Review: Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.
Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.
I don’t write a whole lot of reviews for books that I read “just” for fun. Most of the books I read are books I’m an official reviewer or influencer for. Now, I rarely offer to review/influence for books I wouldn’t read anyway, so I think it works out pretty well ;).
But earlier this year, I bought Doon for a birthday gift for my daughter’s friend. I’d not read it, but bought it on the recommendation of my dear friend, author, and NovelSista Jessica Keller. When I saw the Doon ebook on sale for 3.99, I splurged. She’d raved about it just. that. much. And then I read it. And then I bought the hardback copy, preordered the ecopy of book 2, Destined for Doon, and, erm, the hard copy. Cuz. Yeah. That good.
The story is based on the play? musical? Brigadoon (that I don’t know which it is should tell you how much I know about it 😉 – and just how necessary knowing anything about Brigadoon is). It’s Young Adult with a bit of… Narnia-esqueness to it. There is some magic and such, but nothing I wouldn’t let my kiddos read. The romance is probably more than I’d let my now 12yo read, but far less (I presume since I’ve not read them) than something like Twilight, etc. A bit more than say, Melanie Dickerson’s YA novels. The girls are 18 so…
I’m not sure I can put my finger on what I liked so much about it, but I did. The majority of the book takes place in the fictional country of Doon. It’s a curious mix of Medieval and nearly contemporary conveniences (say within the last hundred years or so, which is way modern compared to Medieval ;)).
I absolutely loved the relationship between the two girls. I also loved all three? four? of the romantic relationships that begin in Doon. Only Veronica and Jamie get their HEA (Happily Ever After) in Doon – but there’s more books coming ;).
The bad guy took me by surprise in more ways than one (something that’s generally hard to do) as did the ultimate solution to putting an end to the bad guy’s machinations. At least in this book. I’m still not quite sure if the bad guy is truly banished. In a series, you never know!
Who do I recommend this for? I’d say girls over 14 or 15. The readers’ guides say more like 7th grade, but I’m not sure I’d want my 7th grader reading it, but I tend to be pretty protective of romanticy stuff with her (and she’s really not that interested – and doesn’t question why I paperclip certain pages together in some books where the romance isn’t the main focus). Upper end of the age range? Anyone who’s still young at heart ;).
Be sure to check out the #Dooniverse at www.doonseries.com. Did I mention said friend Jessica has already read book 2? If only I were close enough I could sneak over and read it while she’s at work… 😉 – especially since she’s already told me she liked it even more!
If you’ve read very many of my reviews, you know I rarely give scores of less than 7-7.5, but I also rarely give scores above a 9. I’m not sure I’ve ever given one above a 9.5 so…
Overall rating: 9.25 out of 10 (and I fully expect the others to go up – but since it left me hanging… ;))