Review: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1)

Title: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1)
Author: Soman Chainani
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.


Two hundred years ago, a tradition began with two children being taken from the town of Gavaldon and brought to The School for Good and Evil. At The School for Good and Evil, children are sent to either the Good side to train to become the heroes of fairy tales, or the Evil side where they become fairy tale villains. Sophie is a beautiful girl who dreams of being sent to The School of Good. Her friend, Agatha, lives in a graveyard and seems like she is destined to go to The School of Evil. When Sophie and Agatha are chosen to go to The School, Sophie is sent to the Evil side and Agatha is sent to the Good side. They have to figure out how to switch to their correct schools.

This is a great twist on the fairy tale story. The students at The School for Good and Evil are trained to become fairy tale characters. Most of the students are descendants of fairy tale characters, like Tedros, the son of King Arthur. Sophie and Agatha stand out because they aren’t from fairy tale families and they can’t predict what their tale will become.

This story explored the meaning of good versus evil. Good is usually portrayed as beautiful and kind, while evil is usually ugly and gross. Since Sophie is beautiful she assumed she would go into the Good side, but she was sent to the Evil side to become a fairy tale villain. Agatha isn’t as pretty and wears black, so she is surprised when she’s sent to become a fairy tale hero. Throughout the story, they discover that good versus evil, or hero versus villain, can’t be determined by outward appearances.

I really enjoyed this story. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

What to read next:

A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2) by Soman Chainani

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer

Other books in the series:

  • A World Without Princes
  • The Last Ever After
  • Quests for Glory
  • A Crystal of Time
  • One True King

Have you read The School for Good and Evil? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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