Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Jake and Lily

Rate this book
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 sleepwalk to a train station in the middle of the night.

But the year they turn eleven, everything changes. Their parents announce it’s time for separate bedrooms, and Jake starts hanging out with a pack of boys on the block. Lily is devastated—not to mention really, really mad. And as she struggles to make friends and get a life apart from her twin, Jake finds himself dealing with a neighborhood bully and has to decide what kind of person he really is.

Beloved author Jerry Spinelli has written another perfectly on-target, humorous, and brilliant story about the struggles of growing up and discovering who you are.

This is a story about me, Lily.
And me, Jake.
We're twins and we're exactly alike.
Not exactly!
Whatever. This is a book we wrote about the summer we turned eleven and Jake ditched me.
Please. I just started hanging out with some guys in the neighborhood.
Right. So anyway, this is a book about
goobers and supergoobers
true friends

things getting built and wrecked and rebuilt
and about figuring out who we are.
We wrote this together
(sort of)
so you'll get to see both sides of our story.
But you'll probably agree with my side.
You always have to have the last word, don't you?

352 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jerry Spinelli

97 books3,552 followers
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 book Maniac Magee. After his high school football team won a big game, his classmates ran cheering through the streets — all except Spinelli, who went home and wrote a poem about the victory. When his poem was published in the local paper, Spinelli decided to become a writer instead of a major-league shortstop.

In most of his books, Spinelli writes about events and feelings from his own childhood. He also gets a lot of material from his seven adventurous kids! Spinelli and his wife, Eileen, also a children's book author, live in Pennsylvania.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,987 (36%)
4 stars
1,814 (33%)
3 stars
1,284 (23%)
2 stars
270 (4%)
1 star
103 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 624 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy.
951 reviews138 followers
September 28, 2012
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, of course--well. But everything came back around. The mid-bullying parts were painful to read, but part of the reason they have such a strong impact is that we KNOW Jake and we know this isn't him. The other painful part, Lily's distress over losing her special connection with her twin, is raw and real without being overdone.

This reminds me in some ways of Beverly Cleary in her darker moments--it is episodic and there's an emphasis on a neighborhood setting and neighborhood kids. Not that Jerry Spinelli needs to be compared to anyone. But I really disliked Maniac Magee, personally, so I wasn't expecting anything from this book. I didn't even really know what it was.

This is a book I think I could give to pretty much every kid I know--boy or girl, advanced reader or not.

This isn't going to be one of the most exciting, unique, or provocative books of the year, but what we have is solid writing with a good plot and great characters. I'd be happy to see it on the podium.
Profile Image for Hilda.
200 reviews143 followers
April 12, 2012
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 anymore.

Uh oh, NOT cool.

It is the first summer when the twins spend it separately. While Lily tries to find her life without Jake with the help of their Grandpa, Jake learns about making up for his own mistakes and being friends with someone considered nerd is okay.

The first thing that made me interested to read this book is the author. Jerry Spinelli is not my favorite author but I love how raw and honest his writing in Star Girl. I enjoyed how wonderful Jerry Spinelli captivates the feeling of eleven-years-old kids.

This book is written like a journal and you get to slip inside Jake and Lily's head. At first, I was more interested in Jake’s POV. Jake goes out and spends summer holiday with his friends, and it’s certainly more interesting rather than sulking Lily who keeps yelling and getting angry at Jake. But as the story progresses, Lily’s story intrigued me more. Lily’s attempts to have a life are desperate and hilarious sometimes. While Jake’s story is dark with the heavy theme of bullying, Lily’s story is a little more cheerful and more focused on her struggle to stand in her own feet.

I like most parts of this book, even though I’m not really in favor with the ending. It’s just an okay ending for me. Jake and Lily is a great, quick read that will remind you about the confusion of growing up, the strangest time when you realize that boys and girls are different, and the importance of staying true to yourself.

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?

parts of Lily’s journal
Profile Image for Emily O.
9 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2017
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 was very upset when he left her. But will Lily ever find any friends, and will Jake ever come back to Lily? You'll have to read and find out! My favorite part of this book is when there birthday comes. And my least favorite part is when Jake started getting bullied. If you liked any of the different perspective kind of books. I think this one will fit you just right!
Profile Image for Bibliophilic Word Nerd.
184 reviews15 followers
December 11, 2021

This is the story of eleven year old twins Jake and Lily learning how to find separate lives at last. They share a bond: they can feel each other and know each other's thoughts even from a great distance. But the time has come for them to grow up. In so doing, their extraordinary bond, goombla (really!), falters as they search for identity separate from their twinness. The search is long and fraught, but isn't that what growing up is for all of us?

