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Agatha's heart was so good, no wonder she got into School for Good.

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NO WAY. Sophie was crazy bitch. I mean didn't she think twice before she pushed Agatha? I know she was angry at Agatha but Agatha helped her several times! I could see how much Agatha love her and didn't she think about how much Agatha have helped her?! I won't order the sequels because I just don't really care about the ending or what will happen in the sequels and actually, this book was 3 stars for me but I gave one extra star because this book got me into reading and it also made me laugh and I don't laugh easily while reading.

Have you tried the quiz? If you have, which school you got accepted? What are you? A Never or an Ever? I used to hate books without apparent reason and I'm STILL so grateful I tried reading this book because if I hadn't read this book, then I wouldn't have been here and I wouldn't have had all these awesome adventures with books.

View all 21 comments. Far from true, but still. I love the premise of it so much it hurts me to try to put it into words. But I will suffer through this pain for you. Sophie is beautiful, shallow, and a bit of a snob. Agatha is ugly, insecure, and very kind. They live in a world in which fairytales happen, and every year, the two kindest and most terrible children, respectively, from their village are kidnapped, never to return.

But eventually, they show up in the fairytales the children read. Sophie is obsessed with the idea of ending up in a fairytale. Agatha dreads the idea of becoming a witch. This book is a million pages long, and every possible bad side effect that could come with that does. That premise tho. The characters: equal like and dislike. Agatha is pretty consistently adorable and likable; Sophie is occasionally a total badass, but most of the time so snobby and intolerable and mean.

The relationships: equal like and dislike. I am so funny I impress even myself. And I wonder why my average rating is so low. But I digress. I almost forgot! Nor is it YA. Nor should the characters be 12, or however old they are. View all 14 comments. This might even be a 4. Love the characters love everything LOVE. View 1 comment. The story was really fun and I liked the way the author played around with fairytale tropes. But what killed it for me was the pacing. It took forever to read because I would read 50 pages but it would feel like And the plot switched between moving too fast and too slow.

I will continue with the next book though since I am invested in the characters but I think I will listen to it on audio because reading this book felt like a workout and I don't have that ki 3. I will continue with the next book though since I am invested in the characters but I think I will listen to it on audio because reading this book felt like a workout and I don't have that kind of energy.

Lovers of Fairytales. Shelves: harpercollins , own , fantasy , arc , for-review-received-from-publisher , favorites , middlegrade , fairy-tale , magic. Prepare for a breaking of the heart, twisting of the spirit and warping of any illusions you have about Good and Evil! The School for Good and Evil , it sounds like a light breezy read doesn't it? I haven't loved a book so much in a very long time, and I devour books like a maniac.

It literally went above and beyond any expect Prepare for a breaking of the heart, twisting of the spirit and warping of any illusions you have about Good and Evil! It literally went above and beyond any expectation I could have conceived for it. I picked it up thinking: "This will be quite the fluffy fairytale," but was blown away because it was nothing of the kind.

The School for Good and Evil

Lets begin with the description: I love that it tells you exactly what The School for Good and Evil is about without giving even an inkling of just how this tale is going to be delivered. This is a book that can definitely be enjoyed by fairy tale lovers of all ages. Especially if you don't mind your fairy tales having a bit of a dark side. Not too dark mind you but just the right amount. There are wonderful comic moments, that I couldn't help but smirk at. I felt like the author was making fun of so many things and it tickled me pink to no end. However, there are some moments that tightened my chest and throat.

You know what I'm talking about, that's right when you are biting back the tears. I'm not normally a crier I'm a laugh-er. So I don't think I can explain well enough why this book touched me so much.

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Also, it is full of illustrations! At least one for the start of each chapter. These added the perfect storybook touch. What surprised and absolutely delighted me was how much I loved all of the characters. I grew attached to all of them! From main, to sidekicks, to little supplemental characters. They were all given realism and depth of character that made each unique and memorable.

My favorite is Hort She looks like your typical fairy tale witch but somehow ends up in the School for Good! As you can see from the quote below. She is a snappy girl and I couldn't help but love her. No drop-in salesmen. No fishy 'friends' bearing face masks and diet cookies, telling you you're going to Evil School in Magic Fairy Land. These are the children that we once were, or hey for those young readers, perhaps who they still are. I think he was delving deep trying to get his readers to challenge those childhood tropes of Good and Evil. Are you beautiful with flawless skin and impeccable clothes?

