“Only once you destroy who you think you are can you embrace who you truly are”
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins | May 14, 2013
Series: The School for Good and Evil Book 1 of 3
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Source: Borrowed through Scribd
Sophie and Agatha are best friends. Agatha is perfectly happy with this. One best friend a house in a cemetery where she won’t be bothered, comfortable and practical clothing, there is nothing more she needs in life. Sophie, on the other hand, wants to be a princess. She keeps a very strict beauty treatment, diets on cucumbers, and has befriended an evil person- Agatha. So when it’s time for the schoolmaster to come and take one good child and one bad. Sophie is convinced Agatha and herself will be the chosen ones, even if she has to make it happen herself.
But life at the School of Good and Evil isn’t what either of them thought it would be, and Agatha seems to be the only one trying to get home. If that’s even possible.
I saw this in a Barnes and Noble when it first came out and was immediately intrigued, but was restricting my book buying at the time. So when I tried out Scribd and saw it was there, I couldn’t stop myself from reading it.
Thoughts as a Reader:
I loved this story because it’s does one of my favorite things in stories: lives in the gray zone. While everyone at the school wants life to be black and white, good and evil, Sophie and Agatha make people question what that means. Through the whole story your left wondering who is good and who is bad, and just when you feel confident, something happens to change your mind. Plus there’s the mysterious School Master that hides in his tower and seems to be on good’s side since they win everything all the time.
I loved all the characters in this book. Agatha is so practical and down to earth, Sophie balances her as the dreamer with big plans. Two girls that shouldn’t be friends, but try to cling to it through the hardest times. Then there are all fairytale descendants. All their school mates are the kids of sleeping beauty, prince charming, the witch who poisoned snow white and other well-known story characters. And the kids are all hoping to have greater stories than their parents.
Thoughts as a Writer:
This story takes a different twist on the Fairytale retelling method. It’s a second generation of the characters we are all familiar with. Chainani does a great job switching between two main characters without the reader getting lost, something that can be challenging. Not only that but the weaving of the characters, pulling the good and bad from each and blurring the lines makes the story break the rules the author set up for the world. This makes the reader always wonder what’s going on since the characters can’t or won’t live according to the rules. Always a good storytelling method with built-in tension.
In the End
I can’t wait to finish the series. Such a refreshing story in a saturated market.
10 Second Summary:
- Grey Zone: I love dealing with the less than consistent parts of life, that’s what this book does.
- Well written with two main characters: It can be difficult to write two main characters well, and this book does.
- Great supporting characters: The quirky characters is what makes this book shine.
Hardback. Can’t wait to finish the series.
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