(The School for Good and Evil #1)
by Soman Chainani
by Soman Chainani
Genre: MG Fantasy
Hardback: 488 Pages
Publication: May 14, 2013 by Harper Collins
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…?
◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆
The School for Good and Evil is a clever, fun read that explores the human heart and what it means to be good and evil.
Agatha is a recluse, she isn't pretty, and her only company is a black cat named Reaper. Sophie spends hours on beauty care, she dresses like a princess, and she believes in fairy tales. Everyone thinks that Agatha will be sent to the School for Evil, and Sophie knows that she'll be sent to the School for Good. Realist, mistrustful Agatha could never fit in with the gorgeous princesses, and how would naïve, wanna-be-princess Sophie survive among evil witches? That's all if you look at the surface, however. Despite her gruff ways, Agatha is kind and caring. She considers Sophie her best friend and looks after her in spite of all the mean things Sophie can say. In comparison, Sophie is selfish, greedy, and as we learn, has a vindictive side to her.
Personality-wise, it's so easy to love Agatha. She's down to earth and isn't the kind of girl to wait for Prince Charming to come save her. In fact, she's the kind of girl who'll step in to save him if it looks like he can't help himself. She also isn't afraid to speak her mind, and I just love her dry sense of humor and the sensation she makes at the School for Good. (Not in a positive way, but amusing all the same.) It's harder to like Sophie, the spoiled brat that she is. And yet, I grew to love her character and what it adds to the story. Agatha is good and kind from the start. It's Sophie that needed to grow, and in spite of the things she ends up doing, she's the one that really made me question the meaning of good and evil.
Even if this is a fairy tale about two girls, there has to be romance to make the story complete. I adore how the romance is handled. He can be a jerk at times, and like Agatha I didn't know what Sophie saw in him at first. In time, however, more about him is revealed, and I could see the good in him. It was fun learning who is who's true love. This story isn't afraid to make fun of its characters and where they're all coming from. More than that, I love how it pushes the boundaries of good and evil and how it shows us that we can all be more than what people expect of us. And that girls don't necessarily need a prince to make them a princess.
It's been a while since I've read such a fun story about princes and princesses. This is a fairy-tale story that readers of all ages will enjoy. While this is a book that can stand on its own, I am glad that there is a trilogy in the making and can't wait to read the next installment!
More news! Roth Films has partnered with Jane Startz Productions to acquire the movie rights to The School for Good and Evil. Chainani and Hook scribe Malia Scotch Marmo are to write the screenplay. When I was reading this book, I was thinking about how fun it'd be to see it on the screen, so I'm thrilled that it's actually going to happen!