Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Review by Anna

Post Date:05/24/2023

school for good and evil book cov


What determines if someone is good? What determines if someone is evil? This was what went through the minds of Agatha and Sophie, two very different friends. From a dystopian land of fairy tales, author Soman Chainani reveals the depth regarding good, evil, and friendship. 


As the main characters, Agatha and Sophie are from Gavaldon, every four years the school master from The School For Good and Evil captures two children, one of which he believed was inherently virtuous and the other wicked. It came across as no surprise that Sophie and Agatha would be selected to attend this school. Agatha was known for her odd sense of weird habits and the sadness she clung on to. On the other hand, Sophie was raised to be a princess.


Yet all turns around when Sophie is taken to the School for Evil and for Agatha, it’s the School of Good. The entrance of Tedros, son of King Arthur especially exacerbates these turn of events. 


Sophie falls in love with Tedros and actively tries to get closer to the student from the School of Good. In the process however, Tedros is faced with challenges to select the student of righteousness and always selects Agatha. This causes a strain on the friendship between Agatha and Sophie.


In their attempt to return home, they realize that the Storian, the writer of all fairytale books, had already begun writing their novel. They could not return home, and they needed to finish their story. As Sophie is thriving at the School for Evil, Agatha finds her pathway at the School for Good. 


Sophie’s grades however start to drop and Agatha must help her in solidifying Sophie’s rank in school while continuing to grow the love between Sophie and Tedros. As the Trial by Tale, The Circus of Talents, and the Snow Ball occur, Sophie realizes that Tedros in fact likes Agatha instead of her. Enraged by jealousy, Sophie becomes engulfed by evil and even attempts to murder Agatha.


Hurt by what she thought was betrayal by her friend, she finds herself in front of the school master, but in the process she regrets all that she had done to Agatha. In the event of a final battle, Sophie and Agatha both realize that their friendship is worth the world. Everybody is a little evil, and everybody is a little good. 


I enjoyed reading this novel. I especially liked the characterization of Sophie and Agatha. Both characters had their unique individual perspectives and had extensive character development. While reading, readers are able to empathize with characters. Sophie was the perfect villain who was not whole heartingly evil. She was true to herself and expressed in the way she could to get her points across. Agatha became aware that she was not just some random teenager, but that she had a beautiful heart and great qualities.

It was a pleasure seeing how both protagonists really embodied the topic of friendship and the split between what was right and what was not. The School For Good and Evil is definitely worth the read. It’s a piece that will forever pull on the heartstrings of its viewers and provide comfort. This novel is worth the read!

Check out the School for Good and Evil from NBPL!  


Return to full list >>