Review of The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani


The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: School for Good and Evil #2
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 14, 2013)

Genre: Fantasy/fairy tales

Source: Bought

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option.

to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha
are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

With her glass
slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks
at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like
Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her
shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the
villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon 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 among 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 and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

About the Author:

Soman Chainani’s first novel,
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller
List, has been on ABA’s National Indie Bestseller List for 12 weeks, has
been translated into languages across six continents, and will soon be a
major motion picture from Universal Studios.

The sequel, A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List as well.

a writer and film director, Soman’s films have played at over 150 film
festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience
prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New
Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the
coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New
York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a
first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing THE
SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Now he loses all the time.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It was dark, humorous, and insightful. It will appeal
to fans of Harry Potter and anyone that likes fairy tales.  It is full
of magic, friendship, and true love.

Sophie (and everyone else) is convinced that she is Good. So when she is
dropped into the School of Evil, she is less than pleased. Agatha, the
girl everyone thinks is Evil, is also Sophie’s best friend. She is
plopped into the School for Good and is quite certain a mistake has been
made. But as time passes and the girls both start to show their true
colors, it becomes obvious that appearances can be deceiving. Things are
never black and white, and people are complicated creatures. Nobody is
completely Evil or entirely Good.

My favorite part of the book was when Agatha realizes who she is on the
inside. Nothing changes about her outward appearance other than her
perception of herself. Agatha is a true hero and a beautiful person. She
sacrifices herself for her best friend time and again, even though
Sophie is ungrateful and doesn’t deserve her. I loved Agatha’s character.  Sophie made a spectacular Evil character as well.  She started on a downward spiral until the witch inside her couldn’t be contained anymore.  But like I said, people are complicated and things are never black and white.  There is more to both characters than simply being Good or being Evil.

The story contains many morals, but it isn’t preachy. The book is also
very long, especially for the age group, but the length isn’t a bad
thing. The characters, setting, and concepts were well developed and
events unfolded at a nice pace.  There is some blurring of Agatha’s and Sophie’s relationship where I wasn’t sure if the feelings they had for each other were those of best friends or something more. 

Content: Violence and some crude humor.


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  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    June 29, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Happy you loved this book! I couldn't believe my luck when I came across a book about good vs. evil in a fairy tale world. I agree their friendship was a really great part of the book. Agatha was such a great person. She did deserve a lot better. I need to read this one again before I read the second book. Are you planning on reading the second book soon?

    • Reply
      June 30, 2014 at 12:29 am

      I just finished the second book last night. I didn't like it quite as much as the first one, but it was still very good. I'll post my review of it soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela's Anxious Life
    June 30, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Everyone seems to love this book so much!!! I need to get started on it.

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