Book Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil
The School for Good and Evil #1
Author: Soman Chainani
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fairy Tales
Released: May 14th 2013
Review Source: HarperCollins

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…?

This is a alternative take to the fairy tales and the whole idea about princesses and their villain nemesis’s. There have been two children disappearing over the course of history, and only seem to turn up in fairy tales. Sophia know’s whats up, and is ready to become the princess she has always felt she deserved to be, and has befriended Agatha. Who’s outcast demeanor casts her as the obvious choice to be the witch to Sophia’s princess.

The story itself is entertaining, watching the School for Good and Evil, following their classes and seeing how vastly different the schools are to each other. While it is marketed towards middle Grade readers, a good story is a good story, despite the offered reading level. I enjoyed reading the book, already bought books two and three.

It’s no real surprise that Sophia is dropped into the School for Evil, where as Agatha is placed into the School for Good. Although at first it’s highly entertaining, it makes sense with their deepest truest nature. Enjoy!

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