The School for Good and Evil #1. HarperCollins (May 2013) Library
At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option. Welcome to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil. The two girls soon 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 among 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... ? The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.
At the village of Gavaldon two unlikely friends, one deemed good and the other evil, are captured and sent to two different schools - The School for Good and The School for Evil. There the two friends must learn how to be the best princess or villain they could possibly be in order to be a part of a fairy tale. The problem is that Sophie, who loves pink and beauty, is sent to The School for Evil while Agatha, the girl everyone calls a witch, is sent to The School for Good. Try as she might Sophie can't convince the School Master that she is in the wrong school especially since she's so good at being evil... Agatha who sees herself as ugly next to the other girls agrees that there has been a mistake. Agatha is determined not to switch places or prove she's a witch but to go home with her only friend in the world. That must be their happy ending but Sophie doesn't seem to agree especially since she met what she thinks to be her future prince - Tedros.
This is my type of book. If you love fairy tales you are sure to love this book. I was thrilled to read it! I spent long nights trying to read as much as I could. It's a really long book which was probably the only problem with this story. Although I did stay up to 2:31 a.m. to finish it (I really wanted to know how it ended) so the feeling that it was drawn out could have been because I was so tired. Nevertheless that seems to be the major negative aspect of the book that everyone comments on so it's something to keep in mind.
Everything else was fantastic. Most of the way through this book I felt it was my anthem especially considering all the fairy tale books I want to read next year. I just love fairy tales and I loved that Chainani created the fantastic characters that are Sophie and Agatha. I love the message that just because someone looks "beautiful" or "ugly" on the outside doesn't mean they are the same way on the inside. You could clearly see right away that Sophie who cared mostly about herself and the way she looked more than others was going to be sent to the evil school. Agatha, can be mean but you could also tell in her heart she cares more about her friend than anyone else. She is a protector, a friend, and a true princess. I absolutely loved Agatha. She was dark and moody but inside very sweet. I wanted her to have her happy ending whatever it ended up to be. Sophie on the other hand I couldn't care less about but that seems to be the intention. You are not going to root for the villain are you? But, not everything was black and white with these two girls. Sophie could really surprise you. The two girls' friendship was a center theme for The School for Good and Evil. You didn't really know where they were going to stand with each other until the very end of the story. This was a great tale of what makes a person truly good or truly evil.
Overall: A fairy tale story worth trying. The messages in this story are profound and something many children, especially girls, can learn from. I will so be continuing on with this series.
Find out if you are a Ever or a Never at The School for Good and Evil website.