School for Fairytale Characters | School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: May 14th, 2013
Genres: MG, Fantasy
Pages:  496
Source: Bought it
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.
Here is another Middle-Grade novel I've read this year. The last book in the series just came out a few days ago (sadly, I don't have it yet) and I feel like I should do a review of the first book before I read and finally review the last one (of course I'll do it after reviewing the second book too).

There might be some minor spoilers here, so if you haven't read the book, I suggest you to read only the last paragraph.

The School for Good and Evil is a school in which the students are trained to be characters of fairytales. Those who are trained to be the protagonists of the fairytale go to School for Good, while the villains go to School for Evil. But, going into this school means you have to be kidnapped first, which explains the majority of students that are unwilling to be there. But, Sophie is different. She wants to go to the School for Good so so bad. She dreams of being a princess and having a prince to sweep her off her feet. She also knows that you must have a good heart first to go there. So, she befriends a scary girl from the graveyard as her good deed, named Agatha. They become the best of friends. When the day comes for the School Master to take two children from their village to be put in the School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are taken. But, there must be a mistake as they find themselves in the wrong school. Agatha and Sophie must overcome the challenges in front of them as they question the purity of their friendship at the same time.

The very first time I picked this book up I thought it was going to be super awesome. I was really prepared for another Harry Potter world mixed with some fairytale shit. But, what did I get? Some annoying and stuck up girls wearing long robes and frilly dresses who constantly whine over boys incessantly for 24/7 and just can't seem to catch their thoughts.

I had a feeling that I wouldn't like the characters since the beginning. I was kinda right on this one. By the time I found out that Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed, I knew that there was no way I'm gonna like this girl. She only gets worse and worse the more I read this book. She chooses a boy over her best friend, she's also selfish as fuck. I couldn't appreciate her constant change on behaviour. One minute she's super nice to Agatha, the next she lies and stabs Agatha behind her back. I mean, I know that she's evil and all that, but can't she at least be able to make up her mind already?!

The conflicts are mainly because of boys. We get to see girls whining over their dream boys here. Girls hate each other because of boys. Girls fight each other because of boys. Girls beautify themselves because of boys. Girls wear frilly gowns because of boys. Like, please. Enough already.

The concept of friendship is confusing and doesn't make sense. Throughout the whole book, we're told that Sophie and Agatha are best friends. But it seems to me that Agatha is the only one who treasures their association. It's clear that since the beginning, Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed without really considering her as a friend. Agatha overcomes many risks and danger just to rescue Sophie but still, in the end, Sophie always finds her way to betray Agatha while seconds after that she cries and apologizes to her. What I couldn't stand is that Agatha always forgives her. Every. Single. Time. It looks like that Agatha is the only one who truly sees the existence of their so-called friendship. Because Sophie doesn't even do that much to take care of it.

The boy is one stuck up and hypocritical character. He loves one girl after loving the other. He also badmouths a girl when he's with the other girl. I don't appreciate his love for any girl as he's actually not so sure about his feelings in the first place and doesn't seem to know what true love truly means.

Some things are just so bewildering I had to reread it a few times. There's this part when Agatha has to go to the School for Evil by crossing a bridge guarded by magic enchantment. I didn't understand what the hell really happens there and no matter how many times I reread it, I still didn't get it. Still don't, honestly. 

Even though I don't like this book much, there are still some things that I liked about it. Such as that time when they have to pass the test in the replica of Forbidden Forest (I forgot the name), it's just so exciting and adventurous, and boy do I love adventurous things! This book is so full with adventurous things here and there and I really liked it.

All in all, this book lacks many things in the term of characters and relationships. I'm not sure whether to recommend it or not because the sequel really ROCKS and there's just no way you can read the sequel without reading this one first. There are many adventures and exciting challenges complete with magic and prophecies in this book while at the same time full of irritating characters and unrealistic relationships. I'd say, just read this book so you can read the next one. But, I guess, I will leave it up to you to choose whether this book worthy of your time or not. 

My rating:    . 5

Reviewed by Inas


  1. the plot is really cliche, you know?
    With you review, I know why the two girls get a cross place (When she want A and the other want B, she got B and the other get A) lol

    1. I know! Reading it was so frustrating! It's not as great as I thought it would be. The second book is awesome though! You can read my review of it tomorrow.

  2. I'm sorry, typo
    I mean with your review


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