I love great covers, and this one caught my eye the very minute I saw it in the bookstore. Seldom had I seen one that promises so much fun, humor, and sarcasm in one and without reading the summary first. And my first impression was soooooo right! The two main figures are one hell of a show, the plot is set in a world everyone knows only too well and there is not a single page in it or word that is boring. Take your time and read this. You will be surprised at what you will discover and how great fairy tales can be – if you look at them from a different perspective.

The School For Good And Evil
by Soman Chainani
The School For Good And Evil #1
Illustration Iacopo Bruno
Publisher Harper Collins on May 14, 2013
Genre Children 12+
Pages 496
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

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.
The legend says that the Shadowman takes two. And the entire village is willing to fight and to keep their children at home with their families. But Sophie actually wants to be kidnapped and taken to the School for Good and Evil. She strongly believes that she is a good girl and that her life will change for the better the moment she sets a foot on the doorstep of that legendary school.

Soman Chainani has a wonderful fantasy and a great way to bring new meaning into the existence of Snow White and many other fairy tales. His language is very pictographic and if you want to know how many sorts of blue there are then you have to read this book, that´s for sure. And another thing is for sure: I´ve never read a book with so much sweet stuff in the plot. Every room in the School for Good is made out of some sort of candy. Candy canes, caramel, candied plums; chocolate, and other sweet stuff are used to bring the opposite to the School for Evil to the reader. That one is dark, dirty, and everything else but a nice place to be. And when feelings kick in, and Sophie starts to turn her real self outside, the School for Good and Evil sees for the very first time what real evil means.

Agatha is the opposite of Sophie. She loves dark clothes, her dirty looks, and the greasy hair and that nobody wants to come closer to her. But when Sophie gets taken and Agatha tries to free her, both find themselves soon in that dark wood and right above the School for Good and Evil. Only that not Sophie is the one who becomes a student at the School for Good but Agatha. Both girls believe, that someone has made a huge mistake and from now on they do everything to set things right. But magic is all around and there are rules which need to be followed and when Agatha and Sophie find out the real truth behind the Master and his book – their destiny is already set.

Good, I admit the cover is really not what we grownups usually prefer as a book cover, but keep in mind that this is actually a children´s book. So it fits perfectly and the content is so fantastic, you should read it – honestly.

Happy reading

Soman Chainani

Soman Chainani’s first novel, The School for Good and Evil, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, as did each of its two sequels, A World Without Princes and The Last Ever After. The series has been translated into over twenty languages across six continents and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Pictures. As a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, Soman has made films that have played at over 150 festivals around the world, and his writing awards include the Sun Valley Writers’ Fellowship. When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing The School for Good and Evil. Now he loses all the time.


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