in a train station. That is their secret, the thing that makes them special. Goombla.

Super cool!

But now they’re both eleven and having their summer holiday, Jake starts hanging out with other boys. He never has time to play with Lily an
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A roundly charming book. THIS is the book to read about bullying this year; THIS book takes place in the real world, is peopled by real people, talks down to no one, and--while, as in real life, there are adults present--the kids are the focus, the do-ers, the ones who make stuff happen.

I was going to write, on reading the first third or so of the book, about how delightful both Jake and Lily are. Then the book grew darker; Lily was still delightful but too sad to be comfortable with, and Jake,
Emily O
Jake and Lily is a book about twins, a girl (lily) and a boy (Jake). They know eachother perfectly, they can read eachothers minds and tell when the other is sad or happy. But something weird happens every year on there birthday. Each year in the middle of the night they mysteriously walk to a nearby train station. But one year when they turned 11 it was time for separate bedrooms. Jake started to hang out with friends more often and Lily struggled to find any. Lily was very high tempered so she ...more
Joannah Keats
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jake and Lily were born on a train, in a tunnel 6 miles long, 11 minutes apart. Every year on the night of their birthday, they each sleepwalk to the nearby train station and wake up to find the other standing on the platform with them, evidence of the indescribable bond they share as twins - something they decide to call “goombla.” They are best friends.

When they’re about to have their eleventh birthday, Lily is moved into a separate bedroom and, she feels, a separate life. Jake begins to vent
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Jake and Lily are twins – the spooky kind. They hear each other's thoughts, sense when the other twin is in danger, and, most magically, sleepwalk together every year on their birthday. Lily wants to believe that they are a matched pair – alike in every way – but Jake has his doubts. In the summer of their eleventh year, Jake finally moves into his own bedroom, and the twins begin the painful process of differentiation.

I was hooked from the first chapter, which is narrated in alternating lines b
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
I was so excited to get to this book. The cover was appealing, the concept of following a pair of twins in first person was exciting, and the potential for adventure was alluring. Not so, none of it.
The cover, while appealing, does not reveal just how annoying the kids are. I mean, what kid is allowed to punch their grandfather when they get angry? As a 10-year-old? Please. And what family ignores the fact that one of their kids is heartbroken that the other one is being a jerk? I don't want to
Ugh, I can't TAKE it!!!! I don't CARE about your stupid twin problems! Ok, ok, calm down...

I liked it good enough.

But it seemed like two thirds of the books was Lilly moping about twins and Jake blabbing about goobers... If it hear that word one more time I will grab this book and rip out every individual page!

I was loving it at the beginning. Then they lost there goombla and I was a little confused... They have it just sometimes, or all the time? And they never explained why thy walked to the
Jake and Lily are twins. They do everything together until the summer after 5th grade when Jake starts riding around with a group of boys from the neighborhood and leaves Lily behind.

The Good

1. Alternating perspectives keep the story moving quickly. Jake and Lily each have very unique voices so there's no chance of being confused.

2. Ernie and his mom. By far the best characters in the book. I wish we could've heard Ernie's story.

3. Fast read and entertaining enough to keep me interested.

4. J
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it

Jerry Spinelli's books are reason for celebration. A hundred years after the release of Jake and Lily into a world of young readers starving for substance and the strengthening of our emotions and character that great literature offers, when Jerry Spinelli is no longer writing new stories and all we have left of him is a collection of transcendent juvenile novels that changed millions of hearts and affected billions of others, I hope we never lose the sense of what a gift it was each time Jerry
cynthia ✨
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first glance, this book looks like a book for little kids, but it actually deals with a lot of dark things.
Clare Cannon
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 8-11 years+
Shelves: 08-12yrs, favorites

I just love Spinelli. Even though he tells a similar story with new names and faces, it's the kind of story you can never hear enough of, because every time you read it, you become just a little bit better.

