Title/Author: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, May 14th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: “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…?
Guys, there's pretty much nothing I love better than magical boarding schools! Seriously, I will pretty much pick up anything if it mentions even a hint of this in the summary. And The School for Good and Evil was such a fun book!
We meet Sophie and Agatha in their village, everything Sophie does is geared towards getting picked to go to the School for Good and Evil and become a fairytale princess. This is probably even the reason why she's befriended Agatha, who appears to be a shoe-in for the Evil side of the school. I adored the interaction between these girls and how two opposites can be true friends!
And OMG, the SCHOOL!! Seriously! It was just wonderful! Nothing will ever beat Hogwarts, but this school does put up a good fight! I loved all the classes, such as Uglification and Animal Communication and how both Agatha and Sophie excell in them, especially how Sophie doesn't really WANT to be good at Evil, but manages to be anyway. There were some laugh out loud funny moments and I loved it!
Sophie is the pretty girl who is determined to get what she wants, and she's not above using dirty tricks and even people to get her way. Sometimes she even forgets that she's actually a nice person and a friend to Agatha in her drive to be on the Good side of the school. And at these moments, I really didn't like her. But she does redeem herself and I love that she changes her ugly clothes into dresses any fashionista would be proud to wear.
Agatha is the smart one. She works hard at both Sophie's and her own classes and while she's not exactly accepted by the other Good students, she remains true to herself. She's a loyal friend and I really liked seeing her grow as a person.
Of course there's a boy and things get a bit ugly and there's an evil that needs defeating. But what most shines about this book is the wonderful storytelling and the friendship between Sophie and Agatha. I really loved all the magical creatures and learning that there's more to the school than meets the eye. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, because I'm sure Sophie and Agatha aren't done having adventures!
My rating: 4,5 stars