'At the time, I didn't believe in love. Juno believed in love. Believing in it didn't protect her. Not believing in it didn't protect me. It was an interesting year. This is the story of it.'
Galway. It's a long way from Tipperary, if you're eighteen, blonde and one of a pair of twins eager to learn about everything that life, especially college life in Galway, has to offer.
So, when Juno and Juliet Taylor start their first year at university together, disappointment reaches up and tugs them down as all around they encounter a failure of enthusiasm. Yet, soon, they're inching their way back up again - there's the drunken antics of the theatre; there's cute, sly, kind Michael; and there's the pure passion, pure helium inspiration of the most wonderful of teachers, David Hennessey.
And then again, there's also the stalker, with his poison-pen letters; there's trips home and trips into inner space; there's unrequited and misconsummated love; and there's an easy death. There's almost too much of everything, too much for these twins to handle. But then perhaps the incomparable Mr Hennessey can help bear the load?
'Juno & Juliet' is a happy book, and if that isn't rare enough in itself, it's also a very funny one. Combining the two is so rare a skill that it should guarantee that Julian Gough - whose very first book this is - gives his readers pleasures like those here for years to come.