What a lovely read this was. Highly recommended. If your kids shun reading, put this in front of them. Trust me, they'll love Jake and Lily. I did!
Profile Image for Joannah Keats.
179 reviews24 followers
March 23, 2014
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 venture out on his own and finds himself running with a group of boys who pass their time riding bikes and looking for “goobers” to make fun of. But when they come across Ernie, Jake has no idea that this “supergoober” is about to change everything.

Now that Jake only wants to hang out with the boys, Lily is lonely. The twins’ grandfather, Poppy, tries to help Lily get her own life. She tries hobbies, tries to make a new friend during a disastrous sleepover, but nothing seems to replace Jake until one day her new life shows up on the sidewalk in front of her house. Sydney is funny, sarcastic, beats Lily at burping contests, isn’t afraid of snakes, and the two become fast friends. With Sydney to help her, Lily becomes her own person and no longer needs Jake to feel whole. But what will happen to the goombla, to their special bond now that they each have their own lives?

Jerry Spinelli is a beloved children’s author, perhaps best known for his Newbery-winning title Maniac Magee. His most notable talent is for writing timeless stories that anyone of any age can relate to. Building clubhouses, riding bikes, model trains, wagons, playgrounds from scratch - you won’t find pop culture or technology references in this book to date it. The primary issue dealt with in this story is bullying. The character of Bump is a classic bully - he can’t stand the idea of being friends with someone who is “different” and nothing makes him madder than when a so-called “goober” is unaffected by his taunting. Jake’s desire to fit in and have friends is at odds with his conscience, and when Bump’s behavior starts to cross the line, Jake has to decide what kind of person he really is. Bullying of course is a serious issue, and Spinelli doesn’t treat it lightly, but rather softly, making this book appropriate for ages 8 and up. The chapters alternate between the narrative voices of Jake & Lily, and should appeal to both boys and girls. This is a must-read for Spinelli fans and anyone who loves a classic family & friendship story.
Profile Image for Rachael.
539 reviews56 followers
February 8, 2012
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 by the twins. The immediacy, wit, and authenticity of the language quickly establishes both the closeness of the sibling relationship and the conflict just beneath the surface. The twins take turns narrating subsequent chapters – first as a collective memoir, and then, after Jake moves out, as entries in separate journals. This structure ingeniously mirrors the plot: as Jake and Lily grow apart, so do their stories. The theme of belonging vs. differentiation is echoed in the story of their ex-hippie grandfather, Poppy, and in a tense subplot about a local bully. Vivid imagery grounds the book firmly in a sort of suburban every-town, and also amplifies the sense of wonder during the interludes of magical realism.

I have only a couple of quibbles. First, the book seems too long by about fifty pages. It bogs down in the last third, and the slow pace combined with the urgent tone reminded me (not in a good way) of Keeper, by Kathi Appelt. I would also like to have gotten to know the parents better. Mom and Dad are written nearly identically, which is ironic, given the context.

Overall though, Spinelli has written another winner.
Profile Image for Cheri.
319 reviews8 followers
September 27, 2013
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 be in that space.
Both twins are spoiled, rotten bullies, and though I will not advise kids against reading the book, I will definitely tell them what I thought. The grandfather is an interesting guy, but is annoying in his own way because he keeps projecting on Lily, thinking that what worked for him will work for her.
I was horrified at having to read (listen) about the bullying gang of boys that Jake gets into. I'm glad it ended well, but I don't feel like we learned that he had emotions until the last couple of chapters, and even that we didn't learn in a very cohesive way.
The only redeeming piece of the book was the way that the twins behaved toward one another as younger children: their twin connection, the realism of their actions, and the understanding they have of each other.
Profile Image for Bennett.
231 reviews4 followers
September 8, 2016
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 train station!!!

I wished there was a little more drama, but you don't always get your way...

Oh, by the way, can I say that the cover looks likes a romance cover? Just saying.