Are you ugly with warts and foul body odor? Does eating lots of sweets really lead you down a road of sin and temptation? Prepare yourself for the "Evers" and the "Nevers" - that's what these kids call themselves, for that's how their stories go. But onto my favorite character Hort, of course he is a "Never," attending the School for Evil. He was such a sad pathetic looking little guy, but he was excitable and friendly and hey he was Evil right? This quote is when I first met him - and the little girl in me that loves the underdog had high hopes for him.

He looked like a sinister little weasel. That it's unnatural and disgusting. Agatha sums up the best element of this tale for me and precisely how I feel about villains! They are a major part of what makes a story worth reading. Often I feel like some authors treat them just as a way to make the good guy look better or "grow" into that strong character that the reader wants to love. But me?

I'm usually secretly rooting for the bad guy. As she inhaled the school's graveyard smell, Agatha felt her blood rush. For like all villains, death didn't scare her. It made her feel alive. And now? So consider this readers What's the one thing Evil can never have There is already a film being planned for !

View all 31 comments. First of all, if the awesome book trailer for The School of Good and Evil is what created an interest in Chainani's fiction debut, all I can tell you is this: Even watching that trailer now, after the fact, I am excited and impressed. And then I remember. And then woe.

The book sadly doesn't live up to the awesomeness that advertised it. I'm not even a fan of book trailers, but the promotion department for this book deserves a big raise. The editing department might not. It's a tad long, a tad overwrought, but it's got a lot of heart and, at times, can be very entertaining. Soman Chainani creates a vibrant world with two interesting and diverse leads, and I can say they paths and plots he takes them through isn't predictable, though it can be a tad pedantic at times.

The comparisons to Gregpry Maguire's work is apt and appropriate and I can see his fans enjoying this less adult look at magical children. There's the obvious: magical children spirited away for their edification for either good or ill , there's the obvious good guys, the obvious bad guys, magical beings like werewolves, fairies, and a multi-headed dog inside a mysterious, hidden castle s. There are pranks, a ball, a love story that is not what you expect, and in the end, a grand battle for the school itself.

That all sounds well and good and like fun, and it can be. The main problem is that The School for Good and Evil takes too long to get anywhere. It becomes too predictable to shock readers and the final conflict That's never a good way to resolve a story readers have spent so much time investing in. The pacing lags, events feel drawn out or stretched beyond feasibility, and the plot takes too much time to really form. There's a lack of tension and suspense before key events because the author takes too long to develop any sort of meaningful conflict.

Outside of plotting and pacing, Chainani is an obviously talented, very visual, writer. Scenes pop and creatures both big and small, humor or non, all burst from the page. The main characters are adaptable, and pretty well-rounded. There's more to both Sophie and Agatha than what meets the eye, and the author's switcheroo can be pretty clever. However, like most things in this novel, the realizations that come to both girls about their roles in future fairy tales takes far too long to foment into something meaningful.

I could have done without the romances that pop up and complicate the girls' relationship and the plot, but Prince Charmings and Not So Charmings are to be expected in a novel so concerned with fairytales. The characters are another strong aspect of the novel, and I'm curious to see what will happen after the final events of book one.

The School for Good and Evil isn't a bad book by any means. It's just not as good as you, or I, or that book trailer want it to be. Those looking for a saccharine-ly sweet Disney tale should look elsewhere, and readers in search of a vibrant setting with complex and contradictory characters will find The School for Good and Evil a good fit, if not a particularly memorable one.

There's some room for improvement, and editing, but Soman Chainani has a satisfactory beginning to his new series. View all 12 comments. So, again, I had a feeling about this book. Before even starting it I knew I'd like it, probably even love it. And it proved me right. From the very first page I was sucked into the magical realm of the School for Good and Evil and it didn't let me go until the very last word. Sophie is a princess at heart. She loves pink, is beautiful, cares for her looks So, again, I had a feeling about this book.

She loves pink, is beautiful, cares for her looks and Good Deeds and wants nothing more but to be kidnapped and brought to the School. Agatha is the proclaimed witch. The villagers avoid her, she lives on a graveyard with her mother and her black cat Reaper, avoids mirrors, wears black and is all grumpy and dark. But when both girls are kidnapped, everything turns out entirely different since Sophie is dropped into the School for Evil and Agatha into the one for Good.

