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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: May 2013
Pages: 512
Source: Review copy from publisher
For: Review
Series: The School for Good and Evil, Book 1

Summary from goodreads:
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…?
Things I Liked:
I loved the story idea - a storyteller who steals children and takes them to a school for good or a school for evil.  Then the storybooks show up later.  Also, I enjoyed seeing both Amelia and Sophie show both good and evil sides.  The mix up was quite fun.  I also loved the clever ways that they dealt with the mix up, particularly Sophie's ingenuity.  It was a great fairy tale background kind of story and I really got into it.

Things I Didn't Like:
It was a bit heavy-handed in its message at times (looks do not make someone good or evil).  I felt like that one whacked you over the head a lot.  Also, a bit predictable (or so I thought).  Until the ending, which seemed to come completely out of left field in the last five pages or so and left me totally confused and rather disappointed.  Not sure I'll get around to a sequel any time soon.

Read-alikes:
I haven't read them yet, but it reminds me of Shannon Hale's new series Ever After High

BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
s-factor: none
that I recall

mrg-factor: none
some kissing

v-factor: none
though it was a bit intense in parts

Overall rating: *** (until the ending, which dropped it to **)

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

4 comments :

  1. Yes! Such a wonderful premise, so poorly executed. I keep trying to get myself interested enough in reading the sequel, but I don't think I ever will. Too bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whew! I was starting to think I was the only one disappointed! It was too bad.

      Delete
  2. I haven't read this series yet, but my daughter has really enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it has a lot of kid appeal, which is wonderful. I'm glad your daughter likes them!

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