Alternate Rating: C+
Profile Image for Ahang.
50 reviews10 followers
June 20, 2015
واي كه چه قدر عالي بود. كاش من بزرگ شم. :))
مي دونيد، كتاب انگار براي بچه ها بود. اما به نظرم خيلي از ما هم نياز داريم به خوندن ش. خيلي از ما هم بايد به زندگي فرصت بديم تا پيدامون كنه. خيلي درك كردم ش. چون خيلي از افكار لي لي رو من م دارم. و خوب ياد به م داد كه صبر كنم. فرصت بدم. هم به خودم و هم به زندگي.
واقعا ممنون از رعنا :)
Profile Image for Natalie.
2,784 reviews132 followers
August 29, 2016
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. Jake and Lily having special twin powers.

The So-So

1. Jake shows some real growth dealing with his bully situation but there are a lot of books that do it better.

2. Lily's relationship with Poppy is sweet but a little over the top at times. I was/am very close to my grandparents and grew up right next door to them, so I related to Lily that way, but her relationship sometimes felt forced and fake.

3. Lily and Sydney's relationship was rushed and a little too perfect but it was nice to see Lily finally stop whining.

4. Lily's trains. I thought that was such an awesome hobby but Spinelli seemed to put it in as more a "hey look Lily's a girl but she likes trains!" Again, it felt fake and forced and rubbed in the reader's face.

The Bad

1. Lily whining. And whining. And whining. And whining. Almost the whole book was Lily whining and sulking. If each chapter wasn't so short, her chapters would've dragged the whole book down to a 1 star read. It was very annoying and I got tired of it real fast.

2. Goombla. I think Spinelli thought this was cute/funny calling Lily's and Jake's special twin powers this name but I thought it was exceedingly stupid and every time I saw this word in the book I cringed.

3. Goobers. I get what Spinelli was going for but I don't think he fully wrapped the bully part up. Kids (and adults) can be mean as hell and I would've appreciated a little more feeling towards those Jake and his friends picked on. I also don't know why he has to call everything these weird words. (Goobers and goombla)

4. Nice tidy rainbows and sunshine ending where everything is hunky-dory and they all skip off into the sunset.

In Conclusion

I actually am a fan of many of Spinelli's works but this one is not my favorite. There were some good moments but overall it was just okay. That said, it was a fast read and kept my attention. I'll put it out for the fifth graders and see if any of them bite. I think kids might enjoy it more than adults and find some of the situations more hilarious. Even though Spinelli was trying to be funny, I can't think of one time this book actually made me laugh. The switching perspectives and short chapters definitely helped keep the book moving along.
Profile Image for Josiah.
3,211 reviews145 followers
February 20, 2013

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 Spinelli came out with a new book. Writing to get inside the protective seal of readers' emotions where a story can truly begin to work lasting magic on the human heart may be the goal of nearly every writer, but few are ever really able to accomplish it, and fewer still can get behind that stubborn seal virtually every time they lay paper to pen, easily prying open our defenses so the words they deliver go straight to the heart and aren't deflected by the shields we put up to stop them. Jerry Spinelli is such an author as this, a bird of such profound rarity that his novels almost deserve recognition as entities apart from everything else in the annals of literature. I have been with Jerry Spinelli on journeys like that of Jake and Lily before; several times, in fact (Maniac Magee, Who Put That Hair in My Toothbrush?, Wringer, Love, Stargirl, Eggs and Crash being just a few), and I never come out on the other side of them the same person I was when I started. Never. Who can absorb the transient weight of hope and love and bitter, agonizing separation without one's essential mass being shifted and changed, settling unaware into new shapes and molds of comprehension and acceptance? Yet the uncommonly vivid emotions of Jerry Spinelli's books are really more a mirror for the reflection and ponderance of one's own basic feelings than the introduction of new or exotic reactions. A story like Jake and Lily, so much like Love, Stargirl before it, has the power to spin one's head with the resounding truth of the emotions it lays bare, because we recognize the depths of desperate pain in ourselves. We know the rending of two hearts connected by the fibers of love that should last forever but somehow, even under the best of circumstances, often do not, whether it's in friendship, romantic relationships or even between a brother and sister, as the case is for Jake and Lily. And this is why we can't help but feel so much at stake in the outcome of the story, hoping it will all lead back to some sort of happiness even as the characters' trails diverge in seemingly irreconcilable directions.

"What do you do while you're waiting for your life to happen?"