A terrible mistake. But soon the question arises whether it is really a mistake or maybe they are exactly where they belong? Sophie acts the way I always imagined a true princess act- spoiled and self-absorbed. She cares for nothing but her looks, her reputation and herself. Whenever she tries to be good it turns out twisted and wrong, whenever she fights, she does for the wrong reasons.

Under all the pink layers hides something unexpected and dangerous. Of course she has quite a rough background, but it doesn't redeem her. I cannot say I hated or even disliked Sophie, because I didn't. At first I thought everyone in this book would be just a simple, sweet fairy-tale character, but the book soon proved me wrong. The struggles, doubts, fears and conflicts went much deeper then in a childish, simple fairy-tale. In a way, many dark parts of the book addressed the real-world and showed that the same darkness is as present in our life as in a fairy-tale.

Agatha on the other hand, with all her cynical attitude and dark clothes and, well, 'ugliness' is anything but evil. She is good , but not the fairy-tale, glittery kind of good. She is real. She makes mistakes, misunderstands, tries to help her friend, knows compassion as well as antipathy and has lots and lots of fears and doubts. Not only was she a conflicted and confused character at first, oh no, she was the embodiment of so many young people of the nowadays world.

Although she, just like Sophie, messed up, I found myself grinning instead of complaining. Maybe because I knew I'd have made the same mistakes, who knows. I liked Tedros, the prince, who was also far less fairy-talish is it even a word? I guess it isn't. Their actions made sense and what was even more important, they made them come alive. And the ending. Oh my, the ending was brilliant! This book generally was unpredictable , but the ending itself was like being hit with a book in the face.

I loved the plot progression, the character development, simply everything! It wasn't perfect, but it was real, beautiful, enchanting. The questions that were asked in this book addressed our world as much as the magical one and the given answers were just as important. Many of the contemporary books that mean to be realistic and address real-life problems and conflicts aren't as true-to-life as this fantasy, fairy-tale book. They often feel plain and boring repeating words that have been said already and describing what has been discussed long ago and providing ideas and answers and solutions through saying instead of showing.

This book showed solutions and ideas. Not only was it beautiful and full of light and hope, but it provided so many useful arguments and showed many of the now existing problems. It was impossible for me to not-love this book and I highly recommend it not only to those who love fairy-tales, but to everyone in need of reading something beautiful and hopeful! View all 4 comments. I want to raise my hand and ask, "Tell me why they are friends! While Sophie and Agatha are supposedly the best of friends, the character development doesn't show how this happens.

When Agatha and Sophie first meet, Sophie isn't Agatha's friend and she says so; she realizes Sophie's just using her. Sophie is beautiful, shall "Now I see why you two are friends," the prince says to the main characters Sophie and Agatha. Sophie is beautiful, shallow, and narcissistic. Sophie wants to go the School of Good and Evil where two children are kidnapped every year from her village later to be found in a fairy tale storybook. She believes she will find her prince at the School of Good and live "happily ever after.

When Sophie is kidnapped just as she wants Agatha tries to rescue her and in the process the two end up at the school except Sophie doesn't go to the School of Good, she ends up in the School of Evil, while Agatha is dumped in the School of Good. The two misfits continue to be friends but mainly because Agatha pursues it the most. She goes to extremes to rescue Sophie and it never made sense to me given Sophie's quickness to betray Agatha at every turn and Agatha's dislike for her at the beginning.

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Sophie and Agatha are superficial and flit between wanting beauty on the outside to beauty on the inside. Agatha says in the beginning that beauty is temporary but later confesses she thinks it brings happiness. Sophie believes only in beauty with no understanding of ugliness that comes from hate.

Her personality struck me as psychopathic, probably because she resembled the murders I just read about in a nonfiction book called, "Greed, Rage, and Love Gone Wrong: Murder in Minnesota," by Bruce Rubenstein. She cheats, murders, and lies with no remorse and Agatha goes along with her because she is her only friend. Sophie's dumber than a doorknob most of the time before transforming into a mastermind villain at the end. An explanation for her surge of brainpower is given, but it felt contrived. The characters are stereotypical and wishy-washy for a good portion of the novel.

