Monday, 19 August 2013

The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007492936
A dark and enchanting fantasy adventure perfect for girls who prefer their fairytales with a twist.

Every four years, two girls are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it these lost children are sent to the School for Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they become fairytale heroes or villains.

Sophie, the most beautiful girl in town, has always dreamed of her place at the School for Good while her friend Agatha, with her dark disposition seems destined for the School for Evil. But when the two are kidnapped they find their fortunes reversed…

Cover: Freaking love this cover!  It's one of the prettiest covers on my shelves.  Absolutely stunning.

I think my expectations may have been too high for this one.  Everything about this called to me.  I love everything fairytale related so obviously this was one I was going to pick up.
I loved the concept- a fairytale school for heroes and villains.  But I found the pacing quite slow, especially for a middle grade read.  I feel it needed to kick in much quicker.  It didn't have that 'I-can't-put-this-book-down-because-everything-it-going-down' feeling.  I think the writing didn't match the fantastic concept.  The writing felt bland, and it didn't flow very well.  Suddenly I wouldn't have a clue what was going on, so I had to backtrack. 
There's a 'Hunger-Games' feel to it, with 2 children being taken to the school to compete in trials and challenges.
I felt the 'Good' students came across as vain and shallow, and sometimes, bitchier than the 'Evil' students.  I didn't take to them, but I loved the Evil students, particularly Dot, who I felt really sorry for.  The Princes...totally useless.  I love Princes in fairytales, cliche, but I do.  This totally killed that for me.
It was totally obvious from the start which of the two girls was good and who was evil, so it was so frustrating that it was dragged out.  I was like COME ON IT'S BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS. 
I loved Agatha's character, but Sophie, I actually despised her.  You know, how you can love a villain in a book, but I couldn't stand her from start to finish.
The ending...I didn't like it at all.  It was a total...whaaaaaaat???  Considering the build up to the end, it's not a small book, just shy of 500 pages, it was disappointing.
I do think I will enjoy the movie that is coming out more.  It's reads with great movie potential, but I think the book could have been better.
2.5/5 stars.

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