The story reminded me of Crash, except that the duel narrators opens this one up to girls as well. Jake and Lily are twins who've always had a special connection, but as they get older Jake starts to pull away. As Lily gets closer to her long lost Poppy and struggles to cope with losing he
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jake and Lily are twins and they have this kind of super power connection. Once when Lily was inside coloring, she yelled out loud “I’m stuck!” and it turned out that Jake was stuck under a fence in the yard. Another time Lily was about to run into the street chasing a ball, Jake yelled out “STOP!”, but he was at the dentist five miles away. When they were younger Jake and Lily were best friends and always together. They called their special connection their “goombla.” Their goombla starts to fa ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, freinds, fiction
I really liked this book because I can kind of relate to the whole "bored riding around" sumer thing and personally, I think that twins are pretty cool. I also sort of made a playground of the summer and met new friends. I always love all of Jerry Spinelli's work.
Wendi Lee
I really liked Spinelli's "Stargirl" when I was younger, and I love to read books featuring twins, but this was just meh.
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Goombla is an interconnectedness between twins Jake and Lily, the ability to know something is going to happen to the other, even when the other is not around. It's what made Jake yell "Stop!" preventing Lily from running out into the road in front of a car, even though Jake was 5 miles away, it's what gave Lily the knowledge that Jake was stuck under a fence, even though she couldn't see him, and it's what causes the twins to sleepwalk to the local train station every year on their birthday.

Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jerry Spinelli is one of my favorite children's authors. MANIAC MAGEE, THE LIBRARY CARD, and STARGIRL were three of my absolute favorite books. JAKE AND LILY might not be an instant classic, but it is a wonderful story for boys and girls.

Jake and Lily are fraternal twins who sleepwalk to the train station on their birthday. It's one of many ways they're connected, including a sense for where the other is and what they're doing. But as they mature, they can't stay glued to each other. Jake starts
Noah Breske
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
1. I think that the book is an interesting book and also very funny. Some of the quotations which support how funny and interesting this book is as follows:

“I stink at origami. Whatever I try to make came out looking like a giraffe in a bathtub.”

“Must be bite off grandpa’s head day.”

“I stared at the pitiful drawer. I said you’re not even civilized! You don’t even have an ice cream scoop!”

“I read Poppy’s palm. I said he’s going to buy me a car on the day I turn sixteen. He said that’s it for your
Hafsah Faizal
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Originally Posted Here

Jake and Lily have been together ever since they were babies, they experience each other’s feelings and every night on their birthday the both sleepwalk to a train station. So when their parents suggest that it’s time to make some friends and have their separate rooms, Lily’s not happy; Jake doesn’t really care. But once Jake makes some friends, he forgets about Lily, and is suddenly mean to her. Lily’s alone, she has no friends to hang out with and she misses the old Jak
Anna Garland
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is about the title characters Jake and Lily. These characters are twins with very distinct personalities and a unique bond. The story discusses how the relationships between boys and girls differ as both mature. The relationship Jake and lily had in the beginning was very close, always knowing how each other felt, but as they reach the age of 11, this all changes. Jake wants to hang out with his friends and Lily wants to be with Jake, but ends up feeling rejected by Jake not understand ...more
Twins Jake and Lily have always been close, so close that they can complete each other's thoughts. But this year, Jake seems to be moving in a different direction. He's hanging out with a different group of friends, including Bump Stubbins, a local bully that Lily cannot abide. Readers have a chance to follow the story from two perspectives since the twins are writing a book about their lives. This particular device allows readers to feel empathy for both characters, especially when Jake finds h ...more
Roberta Shapiro
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jake and Lily are twins whose connection is so strong they share the same dreams, and their bond as twins has made them the best of friends- until now. Jake starts to hang around with some of the neighborhood boys, and Lily is left behind. As she strives to find her own identity with the help of her hippie grandfather, she comes to the realization that she, too, can find friendship and meaning as "Just Lily." Meanwhile, Jake confronts his own identity issues as he has become a bully by associati ...more
Samantha Eve Kennedy
Already a Spinelli fan thanks to his book, "Stargirl," I eagerly requested this latest book from the library. Although I did enjoy this ultra-fast read, I did not find it as memorable as the book I previously mentioned. However I was enamored of a character named Ernie. Not your typical "victim" character, at first I wondered if Ernie was "not-all-there" due to his reactions towards obvious mean kids who begin to tease him. However Ernie pleasantly surprised me at the end of the story, reminding ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Some of Spinelli's works are masterpieces that trigger shattering sobs and make you ache for the characters. This is not one of them. Which is not to say that it's hilarious and makes you cheer for the characters either. Instead, it's just blah. I think the only emotion elicited was pride in having managed to finish in one sitting so I wouldn't have to pick it up again.