They start to come together at the end but I wasn't vested in their development because it took too long. The bag of mixed messages continues with the prince, Tedros, who loves one and then the other meanwhile badmouthing each when dating the other girl. He seemed pretty hypocritical to me when he says to Sophie she's a terrible friend because she uses her friends, betrays them, calls them fat, and liars. He too, is prejudiced toward others, lies, and betrays people who are different. The seesaw continues as Agatha hounds Sophie to impulsively kiss Tedros immediately and then lectures her later for not making a plan of attack to kiss him.

Teachers are like caricatures that don't offer words of advice. For instance, when Agatha and Sophie are punished by the teachers in burning shoes until the girls want to die, I thought it focused on the cruelty of the teachers versus the girls argument. The teachers are mostly idiots throughout the story with no control of students. When some teachers impart a few words of wisdom at the end, it seemed out of character and too late. I also didn't like the message that failure is unacceptable and students who failed were dealt an awful fate.

Failure is difficult to deal with and those who failed were the kids the author kills off the most. The ending and what it suggests might offend some. I won't give it away but I didn't see that coming. It is one of many reasons it is better for older students. Some of the plot is predictable such as the love triangle, but there were also some interesting twists such as when Sophie has to deal with a duplicate of herself in class creating an introspective moment. Unfortunately there were too few of these occurrences which makes the book fall short of its potential.

Transitions were confusing at times such as when Sophie and Agatha would talk to each other in mirrors. I seemed to always be rereading those parts because I didn't' realize they were looking at their reflection to see the other. The action scenes and magic is very creative and I enjoyed these parts. There is a reader prophecy and riddle. The prophecy didn't seem necessary to the plot because it wasn't told until the end. The overarching theme of good and evil in human nature fell flat because the characters weren't complex enough.

The stereotypes enforced in this book are my biggest complaint. That ugly people aren't happy unless they are beautiful, that a girl isn't happy unless she has her prince, that girls only think of boys, that a fat person has no friends, that a married person isn't happy. Some of these are refuted at the end but it comes too late. Or perhaps the author is trying to do too much.

At one point Sophie tries to rally the villains into having hope and feeling good about themselves. At first her advice surrounds just superficial beauty before turning toward what it means to accept oneself, but the message never gets delved into because the plot suddenly shifts into a Dark Lord hullabaloo; thus, losing the opportunity to dig deeper into this theme. This book's potential isn't reached and it is a shame because it is an interesting premise and creative fantasy.

Maybe the sequel will pull it all together. That turned into a real roller coaster ride at the end. I'm flabbergasted. Need to start the second book ASAP! Every four years two children from the village are taken away, whisked off to a school where they learn how to be in a fairy tale. One of the children could end up a hero while the other is destined to be the villain. Sophie is sure that once she is taken she will get to find her prince and her happily ever after.

Agatha is sure that Sophie is crazy and there is no such place, let alone why does she have to be the villain. On the outside it makes perfect sense. Sophie is beautiful, blonde, wears pink dresses and can sing while Agatha has straggly black hair, carries dead things in her pockets and lives in a graveyard.

Why am I going to villain school? Why has everyone elected me the mistress of evil? For the Create a Tale competition your story ended with Snow White eaten by vultures and Cinderella drowning in a tub. I found it thoughtful. They are both taken but everything seems to go wrong when Sophie is dropped into the grounds of the School for Evil and Agatha is sent to the school for good.

It must be a mistake Sophie is sure she is good, she must meet her Prince, fall in love and get her Happily Ever After. All the princesses want is a prince to love. Their biggest goal is to get a prince to ask them to the ball or suffer a fate worse than death. She is a princess, just look at her. There has been a terrible mistake but she is convinced if she can just get a prince to kiss her everything will be fine.

I had such a fun time reading this. It makes fun of itself. Agatha was incredibly likeable from the beginning and Sophie grows on you but it takes a lot of time. Sometimes she goes a little overboard. I loved the friendship between the two girls and how much Agatha really cared for Sophie and just wanted to go back to the village so they could still be friends. The side characters of the evil school were also a lot of fun, as evil characters are. They are just misunderstood by the other side. Tedros is everything Sophie is sure she wants and deserves.

