Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Rating: A+, 5 Stars
What I’m Talking About:
Anyone who reads my reviews knows I am a tough grader. It is rare for me give anything higher than a B. I have exacting standards when it comes to books. I want a strong storyline, great characters and most of all I want to be brought into the story. I am the queen of show me, don’t tell me, which was why when I read Doon and found myself completely smitten with it, I was hesitant to turn in my grade. Don’t get me wrong when I turned the last page of this book I was ready to write A A A all over it, but I wanted to be certain it was because the book was, in fact, “A worthy” and not simply because it had been so long since I had read any good YA books. So I decided to let it marinate for a while, and reread it, before writing this review. After 3 months and 3 readings I can say I am no longer smitten with Doon but completely in love with it and ready and willing to have its kilt wearing, Scottish speaking babies. So if you will indulge me please allow me to gush.
From beginning to end I seriously loved, loved, loved this book. I adored the setting; a magical, almost utopian like, kingdom that only appears every 100 years, count me in, the characters; hottie princes, devoted servants & subjects with a wicked witch whose trying to destroy their world? Fabulous!, the language; before mentioned yummy princes with a Scottish brogue, yes please, the humor, insides jokes between besties, a smart maid with a wickedly dry, matter of fact, sense of humor coupled with musical and book references, perfection!, and this is just the basic overview. Seriously, what’s not to love? Kenna and Vee are fun, smart, witty, relatable characters with the kind of friendship I wish I’d had in a high school friend. Jamie and Duncan are the kind of princes Disney musical revolve around and the wicked witch would give Oz a run for their money.
The story is told from both, Kenna and Vee’s points of view, alternating between them a chapter or two at a time. I was worried this would be distracting or feel disjointed, instead I found the approach refreshing and fun, allowing me to experience the land of Doon through both sets of eyes without confusing the story telling. The changes in point of view also kept the parts of the story, that could have been heavy, upbeat and sassy without taking away from the magnitude of the moment or allowing for a woo-is-me attitude to develop, an easy thing to have happen in YA literature. As we get to the end of the book and major decisions must be made I found the girls to be insightful and mature putting other before themselves a refreshing approach in YA literature.
Ultimately I would classify Doon as a YA romance and the princes play their parts perfectly. They are swoon worthy and paired perfectly with their ladies. Duncan pursues Kenna in a way that makes her evaluate her goals in life and realize that maybe she does in fact need others and is worthy of love. Jamie, on the other hand, is just stand offish enough towards Vee that she is able to come into her own realizing she is stronger than she believes she is and had a myriad of talents and insight of offer others, an important lesson for any young lady but especially for Vee. The couples really are the perfect counterbalances to one another which allowed for just the right amount of tension and chemistry without taking the novel to an adult level, something I truly appreciate as a mom of teenage girls, one of which devoured this book faster than I did and called it “a 5 start fairytale.” Which is high praise from a girl who DETESTS fairytales and their predictability. But I think that is what makes Doon so lovely, it is a fairytale, but it isn’t predictable. It isn’t about princes coming to the rescue, at least not in the traditional sense. It is about young women standing on their own two feet, taking their destiny in hand and saving themselves and other in the process. I believe it is the fairytale Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and all the other princesses would have written if they’d had the pen in their hand rather than that other guy. I love that my 15 year old got that from this book. I love that she related to Kenna and Vee and saw their strength and their vulnerability and understood how those characteristics complemented each other. I love that she loved Doon as much as I did. And I love that there is really great YA literature out there like Doon. My only request now is that Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon hurry up and finish the next book. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to reread the enchanting, magical, wonderfully romantic Doon…. Again.
5 stars: Personal favorite – a must read (A+)
About the Book:
Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? 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.
DOON is loosely based on the premise of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the ALan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation.
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Series: Doon Series #1
Genre: Young Adult
Format(s): Hardcover (400 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author