Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Rating: 4 stars
Buy the book: Amazon
Summary: “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."

ReviewThere were things I loved and there were things I didn't. There were parts of the story where I could not put the book down, no matter that it was the middle of the night and my infant child would be up and needing to eat in a few hours. There were other parts where I was checking how many pages I had left to read until I was done with the chapter. All in all, the good beat the evil in this story (as it does in all fairy tales) and I ended up appreciating the creativity, the humor, the well-written dialogue, and the character development enough to look past the more convoluted moments in the story.  I didn't realize until I finished the novel that it was technically a middle grade novel, not YA.  Looking back, that makes sense.  I'd recommend this to fairy tale lovers who enjoy adventure and unpredictable characters, and who don't mind that this novel was written primarily for a younger age group.


  1. I enjoyed this one too but did find it a bit slow in parts. I liked all the fantasy elements though.

    1. It's a fun read, for sure. But there were a few glaring gaps that I had a hard time reconciling myself with. Still, I think the intended audience of young fairy tale lovers would enjoy it.


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