Jake and Lily, P. 253

There have long been reports of twins exhibiting almost supernatural awareness of one another. Precognition, often called "twin telepathy", is a matter of fascination for many, both twins and non-twins, and Jake and Lily just may end up increasing that interest substantially among kids who read the book. Since the early morning hours of their sixth birthday, when Jake and Lily discovered through a mysterious sequence of symbiotic occurrences that their connection goes beyond the mere fact of having shared the same womb, the twins have enjoyed an on-again, off-again mental and physical link that borders at times on the paranormal. There have been examples of one twin sensing the other being in some kind of danger from miles away, knowing intuitively that their sibling needs help, but there's also a constant manifestation of extrasensory perception between Jake and Lily. Out loud or in their heads, the twins know what each other is thinking, and can usually finish the other twin's sentences. While Jake and Lily's parents know the bond their children share runs deep, far deeper than that of most siblings, no one but Jake and Lily knows the full extent of their connection, so rare that Lily has to come up with her own word to describe it, "goombla".

So what happens when one twin, Jake, decides there are a greater number of dissimilarities than common traits between him and his sister, and rebuts Lily's every argument to the contrary by pointing out how and why they aren't really the same? Jake and Lily have shared practically the same life for all their years, but things change when Jake's interest in creating points of distance between himself and his sister jumps from the realm of teasing into more sincere territory. The goombla that has tied the twins together since that one special birthday when they discovered they were more than average siblings slowly but surely starts to fade as Jake begins running with a new crowd of friends, boys who aren't interested in having Lily along on their mini adventures. And here is where the direction of the story seems to split: Lily is immediately preoccupied with turning her brother's conscious interest so life as she knew it can return to what it used to be, Jake and Lily together and against the rest of the world if necessary, with no possible competition to interrupt what they are to each other; Jake, on the other hand, moves further into his friendship with the group of boys from his neighborhood, the leader of which, named Bump, has been an annoyance to Lily since they were all kindergartners together. With the sudden losing of half of herself comes Lily's chance to create a temporary alignment of energies with her grandfather, Poppy, who has his own suggestions of how she should cope with Jake's rejection as it deepens and lengthens, stretching out for weeks and then months as Jake's habit of not making time to spend with Lily becomes almost a matter of proving something to everyone involved.

What is one supposed to do when the most important part of oneself wanders off in another direction? When the bastion of one's happiness and content chooses to vacate the role carved out so lovingly for him or her, what does that say about oneself? It can feel even stronger than a rejection; to the one left behind, it's a wordless condemnation. When two people are in synergy of purpose, intent, mission and emotion, both feeling the same level of affection and appreciation for the other, everything clicking into place as the relational echo chamber wonderfully magnifies the glories of its own existence, there's no more rewarding feeling to be shared between two people. Yet all too often, even after spending so much time on the same page with each other and finding such joy in being together, it is only one, not both, for whom the experience begins to fade first. And so the one half of the duo, confused by the other beginning to show signs of backing out from what still feels like such good times being had, can only watch as the symbiosis devolves into a meager shadow of what it used to be, having little idea what went wrong. To paraphrase the great Robert Cormier, two people often fall in love at the exact same moment, but they usually fall out of love at discordant junctures, and being the one left holding the empty bag of memories and a one-way love that still burns as brightly as ever may be the hardest thing one will ever face in life.

"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?"

Jake and Lily, P. 251

I doubt I've ever read the words of an author better able than Jerry Spinelli to express the deepest pain of the human heart, the tiny coals of burning regret that scatter about when the fire of a relationship is snuffed out, lodging where they can do the most damage to tender, unprotected flesh. With deceptively simple descriptions, Jerry Spinelli paints using the entire emotional spectrum, not sparing any shade of the loss that wraps around our hearts and threatens to squeeze us to oblivion when we're left in the dust by the one who means more to us than anything. Lily's story won't end with her brother ditching her and their one-of-a-kind goombla to join up with a couple of boys forever, though. As Lily, at Poppy's behest, runs through a series of possible ways to move on and direct the course of her own life apart from her twin, and Jake finally starts to notice the last of their goombla atrophying into near nothingness from lack of trying on his part, the twins realize that the moment they're in today won't pause for them to make up their minds about what they want to do; time will change them, will change their life situations and maybe not even allow them to remain in proximity to each other, but with or without goombla, they will always be twins. Some mysteries of the universe may be eternal, or nearly so, but others are not nearly as unfathomable as they seem.

