“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.” — Amazon.com — Summary of Book
I have to say that I was worried about this book because I had not heard of it before. However, my worries were ridiculous, and I am so happy that I read it. The actual reason I purchased this book is because I am receiving the second book soon for a book review, and how glad am I that I chose that particular book to read out of several? Very.
While I first I was worried this would be another cheesy romantic fairy tale of a teenager, it never once felt like that. Overall, I devoured this book and wanting to keep reading even when I was falling asleep and struggling to read just one more word.
First and foremost is the writing. It is spot on, and something I admire to live up to. The writers do one bang-up job of creating these characters and giving them their own personality (It is my belief that one must write Veronica, and one writes Mackenna). One of my favorite things about this novel is that Veronica is an avid reader (even though she’s a cheerleader/dancer), and her thoughts often reference novels. Not only that, but Mackenna is an actress, and she often thinks of musical related thoughts. There are references to Tolkien (which made me squeal in glee), to Twilight, and many pop culture things, as well as to classic literature (such as Jane Austen). It truly is great, and a wonderful addition to the writing and timeline. Furthermore, their descriptions are always dead on and I do not think overdone.
The characters are all pretty great. Though there are the teenage moments, I think it fits with the characters and is kept to a minimum. I had my moments were I wasn’t sure of Jaimy’s character but overall he is fine. The settings are wonderfully described. The legend/fantasy aspect is great.
The plot paces very well, with minor things leading up to more major points. The idea of Jaimy and Vee together is interwoven throughout the novel. Switching back and forth between Veronica and Mackenna is great because it gives you two different perspectives, although you are not reading about the same thing from each one. The story continues from where it left off, as it switches point of view, and I liked it. We get more of Veronica’s thoughts, but that is because this story is more about her. I think in the next novel, based on the heartbreaking epilogue, that more of the second novel will be told from Kenna’s point of view.
I have to give this book four stars. With a stressful start back to grad school, classes, a new internship and a new assistantship, this book was a wonderful escape into a different world. I do think that some people would probably find the pop culture references annoying, but I personally liked them because they did fit in with the novel and it was never just pulled out of the hat.
SPOILERS! Buuut… there was one major thing that bugged me. There is only given a tiny explanation – the fact that Doon is slightly modernized. The whole “we go over and have 24 hours to decide what to bring back and how to change Doon without ruining our culture” bit bothered me. As a person holding a history degree I was just kind of … dumbfounded. Okay, I will totally buy into the fact that people are called over and bring with them the ability to make pizza and sushi (except they can’t get to the ocean, ever – which I just realized. What kind of sushi are they making????). But… plumping? Okay, maybe a plumber came to Doon. Yep. Maybe. I dunno. That just gets kind of hard to wrap your head around. And they have first editions of many novels – they only come to our world every so often – how do they manage to grab the books? It was all kinda just thrown in so the authors didn’t have to worry about doing real medieval research on Scotland…. and so it would be easier for the two teens to want to move there.
And after reading a few other reviews – I do have to agree that while the characters are flawed in different ways… they are all apparently perfect and beautiful, which to the rest of the world is of course annoying.
My sister-in-law Amanda shall be reading this book starting now, so she shall have a review up very soon as well.
And I do look forward to the next one!!!!