Top positive review
Bullying, peer pressure, self discovery...and psychic twins
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2015
Growing up, I read my fair share of Jerry Spinelli books, such as "Loser", "Manic Magee", and "Stargirl". So while searching through his other works, I came across this interesting-sounding premise. While I'm an only child, the idea of twins who can practically read each other's thoughts sounded cool (and I've heard of such a thing happening in real life).
Jake and Lily are twin brother and sister. All their lives, they've done everything together, and every year on their birthday, they sleepwalk to the train station where they were born. Their bond is so strong that they even seem to share the same thoughts, and/or feel things the other is feeling, even when miles apart. But as they get older, their parents decide it's time to give them separate bed rooms...then soon after, Jake falls in with the neighborhood cool kids. Will Jake submit to peer pressure and bully the new kid in town? And can Lily adjust to a life without her brother constantly around? And will their "psychic" bond ever return to them, at a time when they seem to be drifting further apart?
This book seemed rather unique to me, in the sense that it's one of the most leisurely paced stories I've read. The chapters jump back and forth between the siblings as they tell their side of the situations they find themselves in. There's no real "villain" or anything here (the gang of bullies comes the closest, but even they're vindicated in the end); the whole thing is just a journey of self discovery, really. But that certainly doesn't mean this book is boring--far from it. On one hand, you have Jake trying to make new friends outside of his sister, and slowly realizing their antics toward the neighborhood "goober" is wrong. On the other, you have Lily, who, with the help of her "hippie" grandpa, tries to "get a life"--discovering there ARE unique qualities to herself, and that it's okay to not do everything with her twin...and that their special bond can never truly be broken. Does their "goombla" (as they call it) ever return? Well, you'll just have to read to find out. ;)
All n' all, the story takes you back to lazy summer afternoons hanging with your friends and family, while also taking the reader on a journey of the ups and downs of growing up.