The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Also by this author: A World Without Princes, The Last Ever After
Series: School for Good and Evil #1
Also in this series: A World Without Princes
Genres: Children's Books
Read in: August 2015
Add to: Goodreads
The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.
This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.
But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?
The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.
I’m always a little afraid to start middle grade books because I always think that I’ll be too old to connect with 10-12 year old characters. However, I felt this book was perfect for anyone because it addresses things that we all need to be reminded of in life as well as a darn good story.
When the story started I realized that I might struggle with this book a little because I really didn’t like Sophie she was a bit too weird and full of drama for my liking but I kept reading because I wanted to see where the story went. Plus I did really like Agatha’s character. I have to say what drew me in more than the characters at first was the amount of thought put into this story line. I really loved the thought of a school where good and evil are separate and have to learn to battle against one another for the fairytales that they would one day be a part of. This concept was so unique and amazing I instantly loved the thought behind this world. I also loved all of the darker elements that the author wasn’t afraid to include in this book.
Over time I really started to connect with the characters again because they started to develop into people that you cared about and you wanted to see how their story was going to end. I really connected with Agatha because I saw part of myself in her. She was a person who preferred to be alone and develop her own thoughts and feelings on things. Plus when she was surrounded by a bunch of girls whose only thoughts revolved around gaining a prince she stood out. She wanted more than just a prince, she wanted freedom and her own thoughts. She certainly was a deep character and I enjoyed her struggles in this book. I still didn’t love Sophie a whole lot during this book but I kind of feel like that was the point. I did enjoy watching her struggle through this world as well though because what is a story about a princess without the witch!
Overall, I don’t want to say too much about this book because all the twists in the storyline are just too amazing to tell you any of them. All I can say is you really need to go out and read this book for yourself because the author manages to share with you a story of growing up, a twisted fairytale, and the idea of what happens when the lines between good and evil are not as clear as they seem.