The concept of alternating narrators intrigued me at the beginning, but I didn't get a sense of what were supposed to be vastly
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mcba, middle-grade
This book didn't pull me in right away. In fact I didn't get involved until I started thinking about the twin characters in light of a brother sister pair of twins I know. Then I started to recognize the very different ways Jake and Lily are handling themselves in the world. My twin and I are fairly similar, so it's easy to stay close. But what if it wasn't?

This book included familiar themes and character types from earlier Spinelli books, and in my mind he continues to capture boys more accura
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jake is a boy. Lily is a girl. Twins. As different as they are, Lily is still clinging on to the childhood they spent together. When it's time for Jake to break free from their past partnership, Lily is so upset, she seeks help from her Poppy to find a new life. An excellent book about breaking free from your past and finding a new path, this book enlightened me and was indeed a very happy book. It wasn't a hard read at all, but still made me happy. It was fluff. Not nearly as meaningful as some ...more
Amy Jewell
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
LaRocco, D. (2012). [Review of the book Jake and Lily by J. Spinelli]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from

I felt this was a very accurate review of the book, Jake and Lily. The review detailed all of the main points without giving away too much of the plot. Just reading a book review about a set of twins that have the same dream and end up at the train station in the middle of the night on their birthday is an intriguing "teaser" that will get both chi
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-2013
3.5 stars. Parts of this book I loved, especially the distinctive voices of the two narrators, and some themes which addressed deep issues (identity, independence, change) through daily events. But in the middle of the book, during Jake's Goober fixation, I actively disliked it. Eventually it became clear what the value of that part of the story was, and the realistic growth of the characters at the end was satisfying, but with a residual 'bad taste' still lingering. My son (12) LOVES this book, ...more
JoEllen Mccarthy
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Jerry Spinelli's ability to craft stories with voice and heart. I immediately connected with the characters Jake and his twin sister Lily. Although it was a quick read, this story had many layers. I was emotionally invested in the twins but found myself cringing at the sub plot involving Bump, the bully, and Jake's involvement. It would be great for character discussions about choices. I loved the way Spinelli wrote about Jake's wrestling with guilt and the decisions he makes involving h ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
C'mon Jerry Spinelli, win me back-
Okay, it wasn't Maniac Magee, but I really enjoyed Jake and Lily.
This is the quiet story of twins, who are close and enjoy spending time together and sharing the gift of "goombla" the ability to share feelings and thoughts without speaking. The deep twin connection those of us who aren't twins are fascinated with.
When they turn 11, things begin to change and each sets off in their own way to experience the world as an individual, caught between yearning for the
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this book. These inseparable twins, Lily and Jake, are growing up and learning about challenges that they may face as they go thru life independently. Lots of problem solving, building relationships, and see thru the eyes of Jake and Lilly. Family members, neighborhood children, and the twins' parents guide them. This would be a nice read aloud for 3rd-5th graders. Lots of good discussion points.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pi in the Sky
  • Eight Keys
  • The Magic Trap (The Lemonade War, #5)
  • Project Alpha (Voyagers, #1)
  • Half a Chance
  • Goodbye Stranger
  • The Candy Smash (The Lemonade War, #4)
  • Shadow Children (Boxed Set): Among the Hidden; Among the Impostors; Among the Betrayed; Among the Barons
  • Rules
  • Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes (Frazzled, #2)
  • How to Speak Dolphin
  • The Sixty-Eight Rooms (Sixty-Eight Rooms, #1)
  • The Way to Bea
  • 11 Before 12 (Friendship List, #1)
  • Finally (Willow Falls, #2)
  • Finding Perfect
  • 13 and Counting (Friendship List #3)
  • Because of Mr. Terupt (Mr. Terupt, #1)
See similar books…
When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his

Related Articles

Ready to see some of your favorite stories come to life? Hollywood producers, directors, and actors are continuing their obsession...
187 likes · 107 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“And the more you love someone, the safer it is to be mad at them. Love can handle mad, no problem.” 8 likes
“How do you not try to get something you want?
How do you stop caring about the thing that you care about the most?
How do you erase the other half of your own self?”
More quotes…