Saturday, 5 July 2014

Book Review: The School for Good And Evil

Title: The School for Good and Evil
Author: Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The School for Good And Evil #1
Release Date: 06/06/13
Pages: 488
Service: Giveaway
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository
Author Twitter: @SomanChainani

‘The first kidnappings happened two hundred years. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls were taken, 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 ad spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good and Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale villains and heroes. 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 fairy tale princess. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School of Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Wood, they find their fortunes reversed – Sophie’s dumped into 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 the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?...’

So, this is a book I saw floating around in my local Waterstones and seemed pretty interesting and when I saw it being given away and I just had to get my hands on it.

I just want to start off on my thoughts about Sophie, Soman Chainani did a wonderful job in making me dislike her so much. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that annoyed with a character that I had to just put the book down a breath. But it wasn’t due to the fact that Sophie was poorly written. She was beautifully written in a way that made me loath her throughout the entire book. Every time I thought that I might be able to cope with her character she ended up doing something that ruined that. Agatha was a character that I did feel horrendously bad for at some points and though a lot of the time I was annoyed with her choices and wished that she would open her eyes to see what wold happen, I understood from the character’s point of view. Agatha wasn’t someone who had many friends and the way she was acting was realistic I think for the way that someone might have been in her position.

The main thing that I loved about this story was how much some of the things in the book were true. We grow up with this idea that a princess has to be this beautiful person and in real life that isn’t always the case. This book shows just that. Sometimes, you just have to look beneath what a person is on the outside and see what someone is really like. It was just one of those books where you could clearly see the message that they were trying to give across.
The beginning of the book I found myself getting into quite quickly and felt that I just wanted to keep reading. About a third of the way into the book though I found that the plot was just moving a little slow for me but it was definitely worth carrying on reading because as I moved along I found it starting to pick up again and I was getting drawn in. The end left me wanting to read the next book so badly, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

The only problem that I had with this book is that they show why Sophie is in the School for Evil but then when you look at the School for Good a lot of the people are exactly the same. It was something that bugged me along the book.

It’s well worth the read though if you’re looking for something fantasy that incorporates a lot of the old fairy tales within it.

Rating: ★★★★

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