The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil - Soman Chainani A copy of this novel was provided by HarperCollins UK via Net Galley.

Sophie has wanted to be a princess all her life. That’s how she knows that she is destined to attend the School for Good. To ensure her place, Sophie spends her time doing Good Deeds, such as befriending social outcast Agatha, who everyone believes belongs in the School for Evil.

But when the School Master comes to take the girls to their respective schools, the outcome is not what either girl thought it would be.

I liked The School for Good and Evil. I thought the concept was awesome, and the execution was well delivered. Although at times, I wondered which genre this book fit into – whether it was a children’s novel, a younger teen novel, or a YA novel. There were aspects of all three genres in this book, so I am actually at a loss as to how to categorise it. It reminded me of a children’s novel because of the drawings, the comedy, and the story telling aspect. It reminded me of a younger teen novel because of the age of the characters, and some of the themes. And then it reminded me of a YA novel because of some of the things the characters said, and some of the scenes. I suppose I will say it is YA, because of those scenes.

But onwards!

I didn’t really like Sophie, and I am not entirely sure that you are meant to. She is selfish, and conceited, and an overall not-so-nice person. I was constantly left wondering why Agatha was friends with such a person. I felt that Sophie’s character development was a little rushed towards the end, and that she changed very suddenly.

Agatha, on the other hand, I loved. I loved how much she loved being alone, and how much she loved her cat, and how unique she was. I definitely wanted to jump into the pages and befriend her, and boost her self esteem – she was almost crippled by her lack of it.

I’ve read a few reviews of this book that have said the story could have come across with fewer pages/words. To an extent, I agree. It was a pretty long book (about 500 pages), the pacing was quite slow, and there was not a whole heap of action. But I appreciated the length because the story was told to perfection, and the descriptions of the schools, the classes, the characters, and everything in between were awesome. I think you all know by now how much I love my descriptions.

I think the aspect of this book that I liked the best was how the students from the different schools didn’t really represent what they were supposed to. Vague, I know. Let me explain. The children in the School for Good are supposed to be, well, good. But none of them really are. They are vain, and cruel, and completely self involved. All they care about is their Happily Ever After, and they are pretty much willing to do anything to get their hands on it. The kids at the School for Evil, however, are much more likeable (at least I think so). Sure, they are ‘ugly’, and they like dead things, but they’re not obsessed with superficial things, and they’re (surprisingly) not half as competitive as the Good kids. It’s odd, and yet awesome. I want to see these kids in the second book – are they still black and white? Have some crossed over? Tell me, now!

The ending was sweet, albeit a tiny bit confusing, and I know that I definitely want to see where the sequel takes Sophie and Agatha. Will they remain friends after everything that they have been through? Will they return to the School for Good and Evil? I shall definitely be reading A World Without Princes.

© 2013, Chiara @ Books For A Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.