Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon


About the Book:
Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink, a subsidiary of Zondervan
Publication Date: 2013 (ARC)
Series: Doon – Book 1
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
Long before I realized this book was a re-telling of the timeless Brigadoon tale, the smoky intrigue on the outside of this book captivated me. When opportunity arose to obtain a copy and review Doon, I snapped it up and prepared to get lost in an angst-ridden romance. The young adult novel tells the story of besties, McKenna and Veronica who, upon graduation make a much-needed escape to Scotland. Kenna’s gift to Veronica is a ticket to come along and celebrate their last summer before college and internships begin. Having an aunt from Scotland who has now passed away, the girl’s use Gracie’s cottage and soon learn that Veronica’s visions of a blonde-haired guy may not merely be visions – they may be a precursor of what’s to come. When the two girls find a portal through the brig o’ doon into a mystical land of royalty – protected by a powerful enchantment, and witches, they become embroiled in a fight to save the mysterious land …and their hearts.

Bearing in mind that the premise of Brigadoon is not a favorite – though it does always stir feelings of nostalgia, this novel has that kind of addictive pleasure. The similarities are striking and quite fun – between Veronica’s fierce beauty and romanticism, and Kenna’s logical wild child complex, both girls present interesting challenges and further the story in their own unique ways; elements that help modernize the timeless musical. The most relatable part of their characteristics is their loyalty to each other; despite their vast differences, they’d created and protected a bonded friendship – one that was tested by distance, family drama and clashing (or often insecure) personalities. This is something that I appreciated about the book. It didn’t take long for this girl to be caught up in the “voices” of these heroines – though Veronica does wind up being the stronger presence of the two girls (the ending reveals why this is), both were witty and fun. Living inside their heads and world was interesting if not compelling. Unfortunately, I did wind up having some reservations about the book both in regards to its spiritualism and the content*.

Considering the majority of the concept sought adventure in the supernatural, the early lead on realism (the girl’s perspective while in reality) was what hooked me. Soon as we are transported into the land of Doon, where there was never a dull moment – from jousting events to grand balls, excitement was palpable in nearly every page. There is ample amount of teenage romance (some may even find it implausible) and adventure while the girls peel back the layers of questions surrounding the Scottish land. Pursuant to their personalities, Veronica’s romantic liaison is passionate and the girl falls hard and fast. Kenna’s is sensible and sweet, and she fights with everything in her against any feelings as she doesn’t believe in the promise of a happy-ever-after. Her prince, Duncan is a special guy who I presume we’ll get to know more in book two, something I am eager to experience. But despite all the “harmless fun” of the book, there were reservations I had. I thought the references to God were an interesting way to incorporate His protection and everlasting love, however I didn’t feel like there was “enough” told about Christianity. Instead, everything is left up in the air – is God really a presence in the story? Or is the Protector a supernatural power? Open-ending this for determination left up to readers (particularly considering this is also being promoted to a wider audience plus considering it’s a fantasy novel) to experience was more detrimental than helpful.

In the end, Doon was a novel full of cute whimsy, silly romanticism (in a mostly good way – though much emphasis is place on the physical, something I can forgive considering the age) and is a decent start to what is supposed to be a four-book series. While I may not be anxious to revisit this piece of Scottish charm, I will be curious to see where its sequel goes. Any girl who enjoys stories with fairytale qualities are in for a terrific bit of amusement just don’t except perfection.
 
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 (*What to know: there are a few uses of h*ll and some minor suggestive conversation regarding sexual relationships. A girl “teases” a guy in a half dressed state and the two of them nearly go “too far” while spending the night together – they sleep in separate rooms.)
 
Synopsis: 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. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon: TBA (book 2 of 4), with a targeted release date of summer 2014
Sincere thanks to the publisher (Blink, Zondervan) for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes
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Rissi
9 Comments

9 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I've never seen Brigadoon, but the cover with its fairytale whimsy was what attracted me. While I'm not too bothered by the open-ended spiritual aspect (as there are still three other books in which the authors can expand on this--I don't like it when it feels as though a sermon has been inserted into a book), it sounds a bit as though the book is very....teeny-bopper? I like romance, but too much of it--especially if unrealistic--drives me crazy.

    Still, if I can get my hands on it, I'll give it a shot....

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    1. I'd seen Brigadoon years ago and then recently rewatched it in correlation with reading this novel. If there is one thing the story is, it's whimsical! I always did like a good dose of that in fantasy fiction, however, since this book is modernized, there are noticeable differences.

      You are exactly right, Rebeka. With three more books, there could be a solidifying of the spiritual aspects - and the authors may be planning on that. I didn't feel like there needed to be "more" (sometimes subtle is more affective), just a better confirmation of the Protector being God. Too many times it seemed like the "protector" was just a mythical figure and that didn't really set well with me.

      I hope you do get a hold of a copy - and enjoy it! There is plenty of fun in the concept. :)

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  2. Great review! Thanks for sharing. I've been interested in this book for awhile. I honestly have not seen Brigadoon, on principle more than anything (they took money from 7 Bride for 7 Brothers to make Brigadoon, 7 Brides is an awesome movie). The concept of the book sounds fun and anything with Scotland... :-) Thanks for the insight, it's nice to know the basics of it.

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    1. Oh, I LOVE 7 Brides for 7 Brothers! AWESOME movie. :D

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    2. Kate - really, I'd not heard that connection between '7 Brides' and Brigadoon. How interesting. Good thing is - they didn't let that ruin the movie. :)

      The concept is excellent. Just wasn't always happy with the outcome. That being said, Doon was still a fun read. Hope you enjoy it, Kate!

      Rebeka - DITTO! Love that movie. :)

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  3. Brigadoon is one of my all-time favorite musicals...looking forward to my pre-order of this arriving next week!

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    1. Really!? That's awesome, Ruth! I just rewatched the movie prior to reading this and thought how the authors incorporated the classic was nice. Of course, there are plenty of modernizations but all in all, they did a great job. :)

      Will be eager for your thoughts on Doon - I hope it doesn't disappoint. :)

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  4. I sadly didn't have a clue what Brigadoon was, and didn't realize this was a retelling. I just liked the cover, to be honest. ;) I'm thinking I'll probably skip this one for now, though.

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    1. Eh, that's okay. I didn't really realize that this was a re-telling of that story initially! While I rewatched Brigadoon, I realized that though it's a lovely classic musical, I much prefer 7 Brides for 7 Brothers or Singin' in the Rain. :)

      If you ever do read Doon, hope you like it! :)

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