I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Published by Harper Collins Pages: 488
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 started off really excited about reading this book. It was a lot of fun but then towards the middle it started to lag and seem like it was never going to end. I felt like there was a couple of times it could have ended and then I would see I had a lot more to read.
It’s about two girls from the same town who get chosen to enter The School of Good and Evil. Sophie who has always wanted to be a princess her entire life has been grooming herself for the day she will enter the School of Good is put in the School of Evil. Agatha who lives alone in the cemetery and has never had any friends, except Sophie gets sent to the School of Good.
Sophie just knows there has been a mistake, she should have been in the School of Good with her blonde hair and her practiced smile. She has done everything she thought she should to be Good. She wants her Prince and will stop at nothing to get him. Agatha doesn’t know anything about being a princess and feels more at home in Evil, but she doesn’t want to be Good or Evil she just wants to go home.
Normally your fairy tale doesn’t start until you are out of school and in the woods but the tale between these two friends starts early and in their first year of school. They soon learn that to survive they are going to have to accept what has been chosen for them and rid it out to see what happens.
I really liked the story line and the underlining them of what really makes a person good or evil. Agatha was my favorite character and she was shy and a little timid. She liked staying on her own, she has dark hair and to everyone in Good school she looks evil. She doesn’t fit in with the pretty princesses. It’s not that she isn’t pretty but she doesn’t see herself as pretty, but she is always trying to do what is right. When she learns things about the schools she really tries to get Sophie and her out, but it doesn’t work. Even when her friend is being bad she still tries to help her which proves she should be in Good school.
Dot is another one of my favorite characters, she is from Evil school. She befriends Sophie right off the bat even when Sophie is mean to her. She knows that Sophie doesn’t look evil with her blonde hair but tries to bring her into the fold. Dot though in evil school you could tell has a little good in her and at times I really felt sorry for her.
Sophie was your classic evil character. Good on the outside evil on the inside. Everything she thought she was doing to be good was always rather selfish and only done to better herself. She was my least favorite character but she gave me a few laughs. All the time she was trying to prove she was good I kept thinking to myself..man you are pure evil..lol.
I enjoyed the ending and even though I am curious to see what happens it didn’t really leave it with a huge cliffhanger so I am glad of that. I checked my shelf and see that the next book is just about as long..ugh..as this one.
As I mentioned earlier I started out thinking this was going to be probably a good four star read for me but then it just started to lag and drag. The book is almost 500 pages and I think could have easily had about 75 pages shaved or more and still be a good read. I actually had to put it down and read something else because I just couldn’t read anymore. It has nothing to do with the story not being good either because I really loved the story. I also want to read the next book in the series, but I just wish it wouldn’t have been so long. Now some of you who love long reads are going to probably have no problems with it, I just don’t like long reads much.
Overall I thought it was good and if you have a middle grade child who loves to read then they might enjoy this even though it’s a bit long. Any of the young children I know don’t have staying power for this long of a book. I do think that older children would find it appealing as well especially if they like fantasy and fairy tales.
It’s also being made into a movie and I really think it would make a great movie as long as it’s done right. I always cringe when a book is made into a movie cause they never do it right, but I always watch them.