Friday, March 29, 2013

REVIEW: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Title:                       The School for Good and Evil
Author:                   Soman Chainani 
Release Date:      May 14/2013
Genre:                Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher:           Harper Collins Children's Books
Page Count:        496
Acquired:            Edelweiss
Format:              Ebook
Read From:         March 21-28/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/The Book Depository

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

Welcome 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.


Is there something in the water being drunk by Middle Grade writers this year!? This book was fantastically INSANE, in the very best sense of the word. Think Harry Potter meets Every Fairytale Ever Told. YUP. You'll end up with The School for Good and Evil, and one HECK of a ride through ideas, characters, and plot twists. You won't even have time to BREATHE.

*Cue heart humming fairy tale music* Have you ever wondered who your favourite fairy tale heros, heroines and villains were before they became a character in a story? No? ......Well neither did I! But I am SURE as heck glad that Soman Chainani opened my eyes to the possibility of Cinderella having to attend 'Princess training' before she was even REMOTELY fit to play the role. 

All of her life, Sophie dreamed of the day that the school master would kidnap her, and whisk her away to The School for Good. Where she would be placed in the running to become a real, live, princess. While some people in her village brushed off the idea of such a school existing as a silly folklore-like Sophie's best friend Agatha-others were barring their windows, and sharpening pitch forks, to protect their children from being taken away. Agatha, Sophie's best friend, is the physical epitome of evil. She only wears black, has greasy hair, spotty skin, lives in a cemetery, and portrays a downright gloomy persona-she is the polar opposite of Sophie's perfect blonde hair, and glowing face. The folklore, and kidnappings in the past, has told of two children being taken, one beautiful and good, and one hideous and mean. Sophie is more than convinced and hopeful that she and Agatha will be the "lucky ones" this time around. She turns out to 100% correct, but not in the way she had always dreamed of. Sophie ends up being dropped into the School for Evil, and Agatha ends up in the School for Good. It has to be a monstrous mistake...right!?

The back story in The School for Good and Evil is INCREDIBLE, and reaches so far into your imagination, you will easily be wishing that you could live within it's pages forever. I couldn't bare to read anything else while I read this book, for fear of losing the magical feelings it helped produce. The main characters, Sophie and Agatha, were ones that quickly won my heart, but my love didn't stop there. Soman Chainani was able to create a whole WORLD of characters within the school, each with their own rich back stories and quirks, that were damn near impossible to not become attached to.

Easily the biggest thing to hit me in the heart while reading this book, was the familiarity. There were references made to fairy tale characters that I grew up aspiring to be like, and the villains that we all loved to hate. There were even back stories for the non-character aspects from books we loved, i.e. The Beanstalk from Jack and the Beanstalk. It was all so beautifully imaginative and comforting. Soman Chainani somehow managed to channel the writing genius of some of the most infamous fairy tale writers, and created a story line that can easily be ranked among the likes of Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty, or Robin Hood.

The life lessons in The School for Good and Evil are abundant, and I while I sometimes found myself wishing that certain events took a turn for the superficial, I was awed by the author's ability to take it somewhere much more respectful and inspiring. The imagery was descriptively astounding, and I cannot WAIT to get my finished copy to see some of those actual visuals on the page (as my ARC copy only had "art to come" lol). I was also excited to learn that this book is being adapted into a MOVIE! Be still heart...

I wish I could go on forever, or that I could expand on a lot more things, but this book is still a work a progress, and I don't want to get even more attached to an aspect that could possibly be changed in the finished copy.

Recommended for: EVERYONE. I don't care WHAT you read! But if I MUST get specific, fans of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore, and middle grade fiction.



  1. I'm glad to know this is good! I shall continue to look forward to it....

  2. Since I have exhausted this month's book shopping expenses, I will be buying this next month cause I love the plot and that cover is so awesome ! I am so anxious to read this book and your review has gotten me so antsy to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the interest piquing review !

    - Gayatri @ Notorious Writer.


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