Son to King Arthur he is the most desirable of all the princes. He glistened with a noble sheen as if his blood ran purer than the rest. The stranger took one look at the frowning sword armed boys pulled his own sword and grinned. Forty boys came at him at once but he disarmed each with lightning speed the swords of his classmates piled up beneath his feet as he flicked them away without inflicting a scratch. But no such luck. There were some great classes and challenges that were a good time to read through and I loved the push pull of the friendship between Sophie and Agatha.

The School for Good and Evil

The ending was a little different than I expected but I really enjoyed the twist at the end. I liked so many of the ideas behind this story and it will be interesting to see where the author took it in the next book which I will of course be reading soon. Recommended for when you want something fun that is more about friendships than romances. Great MG reading. Impressive world-building, bogged down by so. They tried to escape umpteen times. The Good and Evil sides faced off another umpteen times but someone would always back down.

The ending went on and on, with magical and physical battles as well as riddle and prophecy solving. It needed an editor to rein it in very badly. Many of the minor characters were interchangeable, as were the teachers. I had trouble remembering which of the teachers taught at which school, since they all mingl Impressive world-building, bogged down by so.

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I had trouble remembering which of the teachers taught at which school, since they all mingled so freely, and since the girls were perpetually running back and forth, interacting with people from both sides. But the idea is so very creative, and I really loved Agatha and even Sophie, though at times she was too over-the-top. The descriptions of clothing, of the castles and dungeons and classrooms made of candy, were so great.

I really liked the way it played with the concept of good and evil, of how our intentions can lead us astray. Seriously though, this book could have been a tight pages and not lost a thing. View all 11 comments. Look at all the fun I missed out on! This was SO good. View all 9 comments. It was fun, hilarious at times, gruesome and shocking, and also just action packed and heart wrenching. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly Chainani is trying to say in this.

I get that the main message is that good and evil are more shades of grey than anything else, and it also emphasizes the importance of friendship. But there are certain things that happen in this story that slightly bewilder me. I did enjoy the [4 Stars] Well that was a whirlwind of an adventure if I ever read one! I did enjoy the setting, characters, and writing though and am looking forward to diving into the next one. I think Chainani's master plan for the characters and their development will probably become clearer as I read on! View 2 comments. Adorable and adventurous, The School for Good and Evil is a fun escape from reality.

When beautiful Sophie and weird Agatha end up in the wrong school - perfect Sophie can't be evil now, can she? This is a magical adventure through and through; the book is set at this School of Good and Evil, a wonderfully imaginative school that trains future fairy tale characters. Meaning when you graduate, you'll be in a fairy tale book; whether a princess Adorable and adventurous, The School for Good and Evil is a fun escape from reality.

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Meaning when you graduate, you'll be in a fairy tale book; whether a princess, a villain, a gremlin, or even a tree, your faith will be determined by how well you do at this school. This idea kind of blew my mind a little; I found it so unique and incredibly fun. The girls, each clearly thinking they're in the wrong school, are determined to trade places, but this proves to be quite the challenge. Told in a dual POV, we have Sophie who's the picture perfect of a true princess fighting against face warts and drab clothes; while her strange, ugly friend her words! This role reversal is both amusing and kind of refreshing.

It shows that what's on the outside doesn't always reflect the person's true self, sending an important message to young'uns. Sophie is an obvious brat who thinks a good deed involves teaching others how not to be ugly anymore. It makes you happy that she's finally learning a lesson on what being good really means. These two protagonists are polar opposites, both offering the book their own dash of charm and warmth.

The great characterization doesn't stop at these two, we have a vast number of characters by their side who fill up the book with humor, mischief, magic, and lively personalities. These include teachers and students, as well as various magical beings ranging from gargoyles to wish fish. If this isn't enough to charm you be difficult, why don't you check out the delightful illustrations we're treated to at every chapter beginning: Furthermore, the plot has an intriguing mystery element involving the school master and its history which had me entranced.

I loved the idea of the battle that turned the master into a mystery himself, leaving me dying to know more. Moreover, everything surrounding this whole story is mysteriously compelling. It's also highly creative with magical touches at every corner - an MG novel perfect for fans of Harry Potter and the likes. As the plot can become a bit dark, even sinister at times, I would hesitate to recommend it to the younger end of MG readers, but I recommend it to everyone else - young and old.

