Historical, Young Adult

I feel wee tadpoles jumping in my spine

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Doon book

The Skinny: DOON… 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.  -From Goodreads

BFF?: We have dual narrators in Doon, Veronica and Mackenna. I liked Veronica so much more than Mackenna, but know I need to talk about them both.

Veronica – She comes from a broken home, lives with her mom and is all but kicked out of her house when her mom announces she’s getting married to her disgusting pervy boyfriend. Despite all this, though, Veronica is still pretty upbeat and unbitter, although definitely on the sadder side. My heart broke a lot for her, but I loved watching her overcome everything. I also love that she was open to the magic of Doon, believed in the stories and legends, and was optimistic about everything. Those traits are important to me in a MC.

Mackenna, on the other hand, managed to get on my nerves over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was a great character and balanced Veronica’s blind faith in the Doon legends with her own skepticism, but she was obsessed with theatre and musicals and referenced them so often I wanted to skip her chapters and move on to Veronica’s. Mackenna was also very determined to hold on to her dreams and not let anything, including a sexy Scottish prince, get in the way of achieving her goals in life. And while I think this is good in some ways, I think sometimes we hold onto dreams so hard that we forget to let life happen. I felt like Mackenna was very closed off to discovering new dreams and being able to weave them into her older dreams, which made me a little sad for her. One does not just say no to a sexy Scottish prince*! (*obviously you can say no… no means no)

Readability: There were times when I felt this was written a bit juvenile, but overall I really loved the story. At first I found myself unsure if I wanted to continue but at some point I was so hooked on this book that I just couldn’t stop reading it.

Crush Level: 7-8
I think I’ve already mentioned this, but if you didn’t catch it initially, this book contains a sexy Scottish prince. But not just one, oh no, it contains TWO sexy Scottish princes! Huzzah! We have James (Jamie… sigh) and Duncan MacCrae. I’ll be honest, they’re both kind of generic romance novel type men: Jamie is brooding with a softer, heart of gold side; Duncan is charming and fun with a serious protective side. Me, personally, I’ve always been drawn to the brooding characters, so Jamie was my kind of guy. Regardless though, how can you not fall for sexy Scottish princes, regardless of how brooding or charming they are?!

Bonus Points
Retelling

brigadoon
Doon is a retelling of Brigadoon, which I have no clue about so I have no idea if this was a good retelling or not. However, if you’re a fan of this musical, I hope you’ll let me know!

Commencement Speech: I bought this one because it was on sale for $.99 and I’d been wanting to read it. Finally decided to take the chance and give it a try! While the first bit was kind of iffy, I really got into it. However, I feel like I need to talk about why it was iffy first before I start gushing about sexy Scottish princes discussing the book. You know how sometimes you read a book that almost feels like it’s trying too hard to sound young and hip? That’s how this one felt. I didn’t really enjoy the characters’ voices, felt like it was just checking off items on the “things that make a good YA novel” checklist. I started wondering who published this… so I checked it out and it’s actually a Christian publisher who published this and the other books in the series. This almost turned me off a bit, not because it’s Christian but because my experience with Christian fiction has been mostly negative. This, however, is NOT Christian fiction and, while these things aren’t mutually exclusive, had quite a few sexier scenes in it! While I did feel this one was a bit heavy on the religious side, it wasn’t really Christian religion but Doon’s religion which was a little ambiguous. I love books that have a heavier religious presence, such as Grave Mercy or The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

I realize I just wrote a giant cluster of gobbledygook, which you can probably ignore now.

Did I mention there were sexy Scottish princes in this book? I felt like this was, at times, a little on the Outlander side (minus the sex) but overall it kind of reminded me of Ransom by Julie Garwood, which also features sexy Scottish… well, not princes but they are sexy and Scottish. Overall this book had a very good romance novel side to it while still managing to hang on to a good novel about two young women trying to figure out their dreams and futures. While I can’t say this is a book for everyone, if you’ve been curious about it I highly suggest you give it a try!

Yearbook Quote:  “Yet, if I knew her, his Edward Cullen act would hook her faster than meth.” – Mackenna talking about Veronica falling for Jamie

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