Author: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Series: Doon #1
Hardcover, 368 pages
Publication: August 20, 2013 by Zondervan
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.
Off the bat I was struggling to get into the story, and the duo narration didn’t help one bit. Doon is narrated by best friends Veronica and MacKenna. The narration jumps between Veronica and MacKenna between chapters, and while I don’t usually have issues with multiple narrations, I couldn’t differentiate between the two girls. They sounded almost the same, and at times I had to turn back to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself who was speaking. I also found it difficult to relate and connect with our two main heroines, and later the rest of the characters. The story focuses mostly on Veronica with MacKenna as a secondary story/background. Of the two heroines, I actually found myself more interested (not much, but at least more than Veronica) in Mackenna’s narrative and story. Veronica was the type of heroine I don’t like reading about. She’s been having ‘visions’ of Prince Jamie of Doon and when she finally meets him in the flesh it was like insta-love for her. To Veronica’s surprise, Prince Jamie would give her the cold shoulder and the evil eye like she’s beneath him. What does Veronica do about it? She questions herself, what did she do wrong, and what can she do to make him notice her? She complains about Jamie’s hot-cold behavior, nice and lovey-dovey one minute and the next minute he avoids her like the plague. Yet, she turns around and does it too. All she wants is for him to notice her and when he does, she pushes him away. Honestly, I can go on and on about what I didn’t like about Veronica and Jamie’s relationship. The majority of the characters all felt one-dimensional, and I wished they all had more personality.
As for the world-building, it was nonexistent. I loved that the book takes place in Scotland and with a magical Scottish land of Doon to boot…but the details of both was sadly lacking. I don’t remember any descriptions when the girls arrived in Scotland. And then when the girls were transported to Doon, the authors described the bridge and the mountains…that’s honestly all I got for descriptions. The magical land of Doon sounded like modern day- anywhere. I mean they had indoor plumbing and pizza for goodness sakes (what they learn from people entering through Doon’s barriers for 24 hours once every 100 years)! It’s hard to see how special this place was because there wasn’t anything magical about it.
The story is told strictly as good versus evil, and nothing in between. I like my stories to have more depth to them, and Doon wasn’t one of them. The girls were just like any regular high-schooler, looking for their prince charming and to get their happily-ever after. I mean yes, MacKenna was a little bit better in wanting a career and some independence…but in the end she regrets it. *sigh*. I wanted to love Doon so much but I just couldn’t get into the story and characters. I mean look at the beautiful cover! Doesn’t it scream adventure and magic? Bottom line, Doon is a mash-up of every YA cliché you can think of, with unlikable characters (excluding Duncan) and a rather bland world. Doon actually has many great reviews on Goodreads, and while it might not be for me….it might be for you. I suggest checking out an excerpt or chapter before reading it to get a better feel for the story/writing style.