THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

From the "School for Good and Evil" series, volume 1
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied.

Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and  her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they’ve been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually—too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic—it becomes clear that the placement wasn’t a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish).

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-210489-2
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for OBSESSION IN DEATH
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for SAPIENS
VERDICT:
BUY IT

MORE BY IACOPO BRUNO

ChildrenMESMERIZED by Mara Rockliff
by Mara Rockliff

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE QUEEN AND THE NOBODY BOY by Barbara Else
by Barbara Else
ChildrenKINDRED by Tammar Stein
by Tammar Stein
ChildrenNEXT TOP VILLAIN by Suzanne Selfors
by Suzanne Selfors