Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Sometimes our hearts see things our eyes can’t.

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

How I Found This Book

This was V’s pick for our Postal Book Club that I do with a group of friends.

Overall Feeling

Love, love, loved it! I just cannot get over how much I enjoyed this book. Such a great story about two different kids and their experiences. I really felt like Gephart did an excellent job of building her characters, and letting you really understand who they are. I really enjoyed the smaller side storylines as well, include about the tree and Dare, Lily’s best friend.


The story was a little slow in some parts. There were times where I just wanted to skip ahead because I wasn’t sure if I needed all the detail. I think that has to do with doing both of their views. Now, that was detrimental to really understanding the characters, but of course that means that you see the same event twice. I really struggle with books set up like this, but I’m glad I stuck with this one.


Amazing diversity and an amazing story about a trans* young girl and her journey. I loved Lily and her descriptions of how she was feeling with a supportive mother and an unsupportive father. I’m also glad they discuss hormone blockers and therapy and real trans* experiences. I also really enjoyed Dunkin’s talks about his meds and how sometimes he feels they slow him down and make him groggy. Also, I loved Lily’s best friend Dare. Her entire story line was great but especially just how much she pushed Lily to go outside her comfort zone. And how supportive she was of Lily doing that on her own timeline.

Diversity? (Possible Spoilers)

Trans* main character. Main character dealing with mental health issues.

Trigger Warnings (Possible Spoilers)

Trans*phobia throughout. Mis-gendering throughout. Discussion of bipolar disorder without medications.



Robin spends most of his time running a certified rape crisis center. In his off hours he uses reading as a way to recharge and re-energize.

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