I’d never really heard of The School for Good and Evil before I came across it on Goodreads, but the premise intrigued me, a land where kids are taken to attend either The School for Good or The School for Evil where they learn the necessary skills to become fairy tale heroes or villains, and two best friends are dropped in the opposite schools then what they were expecting. See it sounds like it could be a really interesting funny fantasy read, and it would have been if only it was completely rewritten.
I don’t want to be really negative towards this book because there were some times at the start of the book that I thought were really nicely written, but for the most part this was a very poorly put together book.
The two main characters Sophie and Agatha are one dimensional with nothing that makes them feel authentic. Sophie, is vapid and annoying, every one of her thoughts until 95% of the way through this book are focused on her being viewed as pretty, have Tedros like her, and proving she’s Good (when she clearly isn’t). Agatha, is a pessimistic, door mat. She is just as irritating as Sophie accept for opposite reasons, mostly all of her motivation throughout the book until about 85% of the through is wanting Sophie too actually like her.
Talking about Sophie and Agatha, the very poorly written love triangle was tiresome to read. The fact they were fighting over a guy like Tedros made it even worse. Tedros is an idiot. He might be the worst love interest I’ve ever come across in a book. There was not one time were I thought Tedros was charming, interesting, intelligent or attractive. He in fact is the opposite of all those things and is self-centred, boring, seriously dumb and completely off putting.
One thing in particular I really hate encouraged in books is Girl on Girl hate – especially over a bloody idiot like Tedros. Why is it expected that women are always jealous and envious of each other?? Once Sophie and Agatha’s sham of a friendship fell apart in this book pretty much focused on pitting these two against each other, whether they would take it in turns embarrassing and hurting one another.
I found that throughout this book storylines were rushed or left unfinished, I felt that there was very limited planning on where this story was heading and that reflected in the all over the place plot. Also, never, not once while reading this book did I feel like any of the dialog was realistic, it all read as very forced and unauthentic.
However despite all these very noticeable negatives there were some shining moments that kept me reading. The side characters where great! I loved Dot and Hester in particular. Hester, who is the evil witch out of Hansel and Gretel’s daughter is a real villain of a girl and makes any scene she’s in more entertaining. I would have liked to learn more about her. Dot is the daughter of the Sherriff of Nottingham and is so cute with the way she loves being a villain but still thinks everyone should be nice to one another.
As anyone who loves fantasy knows, you can’t be invested in a story unless you like and understand the world in which its set, and I found The School of Good and Evil’s world building pretty good! I loved the legend of the why the kids are taken from the start of the book, and the story about how the fairy tales show up one day and the bookshop owner makes copies. I could really visual the school’s and the blue forest. There were some things that probably needed extra information but for the most part I thought the world building was pretty good.
Overall, I did not enjoy The School for Good and Evil, I think the negatives were to apparent to overlook and it made it really hard to find this book entertaining. I won’t be reading the rest of the series.