The perfection of Jerry Spinelli's writing is that of a simple emotional jigsaw puzzle that relies on more than beautiful words to communicate the sharp poignancy of the completed picture. The pieces of the puzzle, each one not especially spectacular in its own right, fit together seamlessly to create an effect substantially more powerful than the sum of its pieces, and for this reason, adequately conveying the greatness of a book like Jake and Lily may be impossible. I know I have no chance of even coming close to doing so in this review. It's hard even to pull out particularly notable quotes from Jake and Lily to help explain the book's overwhelming impact and matchless charm, though there are a few lines I must mention from the story. It's rare to find a description both as unassuming and apt as the following, about an ominous turn in what had been an innocent enough conversation: "It was like the last skinny sunbeam went behind a cloud and the sky was dark and getting darker and you knew you better pedal for home before you got wet." Then there's the first time Poppy nudges Lily toward considering branching out on her own in life apart from Jake, developing a personality and attitude separate from how she interacts her brother and testing the waters to see if there might be some other takers out there for her friendship. "It's true, there is something very special between you and Jake", Poppy says. "And it will always be there. But you can't allow it to stop you from becoming your own person. There's a life waiting for you away from Jake." This thought is echoed a few pages later in Lily's words: "Poppy says there's two of me. There's the Jake-and-Lily me. And there's the Just Lily me. It's the Just Lily me who needs a life. Because right now she's nobody." Well-intentioned advice, certainly, but Lily finds it's hard to take when someone means as much to a person as her twin brother does to her. Even Poppy affirms for her, when she's starting to lose hope of her goombla with Jake ever being the same, that "Once entangled, forever entangled", and Lily and Jake are nothing if not undeniably entangled.

"I guess every once in a while you have a day you just want to toss in the trash can", Jake writes at one point. I think most people will easily be able to relate to this statement, though the saving grace is in also having those days one would like to keep forever like trophies, like pictures proudly framed on one's bedroom wall. What a blessing, often a wholly unexpected one, those days are when they come. Yet trouble can spring up even in relationships one views as being of little risk, and the pain from it can be surprisingly acute. As Jake admits, in his own inimitable style of expression, "I've never been hated before. It's like sunburn on my heart." I know just what he means, too. When people think you're bad, just being yourself feels like a step in the wrong direction, an act of perverse disregard for the person you should want to be. Jake deals with this dilemma in his own way, feelings of guilt so strong he wonders why others don't see it and scorn him for his inadequacy. "I don't get it. People treat me like normal. Nobody calls me names. Nobody spits on me. My mother kisses me every night when I go to bed. Don't they know I'm The Big Disappointment?" As in so many other places in the story, Jerry Spinelli's brilliance of plainspoken expression says more than my commentary ever could. I can only stand in amazement at his mastery of the written word.

Jake and Lily feels so personal, so encompassingly insightful as a novel interwoven with the stuff of human experience from both the tearful and the joyous, that I can't imagine anyone to whom it would not be relevant. Jerry Spinelli is an all-time great whose literature bulges at the seams with more to take away from each story than one person probably could in a hundred lifetimes, and Jake and Lily continues the paving of a road to immortality started down so auspiciously with Space Station Seventh Grade in 1982. I would give at least three and a half stars to Jake and Lily, and there's an excellent chance I'd rate it as worthy of the full four stars.To readers who have mingled with and enjoyed Jerry Spinelli's writing in the past, my advice pertaining to this book is as follows: If you get a chance to read Jake and Lily, do it. You'll never be the same again.

Profile Image for cynthia ✨.
135 reviews17 followers
November 11, 2018
At first glance, this book looks like a book for little kids, but it actually deals with a lot of dark things.
Profile Image for Talie.
234 reviews32 followers
November 13, 2018
شروع خوب بود اما متاسفانه در ادامه کشدار و کلیشه ای شد.
رابطه ی خواهر و بردار به صورت رابطه ای تصویر شده بود که در آن زن طرد می شود و به فکر مرد است اما مرد به فکر کار و بار خود است. مسخره است که نوجوانان با این کلیشه ها باید بزرگ شوند
Profile Image for Clare.
1,460 reviews306 followers
June 20, 2012

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 her best friend, Jake starts to hang out with the Death Ray boys who entertain themselves by pestering 'goobers', people who are just too much of everything and don't even know it.

It's a fun read with short chapters, but most importantly, kids won't be able to help being impressed as they read it. The twins find out for themselves the true definition of 'having a life' - pursuing interests and friends without being overly dependent on someone else, of courage and true bravery - standing up to bullying as opposed to dishing it out, of friendship - winning the respect and companionship of others rather than blindly following the lead of the kingpin, and finally, what it means to be a twin.

