Publishing Company: Blink (Zondervan)
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
4 out of 5 stars.
Life sucks. A lot. And Veronica Welling knows this all too well. After finding her boyfriend cheating on her with a fellow cheerleader, in her school’s hallway no less, she feels completely betrayed by a person she had called a really good friend; he wont be holding that title anymore!!. Yup, life sucks. But for Veronica, it has always been that way. Her dad had left her and her mother on Veronica’s birthday long ago to fend for themselves, and ever since then, life hasn’t been much fun. With her dad gone, Veronica became a constant reminder to her mother of their abandonment. No father, and now no mother to take care of her, Veronica learned to be independent early on in life. To top it all off, her mom found some nasty dead-beat to date; the creeper even has the audacity to leer at Veronica with her mother in the room. And her mom blames Veronica for his nasty stares! Yeah, Veronica is ready to get out of podunk Indiana as soon as she possibly can. If only…
After a generous invitation from her long time best friend, Mackenna, Veronica has hopped onto a plane bound for Scotland. She is looking forward to being thousands of miles away from her drama back home, but troubles are wearisome creatures that never seem to stop gnawing at you, no matter how hard to try to get away from them. A few hours after arriving in Alloway, Scotland, Veronica gets a call from back home, and it’s her mother calling to say that Veronica will have a stepfather soon. Yaaaay!!!!! The only thing keeping her from jumping off of the deep end at this point is Mackenna. Well, Mackenna and the handsome blond boy who keeps showing up. First he appeared right after Veronica ended it with her cheating boyfriend, and then the second time was after her mom had called with the news. Each time he appeared out of nowhere, and then disappeared like a ghost. But for some odd reason, Veronica can’t shake the feeling that he isn’t a ghost. And she is determined to find out just how real he is.
Mackenna worries about her friend. Veronica and her have always been close; read each others’ minds kind of close. This time is no different, and Kenna knows it. Something is wrong with her good friend and it’s not that she just broke up with her boyfriend (someone Kenna had advised against dating, by the way), or that her mother had sprung “stepdaddy” news on her. No, it’s something very different, but Mackenna can’t put her finger on it. Kenna isn’t sure she can be the strong, stable one; that’s what Veronica had always been good at, and she had always been the theatrics that had spiced up their long-time friendship. Now that Veronica is off in never-never land, their roles are reversed, and Kenna doesn’t like it. And what is with Veronica’s odd fascination with any and everything “Doon?” It’s just a fanciful Scottish legend that someone made up! But her friend, on the other hand, seems to think it’s very real, and Veronica is determined to find something Mackenna isn’t sure, no, is positive doesn’t exist.
Much to Mackenna’s dismay, Veronica’s determination to find Doon is unswerving, and it eventually leads to them actually discovering Doon. Kenna and Veronica find themselves to be in a medieval-looking land, where, nearly upon their arrival, they are taken as prisoners to the beautiful castle. The dungeon which they are thrown into, however, is not so pretty. Yeah, Doon is “awesome” in Mackenna’s opinion. But soon the girls will find out that Doon is far more magical, and dangerous, than they could have ever imagined. As the peace and safety of Doon is threatened, Kenna and Veronica soon discover that their futures are inexorably intertwined with this kingdom and the fate of its people. But can these two girls really save Doon and themselves, or are they destined to be the ruin of Doon?
Before I start my review, I just wanted to say thank you to Zondervan publishing and Gwen who generously sent me an ARC copy of “Doon” so I could review it before its release date. Thank you so much!!
“Doon” by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon was a lot of fun to read. I was really surprised by it because I have never read a book quite like this from Zondervan, but it was a very pleasant kind of surprise. Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon did a fantastic job of creating a magical and fun world that was so enjoyable to discover alongside some very entertaining characters. It was so fun to read, and the writing style as well as the creativity of the story were fantastic. “Doon” was a well thought out book, and the characters were really fun to follow.
Mackenna was my favorite. She was funny and sarcastic, but also a really good friend. I found it interesting how Carey and Lorie showed Kenna’s struggle with being stuck in Doon, a place she hadn’t believed existed; it would be really weird and hard to wrap your head around a place like that, but also kind of amazing, too. Throughout the story, Kenna was a strong person (without being overpowering), and stayed true to her character, but she also grew a lot. She was such a funny and good friend to Veronica despite being dragged into another “world” against her will. It was also interesting to watch her spiritual struggle. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t get to read from her perspective as much as Veronica’s. I wish it had been fifty-fifty because I just loved Kenna.
Veronica was a good character too, but it took me about half way through “Doon” to start to “like, like” her. I guess I felt more connected to Kenna because she had a more realistic view on the whole “magical world” thing, whereas Veronica was ready to jump ship into the unknown without any thought as to what might happen because she just wanted to see some boy she doesn’t even know. She had a pretty bad life, but still, that is kind of messed up! That aside, I thought that Carey and Loriedid a great job of showing her growth, which was of the gradual kind. She stayed true to her character but had definitely grown by the end of the book.
Last but not least, the guy characters. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really like James, Veronica’s love interest. I have seen this kind of character a few times in books, and I wasn’t a fan of his kind of character in those books either. There is no fault on the authors’ side, I just don’t go for the quiet brooding, misunderstood, cocky types. For me he was just a flat-liner who occasionally elicited enough emotion from me to be irritated with him. And his and Veronica’s relationship set off my gag reflex once in a while, so I just wasn’t a huge fan of them together.
Duncan, James’ brother, on the other hand, was adorable! He and Kenna were really cute together (*sighs*), and despite the fact that Veronica and her are in Doon for only a fortnight, I felt like their relationship was very believable. I felt like, while reading “Doon” that they had spent a lot more time together than they actually did. Duncan was funny, charming, and so enjoyable to read about, especially from Mackenna’s perspective. Duncan actually reminded me a little of Stiles (from Teen Wolf) because of how endearing he was, and Kaleb (from Hourglass and Timepiece by Myra McEntire) for multiple reasons I am still contemplating. Duncan was a surprisingly well-rounded character for how little page time he got. I cannot wait to read more about him in the next book!
Overall, “Doon” was an awesome read and I am very much looking forward to the next in this series. I really hope, though, that Mackenna is the main voice in it! That would be amazing!!! Well done Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon.