Series: The School for Good and Evil #1
Genres: fairy tale, fantasy
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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.
I have read a lot of books over the years. I mean a lot of books. I can honestly say I’ve never come across anything like this before. It’s as if the author read a fairy tale, looked at the way we have to go to school to learn our jobs in life, and thought, “What if the princesses, princes, and villains in fairy tales also had to attend school to learn their roles?”
Villains learn how to monologue, princesses are taught how to talk to animals and how to beautify themselves, while princes are taught how to be valiant and sword fight. The book, of course, mocks some of these classes. In one part, the main prince couldn’t come up with a rejoinder to a princess and instantly started a sword fight with one of his classmates instead.
Sophie and Agatha are well-written and it’s fun to read what they will decide to do next to get to what they believed were their proper schools. And since I have never even seen a book like this before–the closest probably being Harry Potter–each attempt was a complete surprise. I was even surprised at the ending, but it was fitting as well.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this YA fairy tale to anyone who enjoys these kinds of things. It’s a fairy tale with a definite twist, some of it dark, but all of it great fun. I will reread this book in the future and I know I will enjoy it again as much as I did this time.