Saturday, June 1, 2013

Book Review: The School For Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)Author: Soman Chainani
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Series: The School for Good and Evil # 1

“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.

Sophie had waited all her life to be kidnapped.

“In the forest primeval
A School for Good and Evil…
Two Towers like twin heads
One for the pure,
One for the wicked.
Try to escape you’ll always fail
The only way out is
Through a fairy tale…”

“But do take care of your friend, dear. The School for Good might seem like a festoon of roses, but she’s in for a surprise. Now go to bed. The School Master will be here soon and it’ll be easier for him if you’re asleep.”

Although no story could ever take the place of Harry Potter in my heart or mind, this one sure does come close in magic, charm, and thrilling adventure. This is the story of the School for Good and Evil, in which children, around the age of Harry and his friends, are brought to the school to be picked to study either good or evil. The only way to exit either of the schools is through a fairy tale. Yep, you guessed it! This school is training people like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ursula, Captain Hook, etc. But more specifically this story follows two girls who are best friends and close companions: Sophie and Agatha. Sophie knows she is destined to become a princess, and Agatha is just determined to keep Sophie as a friend. Sophie cannot wait to be taken off to the school to study good and become a real live princess. Agatha isn’t convinced that she will be selected, but when she is it comes as quite a shock to the little girl in all black with black hair that lives in a graveyard when she is dropped off at the School of Good, and when Sophie is left at the School for Evil.

I was so confused when the girls were dropped off at opposite schools. I could picture Sophie is all pink with long blonde curls masquerading around pretending to be a princess, and Agatha just fit the mark to be placed in the School for Evil. They were both so out of place and at first I didn’t think I liked what the author had done. However, once I started to find my way around both schools with Sophie and Agatha, I began to realize and see the true colors behind each girl. This story has a wonderful message behind it, or at least what I took away from it. It would be perfect for younger kids around middle school age and higher. The school obviously made me feel a little nostalgic and I got to feel that Hogwarts charm wash over me again. I loved how the schools were connected but the students were not allowed to cross into the other without permission. Schools must have rules you know!

Agatha became my favorite character, and if you read this book you will most definitely see why. Agatha was so startled and confused when she landed in the School for Good because she didn’t see herself as beautiful, charismatic, and graceful like all the hundreds of princesses surrounding her. But as the story goes Agatha, and I alongside her, could see what made her so good. She was completely selfless and spent most of her time trying to rescue Sophie from things that might have harmed her. I loved Agatha’s character and I think she sends an inspiring message to any young reader! I am beyond excited for the next book in this series, and I absolutely cannot stress to you enough that if you loved Harry Potter you should pick up a copy of this book!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at HarperCollins in exchange for my honest review***


1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I never really paid much attention to this book before. I love the concept of it though and the world that the author created. It sounds like a really good middle-grade read.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories