Series: Doon # 1
Published by Zondervan on August 20, 2013
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.
- “‘Verranica, I’ve verra few choices that are mine. But this’ – he grabbed my arm, his eyes drilling into mine as he crushed my body against his – ‘is still one of them!'”
- “I lifted my eyes to his and felt dizzy, like gazing into an endless midnight sky sprinkled with stars.”
- “‘I’m not myself around you, Verranica. When you look at me with those captivating sea-green eyes, I canna even think straight.'”
The story starts off with Veronica witnessing her boyfriend groping another girl. When your boyfriend betrays you, you have several options. You can dive into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Phish Food, obviously), you can sit down with some Kleenex and a weepy romantic movie, or you can take off to Scotland to visit your best friend. If you guess option C, give yourself a pat on the back.
A not-very-interesting story involving magical rings and a mysterious bridge lands Veronica and her best friend, Mackenna in the fantasy world of Doon. They are promptly captured and accused of being witches. Jamie, the prince of Doon, also happens to be the hot guy Veronica had been spotting around town, back in the real world. He doesn’t appear to recognize Veronica, however.
If you like romances that begin with bickering and glares barely disguising the insta-love blossoming underneath, you may have a better time with Jamie and Veronica than I did. Before long, nearly all of Jamie’s interactions were marked with that domineering, threatening, supposed-to-be-sexy manner often found in NA. Jamie “barks” at Veronica, and he grabs her. Even when Jamie acts like a jerk, Veronica grovels for his attention. I know some readers like this, but I’m not a fan. It completely took me by surprise, because this kind of romance can usually be identified by the cover and the synopsis, but that was not the case with Doon. If I’d known the romance was going to go down this path, I would not have read it.
The story is told from the dual POV’s of Veronica and Kenna, but the focus is primarily on Veronica. This is unfortunate, because Kenna was slightly more appealing, and her romance with Duncan, Jamie’s brother, was quite a bit more appealing, relatively speaking. The use of the dual POV didn’t work very well here, because it was often difficult to tell who was narrating. The only memorable characteristics either girl possesses are jealousy, neediness, and insecurity. They do have a strong and supportive friendship with each other, so…there’s that, even though most of their discussions involve plotting ways to get these guys to pay attention to them.
Unlikable characters, an unappealing romance, and a silly fantasy doomed Doon for me.
Review posted at Goodreads.