destined for doon book coverReviewed by Marisa Deshaies

Every once in a while a book comes along that grabs you heart and soul. While I admit that so far 2014 has already been an exceptional year for books, my list of favorites continues to grow. Destined for Doon, a young adult novel by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon, is a fantastical adventure through a magical Scottish land that instantly takes you away to a realm that is enchanting and believable all at once. Destined for Doon is filled with brave princes, misty landscapes, and enchanted forests, but the novel also supports its fantasy with themes of bravery, friendship, and love–a perfect mix for teenagers or just the young at heart.

Corp and Langdon clearly love their mystical land, but as Destined for Doon shows, these authors also are passionate about bringing stories to life for teenagers that give credit to the imagination and realism of their readers’ capabilities. Fiction teaches readers through characters and plots how to handle emotions and situations that otherwise seem uncontrollable or unfathomable. In particular, fantasy stories teach morals that are occasionally overlooked in the present with other-worldly scenarios because storytellers know that escapism is often the best way to teach lessons. Set between present-day Chicago and a hidden Scottish realm that only opens once every hundred years, Corp and Langdon’s novel blends modern teenagers’ choices and emotions with a setting that allows imaginations to play with their decisions.

With its focus on royal characters and a mystical setting, Destined for Doon will attract readers who dream of princes and princesses. Those who love reliving their teenage years or enjoy the myriad of emotions and choices at teenagers’ tips will be drawn to Corp and Langdon’s female protagonists. My favorite aspect to this novel was the authors’ references to Broadway, theater, and literature—subtle mentions of my musicals and novels truly made Destined for Doon even better than I expected. Aside from a few too many clichés in the prose, some dialog (internal and external) that I felt teenagers would not use in their everyday language, and minor lack of characterization, I did not find much in Destined for Doon that I did not like.

Corp and Langdon excelled at creating a young adult novel that caters to older teenagers. The young adult genre is filled with books that fit the early teenage years, which leaves few stories for older teenagers or adults who enjoy that genre. Destined for Doon is a young adult novel that is appropriate for teenagers but treats the audience as capable of reading at a higher level and handling the physical and emotional aspects of life appropriate for their ages.

This is the second novel in the Doon series. An author friend of mine introduced me to the series, and while I have not yet read the first book I am absolutely hooked to the stories. I will be asking for Doon as a Christmas present and am eagerly awaiting Corp and Langdon’s next book.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

An alumna of the University of Delaware’s English department, Marisa holds a Master’s degree in professional writing from New England College. Her dream job is to work as an editor for a publishing company. A voracious reader of all types of literature, her favorite genres include the classics, contemporary and historical fiction, Christian fiction, and women’s “chick-lit”.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.