Thursday, 10 December 2015

Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon: Book Review



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.

SPOILER FREE REVIEW
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I first heard about this series through Sasha Alsberg who is also a Booktuber on YouTube as "abookutopia" for any of you that haven't read my previous posts - clearly I've mentioned her a few times before. She is literally obsessed with this series and is basically the reason she absolutely LOVES Scotland (aside from Outlander of course). Picking up Doon for the first time, I had a vague idea about what it was all about and the fact that, according to Sasha, it's quite similar to Outlander. In my own words it's like a teen version of Diana Gabaldon's highly acclaimed book series that has been made into a TV show. One of the major reasons it's quite similar to Outlander, despite the fact that they're both set in Scotland in a very similar setting, is that one of the princes that Veronica meets in the book is called Jamie. So practically since I have been totally hypnotised by everything Sasha has said and talked about with Outlander, for some strange reason I started to imagine the Jamie from the tv series as the Jamie McCrae in Doon. Fun stuff, don't you think? This is basically how I got hooked almost immediately.

Doon is about two best friends, Veronica and MacKenna, who decide to take a holiday trip to Scotland for two weeks to get away from the hassles of life and stay at MacKenna's aunty's house who passed away when she was just a young girl. Veronica mentions that after her break up, she starts seeing visions of a Scottish dude in a kilt that keeps calling out to her which at this time, MacKenna tries to shove the idea off as a post-break-up symptom and it's probably nothing out of the ordinary. The girls go for drinks with a new friend and end up hearing about the long-lost story about Doon. The next day cleaning out the attic, they find Mackenna's aunt's rings and journal which state that everything about Doon is true because she had spent the majority of her life there. Veronica believes it straight away but MacKenna is sceptical. She ends up chasing down Veronica who has run off to the Brig' o' Doon which her aunt Gracie describes in her journal and they find themselves both travelling through a magical misty portal to Doon in a matter of seconds. The story weaves through with them being accused of witchery, falling for the princes, Jamie (the guy Veronica was seeing in her visions) and Duncan McCrae - who of which have had to grieve their father who succumbed to sickness, making new friends and discovering that Doon was in more danger than they had ever thought possible. Veronica and MacKenna realise that they were meant to come to Doon in order to help it through it's crisis and save it before it's too late. Unfortunately MacKenna isn't as prone to believing in destiny as Veronica is.

Things I LOVE about Doon:

* The fact that it is set in Scotland! In terms of my own bloodlines, I am partially Maori and Scottish with a few other things but this book being set in Scotland made me so much more interested in the country that I really want to visit. Also because I am meant to have some sort of royalty through my family and my grandmother on my Dad's side was apparently meant to be eighteenth in line for the throne of some sort (I'm going to do a video elaborating on this so keep posted and subscribed to my YouTube channel if you would like to see that). I love feeling like I can submerse myself in a storybook world where this could have been my reality if my family had of stayed in Scotland. It makes the idea so magical and beautiful. Plus it's based in a castle in a country setting so it's pretty awesome considering.

* Veronica and Jamie are literally the most realistic and cutest almost-couple! When Veronica starts seeing Jamie as a vision and then realises that he was an actual person in Doon makes it so much more interesting and hooking to me because it was like it was destiny for them to meet (Spoiler alert but not really: It was destiny). When they start to interact it's not so much an instant connection for them or so they think. The realism in this grabbed me instantly and I was feeling more and more frustrated for Veronica but I like that when a book makes me feel like the character does. That's basically the point of a book, right?

* The "calling" is the most romantic thing and I wish that happened in real life! Basically a "calling" is when a person from the real world and a person from Doon starts having visions either in their dreams or in the day, it means that they're destined to be together and that the Protector of Doon is willing it to happen. The fact that it doesn't happen to MacKenna makes her feel real bummed out and is basically more reason for her to feel like she doesn't have to stay so she can get back to her studies at her dream college and become an actress. Personally MacKenna annoyed me a bit with this but there are different types of people with different wants and needs. Plus you can't expect every character to be like Veronica. There's gotta be someone who ruins the fun.

Overall I have given this book a five out of five stars because it is the type of book I would want to forget and then read with a fresh start to enjoy the way it made me feel all over again. Who wouldn't wish that to be honest? Something like The Winner's Curse and Swoon annoyed me and I probably wouldn't want to relive that again. This book I would want to jump right into now if I could and live there forever. Thanks to Sasha again for introducing me to such a wonderful book and reintroduced me to my own roots. I might one day find my destiny in Scotland just as Veronica did.

Go add Doon to your Goodreads list HERE


Go buy it on MightyApe with 1 day delivery in New Zealand HERE

Buy it on Book Depository with free shipping world wide HERE