by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Plot Summary: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.
DOON is loosely based on the premise of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the Alan Jay Lerner Estate and the Frederick Loewe Foundation.
Review:The cover and the idea of a magical Scottish village made this book an easy sell for me! I've also seen and enjoyed the musical film version of Brigadoon so I was intrigued by a YA story that uses the premise of a village that only appears in our world every 100 years. This was definitely a fun story with two lovely romances between two different but equally swoon-worthy Scottish Princes.
The story has two narrators - best friends Veronica and Mackenna - and both characters have distinct personalities and appearances, but I often felt that switching between their points of view (which was not consistently every other chapter) slowed me down reading-wise as even though I saw who was talking through the chapter title, I had to mentally take that in and sometimes I got a little mixed up. Since this book is a series, I wish they had decided to make the first book the POV of one character and the second could be for the other. I think Veronica is the main focus of this book so that might have worked well. But reading the thoughts of both friends was very nice because they don't seem to see themselves very clearly (for instance both girls think they are unattractive and awkward when everyone in the world thinks otherwise) and it was good to get a better perspective on them. Even if it was silly that they didn't realize how beautiful they are by looking in a mirror.
The boy leads - Jaime and Duncan - made two different romances - one romance where the two are plagued with doubts, and the other with understanding and friendly Duncan. It was actually really nice to have Duncan and Mackenna's easier (not too easy though) friendship and attraction when faced with Jaime and Veronica's more tempestuous one which had secrets and suspicions, but also their magical connection that is supposed to make them soulmates. There's not much development to the romance because of this - they feel very strongly for each other right away, but it didn't bother me much. I was frustrated by how their relationship kept getting complicated though. In the middle of the book, the story really focuses on the romance, and when they kept not seeing what was obvious, I just wanted to slap them. Why can't they see what's obvious!
This book was really fun though - it had a great resolution (with last minute cliffhanger!) and some great characters. It did feel a little bloated with romantic tension and it might have been better if the story was a little shorter. I also have to mention that there are numerous references to musicals and I absolutely loved that!