Welcome to the second installment of Brush And Ballpoint Pen. Today we’re diving into the world of magic and fantasy with The School For Good And Evil.
In the last review, I was out of my element. But here…oh, boy, I can’t feel more at home. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and this book is an amazing example of fantasy. I can’t wait to begin.
A Little Bit of Background
Now, of course you know about fairytales. Snow White, Cinderella, pretty much 80% of Disney movies. We know the fairytale so well: the princess wants to go to a ball, the knight wants to slay a dragon, and everything ends happily ever after. The fairytale is the most classic of the stories, which is why we keep trying to put a twist on them.
The School For Good And Evil trilogy (this review is for the first book) is one such work. It is written by Soman Chainani, a screenwriter who has also written a movie script for this book (as mentioned in the bonus content after the story). The book we will be reviewing today is the first book. The second book is called A World Without Princes and the final book is called The Last Ever After. I’ll get to those in the future. Let’s begin.
There are two girls named Sophie and Agatha who are best friends from a city called Gavaldon. Every year in Gavaldon, two children disappear to go to the School For Good And Evil and end up as storybook characters. Sophie, who avidly reads these books, dreams of being kidnapped as well and becoming a princess, while Agatha doesn’t care for them, but her mother and everyone else thinks she’d be perfect for the School of Evil. Then one night, the two girls are whisked away, but everything is not as they expect.
School For Good and Evil does a good job of developing the characters’ personalities in order to tell a good story. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what paths Sophie and Agatha would take next. In the middle, they encounter a riddle that they have to solve, and the story just gets more interesting from there.
The characters are very engaging. Sophie and Agatha’s personalities fit very well with each other. Though Sophie’s personality gets a little irritating at times, it is balanced out by Agatha’s more subdued personality. You really want to see how these characters turn out in the end. The other characters, particularly Sophie’s roommates and the teachers of both schools, are also very interesting. The one flaw is that there are characters with unused potential. One example is Tedros, who I hope has more development in the later books.
One of the reasons I’m looking forward to a movie adaptation of this book is the setting. The fairytale forest and the two schools are described beautifully, and I really got engaged in the scenery of this book. My favorite scene is the first scene in the lake with the wish fish, which I feel would look lovely in a movie. I like the contrast of the Schools of Good and Evil, and the respective settings that come with each like the galleries displaying each school’s best students.