Monday, August 11, 2014

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil
Author:  Soman Chainani
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Pages: 496
Release Date: June 6th, 2014
Source: Oyster Book Subscription Services

“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.

What can I say? I really loved this book. Charming, creative, and fun, I was ecstatic when Oyster added it to their reading collection. I'm a big fan of duality, and the concept of good and evil lurking in everyone, so this story was really appealing to me.

I thought it was interesting seeing how the 'evil' school was handled. I liked seeing the reasoning behind the villains thoughts, and how they trained to fight good, and why. I also liked seeing the way good had perhaps been a bit corrupted with time, focusing on looks and princes not necessarily just doing what was right. Plus, throw in a warped overseeing power, and that just makes everything more fun.

There is a scene at the end a number of people commented on (I will try to avoid spoilers) that did knock the book down a tiny notch for me. While I don't care who kisses who, I wish there was a bit more reasoning behind the why and what it meant and all of that because it did confuse a lot of people. It may be a regional thing, or a personal thing, but I know where I'm from you only kiss someone you're in a romantic situation with. Some people treat that differently, so I'm not sure if this is one of those cases, or a shift towards the romantic. If that all sounds cryptic, once you read the book it'll make a bit more sense. Or you can just read the spoilers of other people blurting it out. 

That happens too..

Overall, I liked the twisted fairy tale sort of vibe to this book, the schools, the classes, and the plot. Yeah, I just like some magical fluff sometimes. Now to wiggle away and capture book two....

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