Series: The School for Good and Evil #1
Published by Harper Collins on May 14th 2013
Number of Pages: 544
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Purchase: At Amazon
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…?
“Only once you destroy who you think you are can you embrace who you truly are”
I really liked Sophie for most of the book, but as we get to know Agatha better, she slowly started making me root for her. All the characters were fun and interesting to read about. I liked Hestia and Dot best of the secondary characters. And the illustrations that were all throughout the book were wonderful!
This is a middle grade book, but it does have a bit of darkness to it. There are also a lot of Good = beautiful, and Evil = ugly in the book. This is addressed fully towards the end, and in little bits here and there during the rest of the book. But it does have the theme for a lot of the book. Even if the theme is being poked at in a tongue-in-cheek way, it still might bother some people.
There were many funny moments in the book, where I had to laugh out loud or giggle to myself. There were also a few places that were just sad. You get pulled into the story and characters so deeply (at least I did!) that it’s almost like your real friends are going through whatever is happening in the book.
The ending makes me want to run right out and buy the next book. I can’t believe that’s where it stopped! It’s not exactly a cliffhanger, but it does make me want to read the next one right away. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to!