Book Review: The School for Good and Evil

school

“She had always found villains more exciting than heroes. They had ambition, passion. They made the stories happen. Villains didn’t fear death. No, they wrapped themselves in death like suits of armor! As she inhaled the school’s graveyard smell, Agatha felt her blood rush. For like all villains, death didn’t scare her. It made her feel alive.”

In the village of Gavadil, every 4 years two children are mysterious kidnapped. Sometimes it’s two boys, or two girls, or sometimes one of each, but the one thing that never changes is that one of these children is always beautiful and good, and the other is homely and evil. Taken to the School for Good and Evil, these children train to become princes and princesses, or cruel hearted villains. Remember Snow White and her evil Stepmother? Peter Pan and Captain Hook? Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf? All of these famous fairy tale characters were once top students at this magical school.

Sophie has wanted to be kidnapped her entire life, and when her wish finally comes true, she thinks her dream of becoming a princess is just around the bend. Agatha, the village outcast, couldn’t think of anything more horrible than being taken from her beloved home in the local graveyard. When the two girls arrive at the School for Good and Evil, however, the unthinkable happens: Beautiful Sophie is placed in the school for Evil, while grotesque Agatha is thrown in with the princesses at the school for Good! The girls initially think that the school master must have made some terrible mistake, but as the story begins to unfold, Sophie and Agatha realize that this misunderstanding might not have been a mix-up after all!

I fell in love with the concept of this story from the moment I first read the synopsis! I’ve always had a soft spot for fairytales, so when I heard about this book at work, I just knew that I had to get my hands on  a copy ASAP! Full of magic, adventure, and fantasy, The School for Good and Evil did not disappoint! My imagination ran wild while I read, envisioning all of the characters, mystical creatures, and the setting of the school itself. The School for Good and Evil is basically the Hogwarts for fairy tale heroes and villains!

What I enjoyed most about this book, however, was the characters! They were absolutely fantastic! Both Sophie and Agatha had so much depth to them, and I loved getting to see how they each developed and changed in their respective schools. The secondary characters were also really fascinating, and I grew a soft spot for poor Hort, one of the boys from the School for Evil who develops a bit of a crush on Sophie.

“Dad told me villains can’t love. That it’s unnatural and disgusting….So I definitely can’t love,” Hort said. “But if I could love, I’d love you.”

Awww! Now doesn’t that just melt your heart a little bit? The “Prince Charming” of the story, on the other hand, failed to win me over with his good looks and battle prowess, but we’ll see if he manages to change my mind in the sequel (he’d have to have a complete personality change first)!

The only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars was the writing style itself. While the author is great at world building and character development, I found his style of writing a bit clunky or confusing at times. It just didn’t flow as nicely as it could have. Nevertheless, I fell completely in love with this story, and I can’t wait to pick up the second book to find out what happens to Sophie and Agatha next!

Rating: 4 Stars

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