August 6, 2013

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani: Book Review

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)
Genre: Young-adult fantasy
Release Date: May 14th 2013 by HarperCollins
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Library
“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. (via goodreads)
My Thoughts: After dealing with a lot of sad stuff (the introduction of the new Doctor Who, reading a lot of post-apocalyptic books and cleaning), I really wanted to read a happy fantasy book. Sadly, this was not the case. This book seems like it would be a little sad but with a happy ending, right? WRONG. This book is a little creepy but in no way does it have a happy ending. Despite all the unhappiness in this book, this book was still not a major disappointment.

Let's start with the plot & setting. I really liked the whole school and fairy tale premise. Basically, students in the School for Good and Evil are divided into princes/princesses or villains. You can assume which type goes where. All these students grow up to be in a fairy tale or elements in a fairy tale (e.g. the pumpkin carriage in Cinderella was a School for Good and Evil graduate). The actual plot was also interesting. Two best friends, one evil and one good, are both sent to the school (in a manner of speaking) but they end up in the wrong school, or do they? Now you have to read the book to find out ;)

As previously mentioned, the two friends are sent to the school. The first one is Sophie, the good one. Her best friend is Agatha, the evil one. In my opinion, I liked Agatha much better than Sophie. Sophie was shallow, selfish , manipulative and mean (but it depends on how you look at things). While Agatha, although she did not have the best looks (apparently, only princesses can be beautiful-we'll talk about that later) but all she wanted in life was to be alone. It's not that she was necessarily evil. Anyway, I hated one character but liked the other, pretty normal.

Now for the romance. The main love interest in this book is Tedros, son of King Arthur. Before we discuss Tedros, let's talk about his family history. Being a big fan of anything that has to do with King Arthur, I was fangirling just over his lineage. Seriously, Soman Chainani knows his mythology. The King Arthur elements were amazing. Now that my fangirling has been properly addressed, we can get back to the romance. So, Tedros is the main love interest. He's basically a typical prince. Wants a girl and all the glory but he doesn't want to end up falling for the wrong girl like his father. I think that element forces readers to sympathize with him but all it makes me want to do, is read a whole book just on his father. But I can see the appeal of a prince who wants to choose the right princess for him.

To sum it up:  I thought this book was interesting with classic fairy tale components. I loved the plot and setting. One of the main characters was very uninteresting and selfish while the other was just an isolationist. The love interest has much more interesting parents and I would have rather read about them then him. The illustrations in this book were amazing. The ending was very abrupt and expected but the cliffhanger was very annoying.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to read your opinion. Comment away!