Spinelli should be compulsory reading for every middle school child. (...and maybe parent and teacher too)
Profile Image for Erik This Kid Reviews Books.
836 reviews70 followers
June 2, 2012
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 fade as the twins get older. Jake and Lily start to grow apart. Lily wants the goombla to stay, but Jake wants to grow up. Will the twins get their goombla back or will they learn to live their own lives?

This Jerry Spinelli book is full of humor and good stuff! I liked the idea of the twin “link,” but the story is not really all about the link. It’s more about the kids trying to be their own person rather than a twin and I think it made a good story. I like how the chapters alternate between Lily’s and Jake’s perspective. I really liked both main characters a lot, but I think I liked Lily a little more because of how she acted and her general attitude. The story really kept me interested and I cared about what would happen to Jake and Lily. The book is great for young advanced readers. I think kids and adults of all ages will like this book.

December 1, 2013
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 association, and has to find a way to make things right.

As always, Spinelli's main characters are charming, and when confronted with the kinds of dilemmas facing middle grade kids, they have to make a choice to be themselves. Though the characters in some of Spinelli's other novels are more appealing to me (like Stargirl), these two offer a chance to talk about the problems of bullying and of shifting friendships that will resonate with many young readers. The characters certainly evolve through the story, and the shifting point of view offers insight into perspective, making the book a good choice for book clubs or an independent reading choice.
Profile Image for Lana.
21 reviews
May 12, 2014
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 of Spinelli's other books, but still charming. Go ahead and read it is you are considering to venture through this novel.
Profile Image for Amy Jewell.
23 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2015
LaRocco, D. (2012). [Review of the book Jake and Lily by J. Spinelli]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.mackin.com/MackinOnline/Se...

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 children and older readers interested in the book.
Profile Image for JoEllen Mccarthy.
105 reviews151 followers
September 26, 2012
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 his "friends". Both characters learned life lessons. Great choice for a read aloud for 4-6.
Profile Image for Marcia.
3,247 reviews15 followers
December 2, 2013
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 closeness they have shared and being their own person.
A lovely story of growing up.
Profile Image for Yvonne.
278 reviews6 followers
May 7, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Rita.
54 reviews
December 19, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Bungou_bxddie.
68 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2022
*Rating 1.1*

This book is about two twins called Jake & Lily. Their twins but people think they're just twins. But deep down, they can hear each other if they ever need help. Whenever they're playing hide-and-seek, one of the twins will always know where the other is. In order to express that, they have a word called "goombla". Slowly, Jake starts hanging out with friends and Lily can feel the goombla fading away.

This is a book that I hate. In the beginning, we learn about them and their twin stuff. I like the beginning, the middle is bad, and the ending is horrible. Not that something sad happens, nothing happens. Also, $crew you Lily, I just HATE her. She's *obsessed* with Jake and the goombla and the twin thing. Soon after that she can't get rid of it and she's acting like Eru Chitanda from Hyouka. Once she finally gets over with the twin thing, she needs help finding her new *Lily life*. She used the help from her grandpa called "Poppy"

The one thing I like about the story is that in every chapter one twin talks. In the next chapter, the other twin talks about their story.

When we get to Jake's side of the story, he and his group of friends called the "Death rays" decided to go hunting for some goobers and super goobers. They meet a super goober after that Bump wasn't part of the death rays and Jake learned that a goober is something special or something like that.

The problem that I have with this story is that the idea of it was scrambled in the book. Well, that's my opinion, the story focuses on the separation and starting a new life. Well lucky for Jake he did that way too early.
Thank you for listening and have a great day - Bungou_bxddie

"Does growing up mean growing apart?"

"Just before he got to Bump, I threw out my hands. "Stop!" I yelled. "I did it!" - Jake
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ~Bellegirl91~.
603 reviews86 followers
May 1, 2021
LILY: "We're not a regular boy and girl. We're brother and sister. And we're not regular brother and sister. We're twins. And we're not even regular twins. We're special "

Okay all I can say is this was seriously a cute and adorable coming of age story. I ended up listening to this one and rhr readers for Jake and Lily were ADORABLE and did an amazing job narrating this one. For anyone who has kids (ESPECIALLY twins 😉) I'd HIGHLY recommend this for them to read or for you as a parent to read with/to your kids. Also the story has some great messages too and would make for great discussions with your kids as well like choose to be a friend to someone than be a bully. Or another would be that for a sibling who's closer worh one sibling regardless whether they're twins or not, it's okay to have a life and have other friends and still be able to be friends with your sibling at the same time. Overall, I say this book was worth trying to finish beidnight on the last day of the month making it officially book 8 for the month of April! Woot woot!!
Profile Image for Carol Royce Owen.
970 reviews14 followers
June 8, 2013
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.

