Saturday, January 14, 2012

[Review] Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society by Robert Shields

Title: Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society
Author: Robert Shields
A little bio on Robert~ His day job is writing expert testimony used for cross examination before regulatory commissions.  He has self-published a few books, some of which were bestsellers on Amazon in their genre of sports and economics.  He has also been a syndicated sports writer in Arkansas for the past fourteen years.
Published: December 19th 2011 (self published)
Available at:Amazon
Rating: ★★★
Goodreads summary: 
Following years of persecution at the hands of Vivica Vance, Daphne Downing levels the playing field wielding her No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil as she belatedly enters the world of witchcraft. Daphne becomes part of the Mysterious Girls’ Secret Bathroom Society and finds out that the politics governing witchcraft are daunting and sometimes deadly. She realizes she is aligned with the Charmers in this political battle with the Spiters led by her nemesis, Vivica. Along the way, she discovers that witches do not perform magic or witchcraft but a differentiated form of physics that only some women have mastered. The story deepens as she learns about the long history of witches’ domination and annihilation of wizards.
Emma's thoughts: 
To say the least, I was intrigued by the summary. Witches? I love medieval history (regardless of whether I got good grades or not) and funnily enough, the topic for one of my most recent projects was on witchcraft! But in Daphne Downing's world, witchcraft is not about cackling laughter and brewing boiling green slime. I love the world Robert Shields created for this book! It put a nice twist to history as we know it today. I was excited to learn about the witch societies worked and the significance of each person in their society. It was obviously well planned and thought out. I despise it when the ends don't tie and I'm left wondering why something is the way it is, but not here.

This book is the ideal combination of my favourite subjects: history and physics. Call me a nerd, but those are a few of my favourite things ;D If it had a little stars and constellations (and a little extra romance), I would've dropped to my knees and worshiped this book!

But why not 5 stars? 

What I personally didn't like about this book was the formality of it. Sometimes I felt like it wasn't really a story being told, it was just someone informing me: this happened, and then that happened, so that's why this will happen. There was no feel to the book, I couldn't connect to the characters, I couldn't feel what they were feeling. Even the words they supposedly said seemed to come out stiff and formal, not like a group of thirteen year olds (a pet peeve of mine is reading stories about people younger than me. I know, I know, it's not like I'm going to read stories about sixty year olds when I'm fifty, but whenever I think back to when I was thirteen, my only thoughts are stupid stupid stupid. I know this doesn't apply to all thirteen year olds, but again, it's a personal opinion. Maybe if I read this when I was twelve, I'd like it better, but not just for the age reason. Keep reading!).

Daphne was a hard protagonist to relate to, because while we're close in age and I found some things in our lives alike, nothing about her spoke out to me. Everything felt very stiff and controlled and calculated. Kyle confused the hell out of me, but I wish I could've seen more of him. He just kinda popped in and out of the book randomly. Lyla, the best friend, she annoyed me at times. One moment, she's all 'Team Daphne! :D' and then she's all 'You owe me :(' but I never got the see the emotions of it. She went from one straight to the other with no transition except for the physical motions of losing of her book.

Also, while I loved the logic and reasoning behind the witches and all, the information was loaded onto me too hard, too fast. I had to reread some passages over and over again to make sense of it, because really, it was just too much for my slow brain to take in...! I wish it could've been explained a bit better and in less massive clumps. Small bites at a time is the way I like it.

I just want to point out, I feel like this was a middle grade read more than young adult. This is why I believe I'd like it better if I'd read this when I was twelve/thirteen, or even younger. It's not a bad book in any way, it's just not my taste at this age.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a quick, fun read with a little bit of spy action and witchery!

Rating: 3 stars~ A good read for younger teens! 

First line:
 With wand raised, Daphne paused and looked at her No. 2 lead pencil with Ticonderoga written on the side of it.
"...we threw Paige so high, I think her knockers hit her in the face."
 Marybeth Chappell just happened to be grabbing her chest when she found out that she was a witch.
PS: Thanks Robert for providing me an epub copy to review! 

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