Review: The School for Good and Evil

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…?

Sophie and Agatha are two very different girls. Sophie is beautiful and dreams of one day marrying a prince, while Agatha hides under dark clothing and hideous looks and keeps to herself. To their village, they are the perfect candidates for the next kidnapping for students of The School for Good and Evil. Only when the girls get there, Sophie is sent to the Evil side and Agatha is sent to the Good side. A mix-up, they’re sure. Or maybe they’ll discover who they really are in the towers of the school.

This book mixes fairy tales with a Harry Potter-like setting, which is what initially grabbed me from the start. While neither Sophie or Agatha have any relation to the classic fairy tales we know, they are mentioned by other characters, and the girls soon find out that their story is already being written… which is unheard of for students, let alone first years.

The girls are complete opposites in personality as well as looks. Right away you can tell that Sophie is shallow, only doing good around her home village for the looks of doing good. She had hopes of being kidnapped for the Good School, but was shocked beyond belief when she was dropped into the Evil School. She soon becomes obsessed with trying to prove that she is Good, not Evil, but her efforts backfire and prove just the opposite to her classmates. In all honestly, Sophie is kind of arrogant and I’ll admit that I didn’t like her for most of the book.

“It doesn’t matter what we are, it matters what we do.”
― Soman Chainani, The School for Good and Evil

Agatha, on the other hand, wants nothing more than for her and Sophie to go back home and remain friends. Her friendship with Sophie means a lot more to her than she lets on, which is the sweetest part of her. She’s afraid to lose that friendship with Sophie, so once the girls find out that Good and Evil can’t be friends, she really tries hard to find a way for them to go home alive. It’s when Agatha is around Sophie that she feels somewhat normal, and Agatha honestly brings out the Good in Sophie. Their friendship is the main drive of this book, and I find that one of the best drives for a book.

Overall, this book is a great read! It’s adventurous and fun, and I think anyone of any age will enjoy this! Highly recommend!

Rating: 4/5 stars

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