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. – Goodreads
The School for Good and Evil is the story of Agatha and Sophie, two girls who get kidnapped by a mythical being and are taken to a school which will train them to be heroes and villains. Sophie has been waiting for this moment as long as she can remember. She groomed herself for this moment, and with a name like Sophie how could she not be in the School for Good. And her friend, Agatha, is clearly doomed to the School of Evil. Her name is Agatha!
But that isn’t what happened. Sophie finds herself in the School of Evil and Agatha in the School of Good. This understandably outrages Sophie, who planned her whole life around being kidnapped for The School of Good, but the more The School for Good and Evil goes on, the more you see Sophie isn’t as good as she believes she is. She’s a bit of a…witch.
Agatha, on the other hand, contrary to her looks, which is what everyone judges Agatha and her personality on, is placed in the School of Good, and Agatha is good. She’s a good person with a kind heart, but she sticks out like a sore thumb in this school. Both girls do, and everyone believes that they are mismatched. They don’t belong. The School of Good doesn’t want Agatha, and to be honest, Agatha doesn’t want them. The same for Sophie.
To the reader though, it is clear the two are where they belong. When you go beyond looks, and to their personality, Sophie is a bit of a mean person and Agatha is a bit of a softie.
What stands out in The School for Good and Evil is the setting. Chainani takes the reader there with use of tropes and style that normally wouldn’t work, but not only does Chainani make them work, he makes you want more tropes! He also makes you want more female friendships. While the friendship between Agatha and Sophie is a true power play, it’s genius and very real to life, even if it takes place in a fairy tale land.