By: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Genre: YA Retelling
Personal Age Rating: 13+
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
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 an entertaining and easy read that contains some fantasy and contemporary elements as two best friends venture into a magical Scottish world. It is loosely based off the musical, Brigadoon, told with a YA twist. Although I enjoyed Doon, I can’t say I loved it. There were too many elements to the story that felt forced or that seemed to be lacking. I often found myself rolling my eyes at the characters because of how oblivious they were to really obvious things. The characters were all very unique in the context of the story, but very stereotypical as far as YA characters go. This was easy enough for me to get over once I got into the story, but I know that is a turn-off for a lot readers. The plot is fun and I was never bored while reading, and the book delivered some really great messages on morality, hope, and embracing your destiny that I truly did enjoy. If you are contemplating reading this book, do know that the story revolves around the relationships and that there is not much action in this book, as well as that the book feels more like a MG/YA mashup than true YA. I did enjoy this book and am invested enough in the characters that I will most likely will be picking up the sequel, Destined for Doon. If this premise sounds interesting to you, click below to read some of my in-depth thoughts on the characters and the plot!
Overall, the setting of the book was cleverly thought out and really fun to read about. I loved the Scottish fantasy world of Doon and wish we could have explored more of it in this book. The one thing that bothered me about the setting was the mix of modern/old-fashioned. I know the book explained that at each Centennial, people went over the bridge to look for modern things to bring back to Doon to better the lives of its citizens, but honestly I feel like it watered down the magic and authenticity of the land of Doon. The modern things didn’t really add to the story anyway, so I found myself often questioning the purpose of including them in the story
The plot of Doon was solid enough to carry the story, but I can’t really see the direction the next book will take. For the most part, everything was resolved by the end of this book. The story didn’t contain much by the way of plot twists or complications, so I am curious to see how things will play out in the next book.
Doon is very much a character driven story, so I think it’s important to discuss each of the four main characters:
Duncan: Duncan is the prince of Doon and is definitely my favorite character from this book. He has a great personality, is interesting, and has a lot of room for character development. I am hoping to see some character development in the next book because he is wonderful and has great potential as a character.
Jamie: I’m sorry, but Jamie is just annoying. I have never read a character who can go through so many emotions in a blink of an eye (except maybe America singer, but we’ll save that for another day). Maybe I’m just not a big fan of indecisive characters, but I just wanted Jamie to make up his mind and articulate his emotions in this book! I never believed anything he said because I knew he would just have a temper tantrum or change his mind the next minute. I hope he matures in the next book with circumstances the way they are (not saying what they are for the sake of spoiler free).
Veronica: I liked Veronica, but found her equally annoying to Jamie at times. I admired her courage and her ability to stand up for herself and her beliefs by the end of the story. She was sometimes SO annoying, though, for the sole reason of being oblivious to things that were right in front of her, and things that people told her were right in front of her. Overall, I did enjoy her character and hope she develops more in the next book.
Mackenna: I don’t have much to say about Mackenna because we didn’t get to see as much of her in this book. Assuming from the way things ended, we will see more of her POV in the next book. I liked her spunky personality and her persistence to follow her dreams. I can definitely see where things will go with her character.
The one thing I love that is unique about this book is the fact it is told from the POV of Mackenna and Veronica, two best friends. They have a great friendship and really care for each other, which is always great to see. Strong female friendships in books are difficult to find and often not as well executed as this one. Kudos to the authors for this wonderful and unique aspect to their book!
In closing, it may seem as if I disliked this book, but I really didn’t! I was entertained and definitely invested in the story and the characters as I was reading. Doon just has such a wonderful premise and such great potential that some of the little things that bothered me took away from how much I wanted to enjoy the book. I would say Doon is definitely one of those books that if it is your thing, you will LOVE it, so if it sounds interesting to you be sure to pick it up!