Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Review for Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society by Robert Shields

Posted by Guest Reviewer Melanie
Published Date: December 19th, 2011
Finished Date: February 9th, 2012
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle
Pages: Unknown

The Blurb from Goodreads: 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.

The Review: In this book we have Daphne – 14 years old, best friend of Lyla and older sister to Amanda. After years of being bullied by her nemesis, Vivica Vance –which was started by a particularly bad princess underwear exposure ordeal – things come to a head and she is thrust into the world of witchcraft. It seems like she is the only one in the dark about it, everyone seems to be a witch. So that’s what Daphne sets out to do. . . . She wants to fight fire with fire. Their feud reaches a head when Vi takes something that doesn’t belong to her and it is brought to the attention of their superiors who make them set up their own society, governed by themselves and most likely to be headed by her nemesis who will then have a power over Daphne like never before. As she tries to fit into her new role she discovers some unsavoury things about the people she is aligned with and the attention of some good and not so good people.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. I know this is going to sound sexist but I usually don’t do well reading books by male authors in this genre, especially when their main character is female and if there is romance involved so this was a pleasant surprise. It was fun and most definitely mysterious. The main character Daphne has all the traits that I love, she’s sassy, determined, funny & not afraid to stand up for what she believes in – no matter the cost. We see her go through quite a bit and just like any 14 year old we see her get depressed, cry, frustrated, crush on boys, come up with insane plans but basically she just deals. With the support of her friends and her super brainy sister Amanda she starts to blossom and I’m expecting greatness from her in future books. The plot was good, mixing school drama with witch drama, then we have home life drama, boy drama, dubious mothers’ death drama and even more mysterious witches society drama – it never stops and not once did I feel  bored with it, in fact it left me wanting more because it was a rather short read. I did get slightly lost with all the quorum, meeting stuff and didn’t think it needed the formalities, I get that by putting it out there in books that readers will come to understand it and become familiar with it but it was kind of hard to follow- I think the physics explanations were easier to grasp. I did love how when more complex words were spoken in conversation that they would stop to define the word or ask what it meant, great way to get some learning into the book especially for younger readers, I even appreciated it. Never the less, this was a great first in what I hope is a series, it was good fun, plenty of things going on, a sweet little crush, plenty of witchcraft and great characters that have so much more to give and lots of potential as a series that anyone would enjoy. 3.5 out of 5.


Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

I'm usually wary of reading books by male authors when their protagonist is female (and there is romance involved) too. I think maybe because I assume they won't be able to write what I am used to - which is unfair of me as some are really great! :) Still, it happens, so I can understand why you mentioned that.

Anyway, this book sounds like something I might really enjoy! I love anything to do with witches and it sounds like you liked most of it. :) Great review!

From the Bench said...

I greatly appreciate the review. This web site does a wonderful job reviewing books.

I completely understand the trepidation of reading a male author writing about female characters. With that said, some of my favorite books when growing up were Rumble Fish, Tex, the Outsiders etc... by SE Hinton. It was not until later in life that I realized it was a woman writing the books and S stood for Susan. If I would have known at the time, it was Susan Hinton then I may have never read those books and enjoyed them. Someone being of the opposite sex should not preclude them from writing about the opposite sex. It can be done.

I appreciate everyone reading my book. I love the comments.


Unknown said...

You are very right Robert and I am trying to make an effort on that part. I havn't read a book by a male author in over a year but decided to take a chance on yours because i liked the idea and the synopsis and i'm really glad i did :) I'm a huge Stephen King fan and most of the horror writers I read are male so I'm not all bad, I just read a couple of of not so good PNR books by men and it put me off. Thanks for restoring a little of my faith in the male author of this genre though. Any news of a sequel you want to share ? :)

From the Bench said...

Thanks for asking about the sequel. I hope to have it out in the next six months.

I greatly appreciate your interest.

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