August 13, 2013 11 Comments

‘DOON,’ BY CAREY CORP AND LORIE LANGDON. Review of the 2013 novel, book one in the YA fantasy series. All text © Rissi JC

Long before I realized this book re-tells the timeless Brigadoon tale, the smoky intrigue of the cover art 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.

STORY: The young adult novel tells the story of besties, McKenna and Veronica. Following graduation, they make an escape to Scotland to celebrate before college begins. The girl’s use a cottage once owned by an aunt, and soon learn that Veronica’s visions of a blonde-haired guy may not be just visions. When the two girls find a portal through the brig o’ doon into a mystical land of royalty, which is protected by a powerful enchantment, they become embroiled in a fight to save the mysterious land …and their hearts.

Doon, by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Bearing in mind that the premise of Brigadoon is not a favorite, this novel has that kind of addictive pleasure. The similarities are striking and quite fun. Both girls present interesting challenges in their different personalities; Veronica’s fierce beauty and romanticism, and Kenna’s logical wild child complex. The most relatable part of them is their loyalty to each other; despite their vast differences, they’d create and protect a bonded friendship. This is something that I appreciate about the book. The book does switch off, though Veronica does wind up being the stronger presence (the ending reveals why this is). Living inside their heads and world is interesting if not compelling. Unfortunately, I did wind up having some reservations about the book both in regards to its spiritualism and the content.

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Considering the majority of the concept seeks supernatural adventure, the early realistic lead is what hooks me. Soon as we transport to the land of Doon, there’s excitement on nearly every page. There’s lots of teenage romance (some may even find it implausible). Pursuant to their personalities; Veronica’s romantic liaison is passionate and Kenna’s is sensible and sweet. One of my reservations is the references to God. It’s an interesting way to incorporate His protection and everlasting love, however I didn’t feel like there’s “enough” Christianity. Instead, everything is left up in the air – is God really a presence in the story? Or is the Protector a supernatural power?

In the end, Doon is 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). While I may not be anxious to revisit this piece of Scottish charm, I will be curious to see where its sequel goes. Anyone who enjoys stories with fairytale qualities are in for a terrific bit of amusement just don’t except perfection. 

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

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
Shop the Book: Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

CONTENT: 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.

Sincere thanks to the publisher (Blink, Zondervan) for providing a complimentary ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Rebeka B. August 14, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    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….

    • Rissi August 14, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      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. :)

  • Kate August 14, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    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.

    • Rebeka B. August 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

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

    • Rissi August 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      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. :)

  • Ruth A. August 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

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

    • Rissi August 15, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      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. :)

  • Bluerose August 16, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    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.

    • Rissi August 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      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! :)

  • […] novel is quite good as well as preferring the writing over Dickerson’s writing. Anyone who read Doon this summer will recognize similarities, and from all I read, you can also liken this to Lisa […]

  • […] bygone eras. This co-authored Destined for Doon is the sequel to last summer’s inventive novel Doon and it continues the adventures of McKenna Reid and her best friend, […]

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