Lily is obsessed at how alike they are, but Jake looks for the differences. As they get older it is Jake who first branches out, joining a neighborhood gang of boys in an attempt to seek out his own individuality and find a life separate from Lily. This sends Lily into a tailspin of despair and anger, so she turns to her Poppy (grandfather) for answers. He encourages her to find her "just Lily" life as Jake has found his "just Jake" life, but that doesn't happen easily. In the meantime Jake is starting to feel uncomfortable with some of the activities of the gang of boys he has joined up with, especially the tormenting of a "super goober" a new boy that has moved into town who seems like the perfect mark to mock and feign friendship with, all the while laughing behind his back.

Maybe it's because so many people thought I was a twin growing up (with a brother who had stayed back a year in the same grade with me from first grade through graduation), but I've always loved stories about twins, and this one didn't fail. The story has both twins narrating it, alternating chapters back and forth. Jake and Lily are both wonderful characters, super-neat Jake, a rather sensitive boy who hates getting into trouble and protective of the "underdog," and tough Lily who's fast, quick-tempered, dramatic, a liar and cheater (as Jake would describe her). But through the book each twin grows and changes and they find a balance between life with and without each other.
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews63 followers
June 29, 2012
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 hanging out with a group of neighborhood boys, led by Lily's archnemesis Bump Stubbins. Lily's left to her own devices, but she doesn't know who she is without her brother.

Spinelli manages to write about two very different subjects in a very natural way. There's a plotline about bullying and one about developing your own life. I liked that the bullying was something insidious - not deliberate maliciousness, but going along with the crowd because it's fun. It takes Jake awhile to realize into the consequences of his behavior, but he does eventually get a clue. (And the kid his friends bully, Ernie, is priceless.) Lily's storyline takes a little while longer to get going, but the force of her emotions carries her half of the book. She's sometimes sad and often angry. Lily's a girl of action, but she just doesn't know what to do when her brother pulls away from her.

Growing older is never easy, and JAKE AND LILY is a terrific tale of two kids getting it wrong and getting it right in turns. The dual point of view is a terrific device that helps point out the difficulties Jake and Lily have in assessing their own attitude. This title will especially appeal to kids having trouble with their siblings or with a bully.
1 review
August 26, 2013
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 palm reading career.”

2. I like that there was two different perspectives from the characters, Jake and Lily. It’s interesting to see how two different people can have different opinions even though they are twins from the same family.

“We are not different” Lily said. “Yes we are” I said. “No, we are not” she said, and down came her stuffed watermelon. “See?” I said “Who else sleeps with a watermelon?”

“I said, you get in trouble. I don’t. You can’t stay still. I can. You collect train stuff. I collect stones. You hate dogs. I hate worms. You like chocolate. I like strawberry-"

“We both like pumpkin seeds,” she butted in. “Yeah,” I said, “but I don’t steal yours.”

I would recommend this to a friend because it is very funny, interesting, and it has a lot of moments where the twins think the same thing, end up in the same place, or seem to feel each other’s feelings. But even though they are twins, they can still have completely different opinions just like most family members do.
Profile Image for Hafsah Faizal.
Author 12 books7,384 followers
May 24, 2012
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 Jake. Will the twins ever be the same? Or together again?

Jerry Spinelli has done it again! In his funny new novel, Mr. Spinelli gives you a story written from both Jake and Lily’s point of view. Judging from the synopsis on the back, I immediately thought I would love Jake not Lily. As a matter of fact, I kept on thinking, come on Lily get a life, but towards the middle my feelings changed. I began to like Lily and loathe Jake. But I have to admit it was funny, and in some parts I kind of felt bad for Lily.

I’d give this book five stars, along with the cover (although it could’ve been a little bit jazzed up). This isn’t the first book I’ve read by Spinelli, and I've got to say, he’s one of my many favorite authors. I assure you, his books are really funny. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to read more from him. Be sure to pick this one up! It's already in stores :)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 624 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.