You'll never find yourself bored, and you're bound to feel the book's enchanting atmosphere the minute you open its cover, just look at it: -- A copy was provided by the publisher for review. For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads View all 5 comments. I was searching for a middle grade book with complicated characters and interesting themes; that is exactly what I found in The School for Good and Evil.

Friendship is one of the things this book focusses on most. Agatha and Sophie look like a pair that no one would expect, but their bond continually survives all the obstacles thrown at them. Ultimately it is what's most important in their lives. My favorite part of this book was the question posed again and again. What is it to be good? Is it ab I was searching for a middle grade book with complicated characters and interesting themes; that is exactly what I found in The School for Good and Evil. Is it about looking good, looking like you are loving?

Or is it about being selfless and viewing the world as what is true instead of the exterior? Agatha was my favorite character because she viewed the world in the latter way. She forgave Sophie again and again, holding out hope that she would change. Agatha also understood or came to understand that the world is not black and white, good and evil.

It is full of humans who are both together. I also enjoyed the atmospheric writing style. At times, it was difficult to understand because I was trying to grasp every single detail. That's not how this book is meant to be read. It's written not to give you a play by play, especially in the action scenes, but to convey magic and a picture. It's very whimsical. The author captured the feeling of the original Grimm Fairytales in this book. Overall I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't give it five stars because the first half of the book was a bit slow for me, but halfway through it picked up, and I said outloud, "this is great.

This book was great, this book takes a unique spin on classic fairy tales and how their viewed. This is shown well with the two main characters Sophie and Agatha, based on what a classic princess and villain should look like dictates that Sophie "the princess" and Agatha "the villain" but toys with expectations based on appearance.

Something that I really liked about this book is the strong friendship between the two main female characters, also the power of forgiving others even when they don't This book was great, this book takes a unique spin on classic fairy tales and how their viewed. Something that I really liked about this book is the strong friendship between the two main female characters, also the power of forgiving others even when they don't necessary deserve it.

The ending was fantastic and I cannot wait to continue the series to see where things go next. Every four years two children are kidnapped from this village, one Good and one Evil, to go to the School for Good and Evil that prepares them to take their part in fairy tales. Sophie wants to be a princess, and win her prince.

While everyone else in the village hides and uglifies their good children when the School Master comes a-kidnapping, Sophie plans to entice him to take her. One of Sophie's conscious good deeds is to befriend the ugly and unwanted girl who lives in the cemetary. Agatha only has one friend, one person who values her. When Sophie attempts to get kidnapped, Agatha tries to save her, and they both end up taken by the School Master.

Both believe they are in the wrong place. All this by pg So far, excellent! What a great idea! And this is why I gave the book 2 stars. And then we have more pages of what happens when they get to the school. Agatha wants to go home.

Sophie wants to change schools. And she wants to win a prince of her own you have to get one to ask you to the Ball. Only the Goods have a ball. All the Good children are beautiful. Agatha is not, so she doesn't feel she belongs. All the Evil children are ugly, some to the point of serious deformation. Sophie is beautiful, so no one feels she belongs. She is told there are never any mistakes. So, we're going to find in the end that Agatha is really good, and Sophie was only faking being good so she's actually Evil. But that doesn't make sense, because Sophie may not be that good, but that doesn't make her evil.

But this would make some kind of sense. What actually happens, doesn't. The equivalence of goodness and beauty is revolting. The objective for the girls, to get the prince of their choice to ask them to the Ball, where they may receive their kiss, is likewise revolting. The adventures that Agatha and Sophie undergo are so over the top, they are hard to follow. But no matter what happens to them, from almost drowning, to being taken to the torture chamber and murdering the torturer, there are never any emotional or physical consequences. Sophie has roommates in her Evil tower room; Agatha has classmates in the Good school, but after pages, there were so undifferentiated, I was still having trouble remembering who was who, with only a very few exceptions.

The same went for the teachers. Description doesn't go nearly as far to make a character memorable as behavior. Dot, Hort, Beatrix and Tedros can be told apart. The rest all run together. If a climactic event happens in a story, and in the next line you have to explain what just happened, and why it is important, that is a strong sign that you need to go back to an earlier place or two in your story and set it up. When the event occurs, the audience should enjoy it will full understanding as it happens. Agatha is the main character, and yet the final move is given to Sophie.

