April 13, 2011

Twin Connection • Juno & Juliet

Juno & Juliet  book cover
Juno & Juliet by Julian Gough
Publisher: Nan A. Talese/Knopf
Publication Date: July 17, 2001
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Juno and Juliet Taylor are twin sisters heading off together to the University of County Galway.  It's the Irish girls' first time away from home, and they're looking forward to exploring much more than the library, learning much more than what the books will teach them.  Juliet, our narrator, is both adoring and envious of her identical twin, whom she considers the more beautiful, not to mention more clever and more charming, sister.  When the college boys - and a certain handsome grad student - begin dropping at Juno's feet (as usual, her sister assures us), Juliet becomes determined not to be outdone.

And so Juno and Juliet begin a hilariously raucous and dramatic semester, full of well-versed suitors and lively literary seminars.  But soon their competitive amorous and academic pursuits lead them beyond innocent flirtations, and life becomes extravagantly complicated - perhaps too much so for the irrespressible Taylor twins to handle on their own.

I picked up Juno & Juliet because it was about twins (and I do love twins!). And also because it's set in Ireland, which is a country that I want to visit someday. And, in its own way, I guess it was sort of interesting. But it wasn't, unfortunately, enough to hold my attention, as I kept stopping in the middle of reading it to read a different book.

I love Juliet, who is our main character. The book allows us to get into Juliet's head a bit more than Juno's (her twin), so we see mostly her side or version of the events in the book. I like that she was smart and imaginative. Plus, I could totally relate to the fact that she lived in her sister's shadow for the most part (even if I'm not a twin and I'm technically the eldest daughter in my family).

I also enjoyed reading about David, for the simple reason that he seems to be such an inspiring person. He reminds me (in some ways - hello, not in terms of his relationship with Juliet) of some of my teachers from the years past, since he always makes an effort to be relatable, kind and real to his students. He's actually my favorite character in the book, even more than Juliet.

Julian Gough employs such great imagery in Juno & Juliet though, so I had to give it an extra star just for that. (For example, "My thoughts were a babble to myself. Word and number were blurred, chopped into fragments so small they failed to form units of meaning, so charged they repulsed other fragments or snapped tight to them with no regard for meaning or truth, or with no regard for regard or regard for with or or. Thoughts spiralled out and broke apart or spiralled in tighter and tighter and vanished.")


  1. I am heartbroken that this didn't turn out as good as you thought! I LOVE stories about sisters (well because I am obviously the sister to many siblings lol) and it is so fun to see how different authors portray sisters. This one just sounds so good by the description. I love Ireland, I love a little sibling competition, and I love beautiful writing. Great, honest review! I think I might one day check it out just to see but who knows!

    1. See, I absolutely LOVE books about sibling relationships. I do. That's one of the big reasons I picked this one up! Unfortunately, I just couldn't personally connect with it.

  2. I love the quote and I am really intrigued by the cover.

    It's sad that you didn't enjoy it.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile


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