fantasy · Middle Grade

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

This book reminded me why I love Middle Grade so much.

I have been seeing this book everywhere and I decided to get it, even though I haven’t really read any Middle Grade books in a while. And I ended up really loving it.

The School for Good and Evil is a story about two girls, who live in a village, from which every few years, two children are chosen to attend the School for Good and the School for Evil. Sophie is your typical girly girl and she dreams of going to the School for Good and becoming a princess. So as an act of false kindness she befriends Agatha, who is kind of dark and well, she lives in a graveyard. The girls end up being taken, but they end up switching schools.

Chainani creates a rich, full-bodied adventure with a proper fairytale setting. The whole book felt magical and from the very beginning, I was instantly completely transported to the story. This takes all of the classical fairytale tropes and just turns them upside down.

The book was very witty and clever in its execution. When you’re being introduced to the worlds, you keep seeing these tropes you’re used to in fairytales, but in Chainani’s twisted way, so I really enjoyed that. I also loved both of our main characters, who had layers to their personalities, which I really enjoyed. They kept growing and changing and kept surprising you, so I ended up really loving them. None of the two was underdeveloped, they were really well-rounded characters.

This book also had some really nice messages about good & evil, female friendship and just overall life, which I think will be very beneficial to the younger audience. Nonetheless, this never felt juvenile to me, and I really enjoyed myself throughly whilst reading.

The only slight issue I had was that this was very long, but at the same time had a very brisk and fast pace, so the two clashed at times, which made me read the book kind of slowly.

I wholeheartedly recommend this and I am beyond excited to read the rest of the series! Hope you enjoyed the review and let me know if you have read this and how you liked it!

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