Agatha becoming the most beautiful princess ever, was really revolting. Beauty and goodness are the same thing? And she always was that beautiful and didn't know it? That's just not true. And if there's one thing fiction should never do, it's tell lies.

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  • This may sound like a paradox, but the purpose of fiction is to create situations that reveal truths about humanity. If stories say things about people that are not true, then they have no purpose. Once upon a time, in a land far away… How many times have we seen our dear, precious stories from childhood start that way? How many times have we read about beautiful princesses, tricked by a witch, or a goblin, or other nasty creatures, and eventually saved by the prince and lived a "Happily Ever After"?

    How many times have we wished for our own fairy tale ending, to have our own prince swoop us up and run off towards the horizon? I, for one, during my early years, wished for that a lot. I sigh Once upon a time, in a land far away… How many times have we seen our dear, precious stories from childhood start that way? I sighed, imagined, daydreamed. I even fantasized about being Ariel and having my very own Prince Eric call me creepy, but hey!

    I was young! They were absolutely beautiful. So, what do these have to do with The School for Good and Evil?

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    Imagine all the things you've seen in fairy tales. The princesses, princes, evil witches, henchmen, sidekicks, talking animals and beanstalks. And then what? I, for one, laughed a lot and amused myself greatly. At the School of Good, we have princesses who think of their beauty and their princes, and we have princes who think of their macho-ness and their princesses.

    There, they have classes on Animal Communication, Chivalry, Beautification and the like. A t the School of Evil, we have the sons and daughters of brutes, witches, and evil sorcerers past, who are ugly, who bask in the negativity of everything, and who would study hard in Uglification, Henchmen Training, Curses and Death Traps for a wart or two yes, in one of their classes, if you correctly answer something, you get a wart plastered on your face!

    A wart on the chin would make you fearsome! These were all so ridiculous, yet so true in many fairy tale stories we've come to know and love, that I found myself laughing at every chapter. And oh, when the princes appeared, and the knight in shining armour Prince Tedros came out with a "…halo of celestial gold, eye blue as a cloudless sky, skin the color of hot desert sand, he glistened with a noble sheen, as if his blood ran purer than the rest," I imagined this: Not that he's really like that, mind you… but with all the mockery going on, I couldn't help it!

    It became even more priceless in the eyes of Agatha and Sophie, two readers not from the magical, fairytale realm, who were kidnapped from the outside world and taken to this very place for reasons unknown. Sophie had wanted this all her life, and like the other princesses, she cared a lot about her beauty, about her prince, about becoming a princess.

    Agatha, on the other hand, had lived all alone, friendless, at the town cemetery, where she thought of dark things and cheered villains for their quest of power. You'd think Sophie would go to Good, and Agatha to Evil, but it turned out it was the other way around! I loved Agatha's dry wit and humor. She thought all the princesses were shallow, and was wary of their extreme devotion to handsome, golden boys, make-up kits, and gowns. I couldn't help but find her adorable and endearing, with her snark, sarcasm, and hatred for anything girly. To be honest, even though she may like dark things and whatnot, she was more "Good" than the princesses and princes with their snobby and shallow personalities, and every time she was treated with condescension, I couldn't help but think, "How can these people be Good?

    If you're really a Good, shouldn't you help others in need? I couldn't stand this girl. She went from annoying to downright unbearable to absolutely horrible, but even though that's the case, her character development was one of the best I've ever seen. Her development from bad to worse even overpowered that of Agatha's. You'd probably be asking how I've come to this conclusion when she's the "villain" of the two, but it's true!

    Never Again , by Michele Bardsley In small town Nevermore, Texas, witches, wizards, and humans live relatively peacefully in their close knit community. Lucina Rackmore is a witch down on her luck. To make matters worse, Nevermore is home to her ex-brother-in-law, Gray Calhoun, a man who was nearly sacrificed to a demon by her sister. Unfortunately, she now finds herself thrown back in time to Victorian England, where a woman outfitted with all manner of weapons is a sight to behold. To blend in enough to reach her target, Joan must seek help from Simon Grenville to teach her how to become the perfect Victorian woman.

