January 15th, 2014 by Nancy
Most kids don’t want to be kidnapped, but Sophie of Galvadon welcomes it — in fact, she’s packed for it! Sophie believes that when she comes of age, she’ll be taken away by the School Master of the School for Good and Evil — a school that trains the characters in fairy tales. After all, how else do princesses learn to talk to woodland creatures, and where do all those evil witches learn their spells?
Sophie, with her beautiful looks, expects to be taken to the School for Good, and that her friend Agatha be taken to the School for Evil. After all, ugly Agatha lives in a cemetery and smells terrible, and the village people all think her mom is a witch. So Sophie’s confident that she herself is Good (after all, she goes to church every week) and Agatha is evil (anyone that smelly must be evil)… right? Meanwhile, Agatha thinks Sophie’s delusional for believing in the School for Good and Evil… but they’re both proven wrong.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chanani starts off a little slow, but the action starts to pick up after the first chapter. When the School Master comes for Sophie, Agatha tries to save her (despite Sophie’s protests), and they’re both taken away. Sophie is dropped in the School for Evil, surrounded by darkness, filth, and wolves, while Agatha finds herself surrounded by flowers, fairies, and way too much pink. At the Schools, “good” students are nicknamed Evers (as in “Happily Ever After”) and “evil” students are Nevers (because they want to go end up in Nevermore, a paradise for evil doers). And while Sophie may want out of the School for Evil and into Good, Agatha wants out altogether — she desperately wants to go home, but not without Sophie.
Even though it’s kind of obvious that Sophie and Agatha end up in the “wrong” schools, it’s very interesting to see why they’ve ended up where they are. It really makes you wonder… if you could choose, would you want to be good and sweet like Snow White, or evil and powerful like her witchy stepmother? And what if you’re not really good and not really evil — what happens then? There’s quite an interesting theory about that in this book, which you’ll have to read if you want to find out more because I’m resisting my evil side and not spilling spoilers.
If you’re into fractured fairy tales, this is a book for you! There’s magic, mystery, and of course, cute sword-fighting princes.
Check out the class schedules at the School:
And a video trailer for the book:
This is the first of a trilogy (the second book, A World Without Princes, comes out in April) and I’m pretty excited to see where this goes.
Have you read The School for Good and Evil? Leave a comment below or send in a book review!
Nancy took the official “Are You An Ever or a Never” quiz and ended up with “a soul score of 53.3% Evil and 46.7% Good” — and is now studying these animated gifs with great interest: