The School for Good and Evil, Soman Chainani

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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…?

I don’t think I’ve ever been more conflicted about a book and what to think of it.

I must have finished this about two weeks ago, and I’ve sat on the review the whole time because I honestly don’t know what I think. I’m half way through the second book, and I still don’t know what to think.

Anyone who knows me knows I love and adore fairytales with all my heart, so, of course, this book had been on my list to look at for a while. I had heard a lot of good stuff about it- but, upon opening it, I was so disappointed.

It had promise. That is the really annoying thing- had the author chosen to do some things differently, then this book could have been amazing, brilliant, and a book that teaches more lessons than the one inside it.

(Not that friends over princes is a bad lesson, its a great thing to learn. But the way he goes around it?)

Thing is- what we have is a book with two female mains- who are around 12 or 13- but it’s…written by a guy. And here is where most of my problems lie.

I mean, swordfights are written like sex scenes (In the words of my mother ‘is that crap out of a Mills and Boon?’), the girls are….Well, evil is ugly and good is beautiful. And according to the book, at is basically it. Like, the Good girls are all really judgemental if you arent as pretty as them- and, maybe my teen years were different, but 12 and 13-year-olds? Literally don’t care. At all.

Evil and Good both have rules. Like, evil can never love and good will always forgive- and I know the point of the book was to take the cliches and laugh at them, but if you write a set of rules for your world, stick to them? Evil are the ones who are all good friends and good are all horrible, which means the whole world feels so…unplanned.

The two Mains (again, their age, 13) spend most of the book fighting over a guy.

This is a book aimed at 10+. In all honestly, I would never recommend this to a child, because it teaches so many wrong lessons. That only guys can be adventurous and learn to fight. Girls have to wear make up and have wavy blonde hair to be perfect, and if they are not that, they are evil witches who will never find love. That there is no grey between the Good and Evil- you are either one or the other.

There was more than one point while I was reading that I just wanted to throw it in a bin.

But I pushed through- because, despite the massive issues with it, I enjoyed it. It was entertaining, and I kinda wanted to know what the world was about. It kept my interest throughout, because I wanted to see how it would end- and I enjoyed it enough that I have got the other two books.

I mean, I hate Sophie so much- her character is flat (which isn’t really her fault, but the writing and the written by guy thing) and unbelievable. Agatha is slightly better- though her ‘makeover’ to princess was a bit…terrible… But I like the idea of their friendship and how much they would do for each other, and I think some of the Princes are interesting.

So…I dont know. I honestly dont know if I would recommend this book or not.

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