    Prince of Power , by Elisabeth Staab Few rivalries have lasted longer than the one between vampires and wizards. An enemies to lovers romance between two strong individuals from warring families. Prism , by Nina Walker Prism has an interesting concept that will make readers want to know more. The cover is also pretty gorgeous. In Prism , colors are directly related to alchemy, and young alchemist Jessa is undergoing her training under Prince Lucas.

    While Jessa just wants to complete her apprenticeship, Lucas is in desperate need to uncover the magic needed to heal his ailing mother, and time is running out. A unique take on the typical magic and alchemy young adult narrative, with a charming prince and an ambitious heroine. The Red , by Tiffany Reisz Tiffany Reisz knows how to write a darn good mysterious and erotic romance.

    Mona Lisa St. Her abilities with fire are starting to become dangerous, surging and sparking beyond her control. William de Brus has been sent by the king to track down this destructive magical force and is completely taken off guard once he realizes the magic is coming from a woman. She lands in Tremont City, where a tough assignment is waiting for her from her newest employer, Jeremy Tremont. His family has built their estate on an ancient, cursed plot of land, a land that has many secrets, and he needs her help.

    Malachi is tasked with protecting the human race, that tattooed words and images on his skin imbued with magic. He just hopes he can convince her before someone takes Ava for their own, greedy purposes. Though when people start disappearing and dying around Venetia, Gabriel takes a keen interest in getting to know the photographer a little more intimately.

    Give Sex and the Psychic Witch a try! An opposites attract, slapstick romance with a pushy witch and a stuffy hero! The magic is interesting and the setting will be familiar to many historical romance fans. If you prefer a more subdued romance, this is a series that just keeps getting better and better. The covers also look beautiful on any bookshelf. However, the only man who could possibly help her is that last man who wants to see her.

    Ianthe is the one responsible for having the Earl of Rathbourne locked away in Bedlam. He has zero desire to aid her in finding the relic, but the promise of freedom is too tempting to resist. However, Rathbourne has a few conditions of his own that will lead Ianthe to his bedroom, night after night. And by more, I mean some rather adorable magic. Morgan is no ordinary, maidenly woman. She knows she has a duty and along her quest, she meets Miach, a man with his own reasons for protecting the kingdom of Neroche.

    Morgan is wary of Miach at first, but with the trials of their journey ahead, distrust slowly gives way to respect and then to romance. Stars of Fortune , by Nora Roberts Nora Roberts is another author who has some great magical romances to read. Sasha Riggs is an artist plagued with visions of people destined to save the world. Her only solace is to paint what she sees and she soon realizes that the people in her visions are very real, including the magician, Bran Killian.

    Nora Fischer is supposed to be busy working on her dissertation, not getting herself sucked into a portal to another world where her life is transformed. But it all seems too good to be true, and the enigmatic Aruendiel is the only one who can get her back to her world in one piece. Vengeance Born , by Kylie Griffin Annika is half-human and half-demon, a disgrace to the pure blooded demons in her kingdom.

    The only thing she longs for is escaping to the human realm to live a life of peace. Sensing that Kalan is her chance to leave, Annika promises to help him make it home if he takes her with him. Vengeance Born is gritty, full of action, and Annika really shines with her ability to give and take away life. Water Bound , by Christine Feehan Rikki is autistic and has found a home amongst her sisters, but nothing comforts her quite like the water, and being near the ocean gives her a sense of peace. But Lev has no memory of his life before winding up in the waters, a treacherous life in which he served as a killer for the Soviet government.

    And who better to go up against an immortal than Alexandra Monzelle, a tough as nails vice cop? Wickedly Dangerous , by Deborah Blake For those familiar with Russian folklore, you might recognize Baba Yaga as a figure of magic and mischief. Barbara Yager is a Baba Yaga, which is not just one, solitary being, but a title bestowed to several worthy women. Barbara lies low, posing as a researcher and herbalist with her dog and traveling in a magical camper.

    At least she has the attractive Sheriff Liam McClellan to keep her company. The Winter King , by C. Wilson Wynter Atrialan is out for revenge. Unfortunately, his quest has caused him to absorb a powerful magic that is slowing consuming him. She wants to love her new husband, but the dangerous magic to which her Winter is connected may just destroy them both. Wintersong , by S.

    A heartbreakingly fantastic story. Now the same forces that destroyed her family are determined to drain Mira of her rare magical abilities. The Witch of Painted Sorrows , by M.