The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani | Book Review #377

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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 review has been copied and pasted from my GoodReads.

In this first book to The School for Good and Evil trilogy we see that something is definitely up with both Sophie and Agatha. The School for Good and Evil, shows us that you could look like anything, and still be portrayed in the wrong way, when your character is totally different. 

The girls’ friendship has many levels. While Sophie strives to be beautiful and to be perceived as sugar-plum-fairy-nice, Agatha doesn’t really care how she is perceived. She just wants to be left alone; to not have anyone look at her and give her dirty looks.

With Agatha and Sophie being best friends, Sophie is convinced that she and Agatha will be the ones to be kidnapped that year. Sophie is also very sure that she will be going to The School of Good, and that Agatha will go to The School of Evil. But when they arrive, things aren’t going as planned. Their roles seemed to have been reversed.

Through the girls own perspectives we see how their roles are played out. With this we are shown two different perspectives and, we see our characters in different lights. We see through these two characters that you can act this way and that, but your true nature will always show in the end.

I really enjoyed The School for Good and Evil. It had me laughing, and often it had me concerned for the main characters, Sophie and Agatha. This start to a trilogy is fresh, and quite imaginative. While this story can be quite disturbing seeing how the girls are both around 12 years old, its actually quite fitting looking back on how this world is a totally different kind of fairy tale.

I would have never thought of this type of story, for these type of characters. And while both Sophie and Agatha, both fit the description for one another’s schools, this book also shows us that looks aren’t all as they’re cracked up to be. Someone can be truly beautiful and still be truly evil; and someone can look evil, and still be truly good hearted.

Throughout this book we see how when someone can act like your friend, sometimes they aren’t. But we also see true friendship bloom between Agatha and Sophie. I can totally see why Agatha and Sophie were paired up with each other. They are each others weaknesses but each other strengths. They might not have realized this, but at the end of this book, they show each other that they’ll be there for one another. No matter what.
Soman wrote this book very well and left me hanging onto every word. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. The School for Good and Evil is addicting! I can’t wait to read the second book.

My last note is that this book reminded me about the rawness of true friendship. These two girls showed me that you can start something off as enemies, and you can overcome battles together; even if you’re on opposing sides, and still come out on the other side as the closest, the truest, the most real of best friends. And I think that is really important in this day and age.

I give The School for Good and Evil, 5 stars.

The School for Good and Evil on GoodReads.

Happy Reading!
— Adele

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