Review: Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

August 5, 2013 2 - 2.5 Stars, Bad Romance, Carey Corp, Disappointing, Dual POV, Fantasy, Lorie Langdon, Melodrama, Reviews 13 ★★

Doon by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon
Series: Doon # 1
Published by Zondervan on August 20, 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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.
I feel deceived by Doon.  I was captivated by the gorgeous cover and the synopsis, but it soon became apparent that this story is little more than a cheesy NA-ish romance wrapped up in a pretty package.  Even if you enjoy NA, you might find yourself cringing over some of this writing:
  • “‘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.


13 Responses to “Review: Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon”

  1. Kristen Williams

    Oh no! I will skip this one for sure. I am so sad it wasn’t good. And honestly, the traveling to a different land and meeting a guy named Jamie? Isn’t that a bit familiar to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon? I am so, so sad that this one did not live up to that amazing cover. I had very high hopes. Thank you for the honest review Stephanie

    My Friends Are Fiction

    • Stephanie K

      I haven’t read Outlander yet, but I want to. Are you saying you didn’t like it???

      There were some funny anachronisms. (Someone let me know if I’m using the word incorrectly, since I’m referring to a different place, not time.) Every now and then, the girls would make an “American-ish” comment, and the Doon folks would say, “Huh?” But just as often, the differences were ignored. For instance, one Doon resident – quoting loosely here: “twirled his finger near his head in the universal signal of crazy.” Ummm, I’m not so sure of that.

      But, the common names, languages, customs, etc. could be explained by the fact that periodically, the doorway to Doon opens up for us regular folks to traipse through. So, that could be a stretch of an explanation for some of the influence, but certainly not all.

    • Stephanie K

      I think that would be the least of your problems. Other than the language and an occasional reference to kilts, there wasn’t a lot that screamed Highla.nd

    • Anna

      Now I’m glad NetGalley didn’t approve me…LOL That turn towards domineering NA surprises me, especially given that it was published by the Zonder-kidz imprint of Zondervan and it earmarked under Children’s Fiction on Netgalley! And Zondervan generally is more clean, moralistic, semi-Christian type books as well. I think you shocked me so bad I’ll never be led astray by a pretty cover again! LOL

  2. malvoliosStockings

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could know going into a book what kind of romance we are going to find? I pass up on so many books all the time that i think will be too cheesy. But really, theres no actual way to know unless you read it. I always wonder if I’ve made a mistake. I wish there was a website that offered this service. Which books to read if you’re a romance junkie, which books to read if you like sexy, which books to read if you like stereotypical romance. A listing of who should and should not read “blank” book basically. Ahhh, that would be so nice. Btw, I’m with you on the dislike of jerk like men who don’t respect women.

    Anyways, sorry that this book didn’t work out. Why is it so much more awful when a pretty cover disappoints than an average one? Thanks for letting us know this one should be passed.

    • Stephanie K

      That would be a service I would absolutely use! I was willing to excuse the first ten instances of glaring, glowering, and grabbing in this book, but enough’s enough. When I think back on it, aside from the constant description of Jamie’s unbelievable hotness, I can’t think of a single positive trait.

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